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Saturday, September 30, 2023



(Right: Lente Louw & Uwe Grosser with Rosamund Ender in front)

This was a different and most enjoyable concert and was well received by the audience. (Review by Keith Millar)

Baroque 2000’s September concert at the Mariannhill Church of the Monastery offered something completely different from what one has come to expect from them.

Not on this occasion the standard orchestral ensemble, but, visiting from Cape Town, the amazing Lutesong Consort.

The consort performs English and European vocal music from predominantly the 16th and 17th centuries.

Founded in 2017 by husband-and-wife duo of Lente Louw (mezzo soprano) and Uwe Grosser (lute, Baroque guitar) the group expanded in 2021 with the creation of the Lutesong Consort. Their concerts feature a combination of historical plucked string instruments, namely Renaissance lutes, chitarrone and Baroque guitar, and any number of voices. The ensemble maintains a regular performance schedule in and around Cape Town.

Their Baroque Noir programme presented at Mariannhill included a selection of Italian, German and English Baroque songs for mezzo soprano as well as solo instrumental works. The compositions were often haunting, hypnotic or melancholy in character, in support of some of the deepest, darkest, most profound and heartfelt poetry found in the literature.

The programme included masterpieces such Dido’s Lament and O, solitude by the great English composer of the middle Baroque period, Henry Purcell. There were also interesting examples of chaconnes and passacaglias by German composer Johan Philipp Krieger and Italian composers Tarquinio Merula and Claudio Monteverdi.

The ethereal solos for viola da gamba were by German Carl Friedrich. Abel and Frenchman Jean de Sainte-Colombe and a rather jaunty one for the guitar by Gaspar Sanz.

Mezzo soprano Lente Louw has an exquisite voice. Originally trained in classical opera she brought all her experience to bear in a beautiful and sometimes emotional presentation.

Her husband Uwe Grosser supported her on the lute (an instrument made by himself) and a baroque guitar.

The viola da gamba, and instrument which slightly resembles a cello and is played with a bow or often plucked, was in the hands of Rosamund Ender. Despite her endless problems with tuning her instrument because of Durban’s humidity she performed with great skill and talent.

Both instruments are designed more for ambience and tone than volume and provide a subtle and refined background to the music.

This was a different and most enjoyable concert and was well received by the audience.

The next Baroque 2000 concert is scheduled for October 29, 2023, at the Mariannhill Church of the Monastery. For more information contact Michel at or on 0823035241.

Baroque 2000 is sponsored by Die Rupert Musiekstigting. - Keith Millar