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Saturday, November 28, 2015

BAROQUE 2000 NOVEMBER 22, 2015

A thoroughly enjoyable mixed bag of musical treats. (Review by Keith Millar)

The seventh and penultimate recital of the Baroque 2000 ensemble’s 2015 Concert Series took place at the hallowed Marianhill Church of the Monastery last Sunday morning.

As one has come to expect from Baroque 2000, the concert proved to be an entertaining and enjoyable occasion of fine baroque music and exceptional musicianship.

According to the Roman Catholic calander November 22 is St Cecelia’s day. So, as she is the patron saint of musicians, this added a little more spice to the occasion.

Performing with the Baroque 2000 ensemble at this concert was the Odeion Vocal Consort from Bloemfontein. After their successful visit in October last year to perform Dietrich Buxtehude’s Latin Cantata Membra Jesu nostri it was a pleasure to welcome this excellent group of singers back to Marianhill. Their presence certainly attracted a-fair sized audience to the event.

All the members of the Consort are senior choristers of the Odeion Choir of the University of the Free State. They are sopranos Zani Ludick and Maryke Smit, alto IlanĂ© van Wyk, tenor and director Lance Philip and bass Werner Stander. Accompanying them on the organ – or rather a keyboard which was as close a reproduction of a pipe organ sound as you could get - was Laurie Coetzee.

The Consort was in fine voice. Singing with passion, and expressing superb musical control, elegance and blending, they had the audience on their feet and shouting for more.

They contributed three items to the programme. Starting off with Henry Purcell’s anthem Remember Not, Lord, they moved on to the joyous and dancelike Magnificat by an anonymous composer.

The final item which they performed, this time along with the Baroque 2000 ensemble, was the German/Danish composer Dietrich Buxtehude’s cantata Herzlichliebhabdich, oh Herr which translates to From my heart I hold you dear, oh Lord. This is regarded as one of the most significant large-scale works of its kind written in the 17th century. It is significant that the stringed instuments are not there as accompaniment in the cantata, but have parts that are fully independent to those of the singers. It was an inspiring and richly textured performance from all the participants.

Also on the programme was the fast moving and lyrical Concerto No. 9, Op 5 in E Minor by Italian composer Tomaso Albinoni. Next was Fantasia upon One Note by Henry Purcell. Purcell is regarded by some as England’s greatest ever composer.What is significant in this Fantasia is that the middle voice drones on the note C throughout the piece.

The final instrumental work featured was the plaintive lament Balletti Lamentabili a 4 by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber. Biber is regarded as one of the most important composers for the violin in the history of the instrument.

This Baroque 2000 concert provided a thoroughly enjoyable, mixed bag of musical treats. The next, and final concert of the year, takes place on December 20 at 11h00 at the Marianhill Church of the Monastery. Don’t miss it!

Tickets are R120 at the door or contact Michel on 031 312 5539 or 0823035241, or e-mail There is ample and safe parking available. – Keith Millar

Baroque 2000 is sponsored by Die Rupert Musiekstigting