CHORAL CONCERT, Thursday October 7 2010, City Hall; Verdi: Messa da Requiem; soloists Hanli Stapela, Elizabeth Frandsen, Matthew Overmeyer, Monde Masimini; Philharmonia Choir, Symphony Choir and CPO conducted by Victor Yampolsky.
DEON IRISH reviews
SOME of the most exciting concerts I attended at the City Hall in the 1970s and 1980s were choral: vivid presentations by both the CTSO”s Symphony Choir and the Philharmonia choir, each having well over a 100 singers. They included memorable performances of works as diverse as Dvorak”s Requiem, Orff”s Carmina Burana and Britten”s War Requiem. And, of course, the CTSO”s final concert before its mid-year break, traditionally concluding with the Beethoven Choral Symphony.
Both choirs fell on difficult times in the past decade, so it is very gratifying to record an increasingly apparent turn-around in their fortunes and some headway made on what we must hope will be a return to former glories. Continue reading
I thoroughly enjoyed Thursday evening’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem. Combining the two choirs was a good idea, not just because of its obvious dramatic import, but it was actually vital in passages like Dies Irae, with its descending inner voices. Each choir on its own would not have enough of especially tenors.
A powerful vocal contrast was set up between the dulcet opening Requiem Aeternam, and the thundering Dies Irae: well done!
The counterpoint in Sanctus was effective, with entries clearly accented. However, the opening two entries felt as if they were pulling against the time, and not quite in step with the orchestra.
The a capella sections in the final Libera Me were very beautiful, and exhibited a beautiful balance between the various choral voices. . It was obvious that the choirs were aware of the resulting harmonies, as their voices blended naturally and plaintively. Continue reading
VERDI REQIEM…..October 2010
I am perpetually fascinated and amazed at the experience of life being like a jig-saw puzzle with pieces being fitted into place each day, adding to the wonder and colourfulness of the whole picture as it builds with purposefulness towards an eventual completion.
The Cape Town Symphony and Philharmonia Choirs joint venture in the performances of the Verdi Reqiem proved to add specially lovely pieces to mine and Jean”s joint and individual puzzles:
For over 50 years now Jean and I have derived immense pleasure from attending orchestral rehearsals and concerts in the City Hall. And so it was with a sense of deep gratitude that we were able to sing together for the first time on the City Hall stage with the orchestra under Maestro Victor Yampolsky. Continue reading
VERDI MESSA DA REQUIEM
Twice in the last few years our choir has sung major requiems very soon after the deaths of significant persons in my life. We sang the Mozart requiem under the baton of Richard Cock just a few weeks after the death of my father and now we sang Verdi’s one quite soon after my mother-in- law’s death. So I started thinking about the concept of requiems in general. Continue reading
VERDI REQUIEM – SO THIS IS HOW IT HAPPENED!
By Nadia Essop (October 27, 2010)
It’s Wednesday evening. After 3 hours of rehearsal with the orchestra, soloists, and combined choirs, my spirits are in need of a lift. I cannot move beyond the question: What am I doing here?
The Cape Town City Hall’s labyrinth of passages and spaces have a faded aura. The resident phantoms could add cachet to the scenario, but other than blocking the toilets, they too seem ready to abandon the cause. Perhaps Le Fantôme senses the prevailing mindset seeping through the cracks: apathy, and the celebration of mediocrity.
I am aware of the musical pecking order I have volunteered myself into. First there is the conductor, in this case visiting Muscovite, maestro Victor Yampolsky. The conductor, also known as the musical director, is permitted (and forgiven) everything! He is forgiven for wearing red sneakers with pink socks (wow!), he is allowed to lose his temper, or throw a tantrum if he wants to. It is best to stay on the good side of the conductor. Laugh at his jokes – it’s the right thing to do. More importantly, do exactly as he instructs. Capiche? Continue reading