A Baroque Christmas

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Please join us on 11 December at 7pm at the Lutheran Church in Strand Street, Cape Town.   The concert starts at 7pm and doors will open at 6.15pm.  Tickets are R200 each, available through Quicket, and in line with COVID protocols seating is limited, so early booking is recommended and masks must be worn.  

Soloists for this concert are:

Soprano  – Elsabe Richter

Alto  – Vasti Zeeman-Knoesen

Tenor  – Arthur Swan

Bass  – Keaton Manwaring

Programme Notes from our Musical Director : Levi Alexander

In the season of Advent, the church enters a time of expectation, preparation, and hope for the future as it prepares for the birth of Jesus, the second coming of Christ, and the promise of a prosperous and blessed future. Secularly, society comes to the end of a busy work year and looks forward to a time of rest, rejuvenation, and a time with family and friends. Mostly, Adventide is a time of great expectation and anticipation for a better time of joy, love, and peace.

As a global community, the COVID pandemic has resulted in great loss in all spheres of society and economy. Life as we knew it has completely changed and threatens to never revert to the old ‘normal’. Yet, there is a sincere hope in society that the future will bring good tidings, health, and joyous moments for all.

The Symphony Choir of Cape Town’s concert, A Baroque Christmas, reflects on the theme of hope for the future and expectations for a new dawn through its strong Advent theme. Through the performance of motets, cantatas, and canticles by Monteverdi, Bach, and Vivaldi, including the famous Gloria, the musical text refers to one’s current bewilderment and refuge in the hope of the future.

The programme takes one on a journey through music history and liturgical text, and holds great significance for society and the SCCT as it undertakes new leadership.

Monteverdi’s Cantate Domine (“Sing a new song unto the Lord”) heralds in a time of new directorship of the choir, a fresh approach, and new and exciting repertoire. Vivaldi’s Magnificat depicts the rejoicing of Mary after the advent visitation of Elizabeth from the Gospel of Luke. In the canticle, Mary rejoices that she has the privilege of giving birth to the promised Messiah. And so we, the listeners, rejoice in the prospect of better times. This is followed by a performance of Bach’s Cantata ‘Ärgre dich, o Seele, nicht’ BWV 186. Bach composed this work in Weimar in 1716 for the third Sunday of Advent. The work was first performed on 13 December 1716 – 305 years ago. It is appropriate that it is performed here on the 11 December 2021. The text beckons the listener to be patient, for better times are indeed coming – a message particularly pertinent in this time of the pandemic. To crown the performance, a triumphal sounding of the much loved Vivaldi Gloria. The text of this hymn of praise is derived from the words sung by the angels when announcing the birth of Christ to shepherds in the Gospel of Luke.

Join us on this spiritually reviving journey of hope and expectation.