A Celebration in Song was certainly a celebration, and a “royal” affair, performing I Was Glad, by Hubert Parry, composed for the crowning of King Edward VII and performed again at the Coronations of King George V as well as King Charles III, and Crown Imperial by William Walton, commissioned for the coronation of King George VI in 1937.
The recent concert was a magnificent coming together of voices – of the Symphony Choir and the youthful voices of SACS Boys High School and St Cyprians Girls High School. I’m sure, for the scholars, it was one of the highlights of their school choir careers, to raise the roof of the City Hall in joyous singing! What an experience, and to perform the S.A. premier of the Rohrau Mass by a South African composer to boot!
The performance of the mass received high praise from Shane Woodborne. He had this to say:
“Congratulations, I am so happy for your interpretation of this work. You [Levi] conducted the dynamics beautifully and controlled the forces perfectly. This is musically probably the best I’ve heard and it was a fantastic performance!”
What more could one want from the composer himself!
John Rutter’s Magnificat and anthem, Look at the World were equally rousing!
It was a wonderful collaboration with the Symphonic Wind Ensembles of the University of Stellenbosch and Windworx, with whom we hope to forge an ongoing relationship and look forward to performing together again in the future.
The enthusiasm and exuberance of the scholars was contagious and has also set the scene for future collaborations with school choirs. We hope that this experience will foster a love of classical oratorio-style music in the youth so that they will go on to sing in choirs later in life and become the audiences of the future to keep this style of music alive.
Reviews from Quicket:
“Beautiful music – an excellent performance by Wind band and the 180 member Choir. The Conductor was excellent- all in all a fantastic concert.” ~ Pamela
“What an evening of musical magic. Thank you to the SACS music family for broadening our son’s horizons” ~ Fagmieda
“A magnificent performance. It was a feast for the ears. A truly uplifting experience. Thank you!” ~ Karen
“This was one of the best choir productions I’ve ever seen. The sound quality was unbelievable. The children’s behaviour was impeccable. The scores performed were world class. It was really goose bump inspiring!” ~ Liezl
“Absolutely awesome, heartwarming; commitment was evident, excellent performances” ~ Anon
“It was a wonderful and joyous event. It is an especially laudable initiative by the Symphony Choir to collaborate with school choirs to foster the love and understanding of choral and classical music among the youth to educate young musicians and grow future audiences. Really fantastic!!! A huge amount of rehearsal time must have gone into this concert, thank you all so much for enriching the cultural life in Cape Town. A special thanks to the conductor.” ~ Anon
Rossini’s Stabat Mater was certainly a highlight on Cape Town’s classical music calendar. Please see what the audience had to say, below:
Reviews from the Cape Town Opera Facebook site:
“It was an amazing occasion. The music, soloists just sublime”.
“It was an extraordinary concert in this beautiful church”.
“Most enjoyable performance showcasing exceptional talent from all participants. Bravo. The standing ovation was well deserved”.
Reviews from Quicket:
“I saw STABAT MATER for the first time. It was simply awesome. I had tears in my eyes at the end. The composer, the conductor, the orchestra, the solo artists, the choir, the venue, everything was just perfect. I wish more people could have the joy of seeing this work of art.” ~ Hartmut
“A thrilling performance. The choir was extraordinary, the soprano and mezzo soprano duets were glorious, the bass soloist with the male section of the choir gut wrenching. Orchestra was superb in a very difficult space and the conductor’s interpretation brought sections of the score to the fore that I never focused on in recordings. An hour I will revisit many times in the future.” ~ Karen
“A wonderful performance of a sacred oratorio on Holy Saturday. Bravo! I enjoyed the venue in Paarl, too.” ~ Kevin
“An absolutely sublime event. Well organised and an absolute joy to attend. Thank you! I hope there will be more such events in the future.” ~ Linda
“Excellent performance by each of the choir, soloists, orchestra and conductor! Thank you for a very special and emotionally moving experience of the Passover!” ~ Petrusa