national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, November 8, 2021

SALSA BAROQUE: REVIEW

(Right: Mathais Maute)

It was an exceptional performance and one which I will remember with great fondness for some time to come. (Review by Keith Millar)

Bring on the next Baroque 2000 concert – I can’t wait!

Lovers of baroque music in Durban are well looked after by our excellent Baroque 2000 ensemble with regular concerts at the Church of the Mariannhill Monastery near Pinetown.

We are treated to wide variety of music from little-known composers to the masters such as Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Corelli, and Telemann.

However, last Sunday they added a bit of salsa sauce to the proceedings and presented a fabulous concert of music of Latin America and Spain from the 17th and 18th Centuries.

The inspiration for this was a visit from the innovative Ensemble Caprice from Canada.

This is not the first time that the Ensemble Caprice has joined Baroque 2000 in concert, but the first time I have been privileged to see this unique group perform the baroque music of Latin America. They describe it as a fusion of the harmonies and rhythms of Europe and Africa, blended with the nuances and styles of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. 

A Canadian ensemble taking on Latin American Baroque music as its special project which they call Salsa Baroque? Well, just listen to some of the music to understand why.

I must say that I am smitten.

Ensemble Caprice was represented by Mathais Maute on traverso (baroque flute) and recorder and David Jacques playing the baroque guitar. Their percussionist experienced passport problems and never made it to Durban. Their more than adequate stand-in was the accomplished Stephane Pechoux.

Playing with the Baroque 2000 ensemble they performed music from composers such as Antonio Martin y Coll, Santiago de Murcia, Gasper Fernandes, Juan de Araujo, Juan Garcia de Z├ęspedes, Andrea Falconieri, and Domenico Zipoli.

It encompassed every mood from sad and nostalgic to triumphant and jubilant. Including along the way plenty of dance, pastoral moods, and even military themes. And it was all infused with wonderful Latin rhythms.

Few baroque concerts are complete without a bit of Vivaldi on the programme, and his Recorder Concerto was only Western piece on the programme.

Mathias Maute is regarded as one of the leading baroque recorder players in the world. I am sure that anybody who experienced his extraordinary, virtuosic performance of this difficult work will have any doubt about that. It was an exceptional performance and one which I will remember with great fondness for some time to come.

Bring on the next Baroque 2000 concert – I can’t wait! – Keith Millar

 

For more information about Baroque 2000 contact Michel Schneuwly at sursouth@iafrica.com or phone 082 303 5241.

Baroque 2000 is sponsored by Die Rupert Musiekstigting. -