Last Sunday (8 June 2014) I attended the 50th Anniversary concert of the Johannesburg Bach Choir at the German School in Milpark. It is a large choir and they were accompanied by an orchestra (Green Apple Opera Orchestra) and soloists. The programme started with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suite No 3 BWV 1068, followed by Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Te Deum H146. After interval we had an aria, Sibilar gli angui, from Rinaldo by George Friederick Handel, and finally the Magnificat BWV 243 by Johann Sebastian Bach. The soloists were Talita Strydom and Hanli Stapela (sopranos), Jonathan Watkins (countertenor), Chris Mostert (tenor) and Dawid Kimberg (bass). It was all conducted by Tim Roberts.
The concert was magnificent and I had a wonderful time. There was nothing not to like. The selection of music was apt and uplifting, the technical competence was pleasing, the soloists were marvellous, especially Dawid Kimberg, a South African singer now working professionally in the UK. The musicians are, for the most part, amateurs – especially the choir – and ad hoc professionals. The dire situation of professional orchestras in Gauteng is not news to my regular readers and the Green Apple Opera Orchestra is simply another small orchestra hobbled together for a special occasion. They did play beautifully, though, a tribute to their excellence and dedication.
I wish the Johannesburg Bach Choir well with their Golden Jubilee year programme and for the next fifty years. To learn more about the Johannesburg Bach Choir go to their website http://www.jhbbachchoir.co.za.
This most recent Sunday past (15 June 2014) I did something completely different with my Sunday afternoon. Well, completely different and exactly the same, actually. I went to a music concert, Raga Fantasy, again. This time it was at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City – a concert starring an international Indian classical bansuri flautist, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, and his quintet, Pandit Bhawani Shanker on pakhawaj, Subhankar Banerjee on tabla and Vivek Sonar also on flute with a young woman (unnamed) on a stringed instrument.
The warm up act for Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia was played by a young woman, Rimpa Siva, on tabla, accompanied by her father, Professor Swampan Siva on a harmonium – a table accordian with keys operated with the right hand and bellows operated by the left hand. Women don’t usually play tabla in India and this talented young woman has been the star of a documentary on her life where she was dubbed “Princess of Tabla”.
I am not very familiar with Indian music and I am only starting to comprehend the structure of the different movements of the ragas and I certainly can’t tell the difference between North and South Indian ragas and I find the complex rhythms exciting and a little confusing. But it is the same beauty of form that the Bach concert has that attracts me to this exotic music.
If you are a fan of Indian classical music and wish to be placed on the mailing list for future concerts please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next big concert being held at The Lyric is My Favourite Swings on 2 August 2014 at 20:00 starring Chiano Sky and Timothy Moloi as they are accompanied by a 17 piece Johannesburg Big Band sound with hits like Fever, Mack The Knife, Beyond the Sea, Sway, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, Mr Bojangles, and more.