Handel Messiah – reflection by Harry Wiggett December 2019


…words spilling from

sages’ spiritual searchings

to describe the indescribable

truth of a mortal’s

divinity and humanity

 images greening the eternal

with temporal freshness

with wholeness and holiness

a permanent Presence

brought to life by sounds

inspired to set fire

to our hearts in the singing

of Handel’s meaning full Messiah…

Festive Concert 2019 – poem by Harry Wiggett



He did not call himself

the King of Kings or

Lord of Lords.

And yet

beneath Constantia stars

our Alleluias broke the silence

of the silent night

because we mortals

sensed the mystery

and meaning of life –

He came to Earth

that all might marvel

might celebrate

with festival and song

the miracle of BIRTH!

Beethoven Missa Solemnis


I don’t quite know how to describe it, but I cannot recall ever having had a musical experience anything like that of singing in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in the Sarah Baartman Hall at the University  of Cape Town last night under the inspired direction of our conductor Alexander Fokkens whose spiritual approach to the work undergirded all the preparation for and performance of this musical masterpiece.

There was something so transcendental about it. And it had the profound effect of reaffirming my belief that there is only one progressive song in the Universe – The Creator/Spirit/God Song. And that Beethoven, by using the text of the Christian faith community’s Mass, embraced the heartbeat of all humanity in his inspired score.

The words of the liturgical Christian Mass happen, for me, to capture the unifying spiritual dimension of all humanity. And, whereas the words on their own might speak meaningfully to those, like myself, of the Christian faith tradition, Beethoven’s score lifts them into another realm that is  all-encompassing and all-embracing – resonating with those who subscribe to a particular religious tradition or to none. Continue reading

Mozart Requiem – a personal reflection by Nadia Essop – March 2019


By Nadia Essop

FC#D…AA’Bb…GDC#…C#C’B… I have listened to the opening bars of the Lacrimosa and Dies Irae countless times, wondering how it is possible to evoke an ocean of feeling with such small building blocks. I don’t know, it’s incomprehensible to me. How ironic that one can experience such depth of emotion while listening to a Requiem, a ‘song’ for the dead, written by a man on his deathbed. (But then again, I am dying too, in the way all of us are dying every moment of every day.)

Mozart. The physical form of the name itself is iconic: MOZART. There is heaviness to it, as if made of concrete or formed from marble or granite. The word is Gravitas, which the thesaurus defines as seriousness, gravity, solemnness. But a quick google search suggests the contrary, describing the genius as playful, wild, silly, tortured, troubled. Whether playful or serious, Mozart is shrouded in veils of intrigue and mystery, especially his illness and subsequent death, and the circumstances surrounding the writing of his Requiem.  

Continue reading

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