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Monday, April 4, 2022


For me, this was a blissful experience. This music is exquisite, and the performance was excellent. (Review by Keith Millar)

Baroque is back! Last Sunday marked the season opening of the Baroque 2000’s 2022 Concert Series at the Mariannhill Monastery Church. A year which celebrates the ensemble’s 25th year of performing fine music.

And how better to kick off than with Marc Antoine Charpentier’s majestic and jubilant Overture to the Te Deum.

This stately Overture set the mood for the concert - and the orchestra carried on from where they left off last year. Playing with joyfulness, skill and with tremendous respect for the music.

Due to the nature of the music on the programme, the ensemble was enlarged with the addition of Oboes, French Horns, trumpets as well as Bassoon and Timpani.

The main item on the programme was George Fredric Handel’s superb Water Music. It was composed for an excursion by King George 1 and his guests for an excursion onboard the royal barge which sailed on the Thames to Chelsea. A sort of 18th century booze cruise, I suppose!

The city of London provided an additional barge which carried the 50 musicians who played the music. The Water Music proved so popular that they had to perform it four times over for the King and his guests.

The enhanced Baroque 2000 orchestra played the first suite and most of the second.

For me, this was a blissful experience. This music is exquisite, and the performance was excellent. Handel’s Water Music remains one of my all-time favourites.

Handel’s Concerto Grosso Op3 No2 was also on the programme. Scored for two oboes, one bassoon, strings and continuo, this work was perfect for the enlarged ensemble. Maggie Deppe and Fia King on oboe and Charl van der Merwe on the bassoon performed with charisma and proficiency during this work.

Completing the programme was Johann Sebastian Bach’s Overture Suite No 1 BWV 1066. His Air On a G-String comes from the Suite No 2. There are four orchestral suites by Bach in all. The beautiful music gave the Oboes and Bassoon another chance to shine.

Next month Baroque 2000 is venturing outside with a concert a Jameson Park in Morningside on April 23. They will be joined by the Kearsney College Choir.

The same concert will then be performed on April 24 at 11h30 at the Mariannhill Monastery church.

For more information contact Michel Schneuwly on 0823035241 or at