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Saturday, June 6, 2015


 Augmented ensemble in top form. (Review by Keith Millar)

The Baroque 2000 concert at the Marianhill Church of the Monastery last Sunday was performed with flair and flamboyance. The augmented ensemble was in top form as they presented the programme entitled Earth’s Sounds.

Nature - along with the elements, earth, fire, water and air - has served as an inspiration for many compositions over the ages. None more so than the astonishing, choreographed tone poem, Les Èlémens, by the French baroque composer Jean-Féry Rebel.

This was Rebel’s last work, composed in 1737 when he was more than 70 years old. The first movement of the piece is named Chaos and is a bold and dramatic depiction of the creation of earth, as the four elements come together and create harmony out of dissonance.

The elements of earth, fire, water and air are also represented in other movements of the work.
Les Èlémens is regarded as one of the most outstanding and original works of the baroque repertoire and the Baroque 2000 ensemble certainly did justice to this masterpiece. The enlarged ensemble included extra strings, woodwinds, brass and timpani, and featured artists such as the KZNPO Concertmaster Joanna Frankel, KZNPO Principal Cellist Boris Kerimov and percussionist Stephane Pechoux.

The use of a wind machine during the Chaos movement also added to the drama and excitement to a performance to be remembered.

The other two works on the programme also offered the sounds of nature with a variety of magical bird calls on offer.

Included in the lively Overture in D Major by the Austrian composer theorist and teacher, Johann Joseph Fux, are movements for the Nightingale, Quail and Cuckoo, while Frenchman Jean- Philippe Rameau features a chicken in his graceful and attractive work, VI éme concert.

Earth’s Sounds was an inspirational and rousing concert which was thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed by the audience who gave the performers an extended standing ovation. 

The next Baroque 2000 concert is scheduled for June 28 when the featured artist will be the Durban-born coloratura soprano Bronwen Forbay. Forbay has a remarkable and very beautiful voice and this is an event that should not be missed.

The concert will take place at 15h00 on June 28 at the Marianhill Church of the Monastery. Tickets R120 at the door. Ample and safe parking is available. For more information contact Michel Schneuwly, 031 312 5539, 082 3035241 or e-mail -
Keith Millar