national Arts Festival Banner

Thursday, June 6, 2019


Kudos to the ever-innovative Baroque 2000 for a different and most pleasurable concert experience. (Review by Keith Millar)

Sunday, June 2, 2019, marked Italy’s National and Republic Day - and to celebrate the occasion Baroque 2000 led the audience at their concert at the Mariannhill Church Monastery on a magical musical and visual tour of that country.

The visual aspect was provided by a display of beautiful images of baroque churches, monuments, buildings and artwork which were projected onto a huge video screen which formed the backdrop to the ensemble.

This created a wonderful setting for the 12-piece Baroque ensemble to provide an exciting, varied and fairly eclectic choice of music from Italian composers.

The concert started off in dramatic fashion with a fanfare performed by two French horns from the rear of the historic Monastery Church and set the scene for the music to follow.

This was followed by Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata in C minor for Harpsichord. This was played by Cape Town’s Eric Dippenaar who is South Africa’s leading exponent of the harpsichord. In a display of virtuosic skill, sensitivity and control Dippenaar showed that this instrument has so much more to offer than its usual role in baroque music of providing the basso continuo for an ensemble. It was a masterful display and most enjoyable.

Composer Alessandro Stradella was an intriguing character. He had a dissolute lifestyle which included many affairs and embezzlement of funds from the Church. He was forced to move from city to city to escape the ire of various members of the nobility and was eventually stabbed to death at the age of 39 in Genoa.

In between his infidelities, he found time to compose over three hundred works in a variety of genres, including his Sonata a violin e basso in D minor. As the title suggests, this is a work for violin, cello and harpsichord only and allowed Baroque 2000 Concertmaster Ralitsa Macheva, the opportunity to give her usual vivacious, animated and joyful interpretation. It is always a pleasure to hear, and watch, this musician perform.

(Baroque 2000 Concertmaster Ralitza Macheva)

KZNPO stalwart oboist, Margrit Deppe-Mutsaerts was the soloist for the Concerto for oboe in D minor by Thomas Albinoni. Deppe This work has a particularly beautiful and plaintive second movement which was the highlight of this work. Deppe-Mutsaerts brought admirable understanding and feeling to her performance.

(Margrit Deppe-Mutsaerts)

To bring this Italian experience to its conclusion, the entire 12-piece ensemble was on stage to perform Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto per molti instumenti RV 569 in F major. A work which is quite unmistakably Vivaldi. Melodic, jubilant and very enjoyable.

Kudos to the ever-innovative Baroque 2000 for a different and most pleasurable concert experience.

The next Baroque 2000 concert will take place at the same venue on June 23, 2019, at 11h30. The soloist will be Cape Town soprano Lynelle Kenned. Tickets R150 at the door. Ample and safe parking available. The Monastery Tea Garden will be open for coffee/tea and light lunches.

For more information contact Michel Schneuwly on 031 312 5539 or 082 3035241. Alternatively mail him at

Project sponsored by: Die Rupert Musiekstigting. – Keith Millar