Beethoven Missa Solemnis

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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.

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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.  

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Rodgers and Hammerstein – a personal reflection by Harry Wiggett

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                                                                    GOOD GOD! ..WHAT NEXT?

                            After our most happy concert of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs from their shows it was so welcome and good to wedge one’s self between the sheets in anticipation of a deep and long night’s sleep. But,even in the very shutting of the eyes, not forgetting to Thank God for the gift of music and the sheer joy of the whole event.

And so:

Gee God, thanks so much for the wonderful concert and all the happiness of audience and performers throughout. And also for those superb songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein. And so I’m a really happy chappie falling to sleep tonight.Read More »Rodgers and Hammerstein – a personal reflection by Harry Wiggett

Mahler 2 “The Resurrection” by Harry Wiggett

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Reflections on this concert by choir member Harry Wiggett, August 5th 2018 

As the choir and soloists sang the following words in a glorious performance of Gustav Mahler’s magnificent “Resurrection” Symphony in the refurbished City Hall last night (4th August) with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra under the inspired baton of Maestro Bernhard Geuller, I could not help but feel just how appropriate they were as so many throughout the world mourned the recent death of UCT’s Professor Bongani Mayosi:

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