We played at Aardklop in Potchefstroom.
Please don’t get the wrong idea. Aardklop isn’t all about Ghapi (though he was there too, and of course he’s a friend of ours), there was actual classical music, do you realise Potch has a very active classical student orchestra?
Well, I was contacted last-minute by the management to please jump in where another player had jumped off. That was, where I’m concerned, great. I was placed in the first violins, to partner with Miroslav Chakaryan – a violinist I have come to respect deeply.
There were 4 choir-only numbers before the orchestra even got to play. Our program consisted of the following:
Haendel’s Messiah – Chorus: Worthy is the Lamb. It’s marked as “Larghetto” – which is supposedly fairly slow, but I went online and listened to a few renditions… hahaha, slow! And a part of it contains the most illogical sequence of fingering I’ve more or less encountered in baroque music, but as the “clock” from “Beauty and the Beast” [*wait for it, there’s more] said, “if it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it”. Well, seeing that I had exactly 1 week to prepare I guess I can be pardoned for writing fingerings into the music as I practiced it – yes, I practiced, you don’t go into battle unarmed…. possibly not as much as I should have, but I had no idea I’d encounter what I encountered…
The second number was a Dona Nobis by Bach…
…and Haydn’s “Creation”: the Terzett. What fun to play… what beautiful music!
Mozart: Ave Verum.
Bizet (the composer of the all-time favourite opera “Carmen”) and his “L’Arlesienne” (the second suite)
and Sibelius’ “Finlandia”.
Then we also premiered a new piece by the South African Peter Klatzow. It is called “We are the Music Makers” and I doubt you’ll find it anywhere on Youtube – it hasn’t been played before.
Finlandia, incidentally, was the “secret” national hymn of Finland when she was under Russian rule. As though that is not hair-raising enough (gives me shivers), she’s also the declaration of independence of the resurrected JPO when the PACT orchestra was cut down by our government who felt we were too “Eurocentric”. The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra played their first concert without a conductor, showing that the force of the musicians was enough to keep the orchestra going. Finlandia was their opening piece, their own declaration of independence.
Here she is:
I want to write a book about how I feel about our responsibility for carrying on our culture. Without a culture, a people are dead. One of my colleagues mentioned the major concern that everything these days revolves around money; and if it isn’t connected to money, somehow it has no value.
People, don’t you understand that your culture is who you are? If you lose your culture, you are nothing but slaves – slaves to the money-squitoes, the “spike”, the billionaires who have corrupted every monetary system to eventually feed into their pockets no matter what. You will be working yourself to death, every night and every day, never stopping, always looking for more opportunity to earn more money, and they are laughing – because 90% of what you generate ends in their pockets! Are you tired of sharing all your money with the bank yet? The tax man at least has a noble cause, even if the execution isn’t always quite as noble. But the banks? In which way do they deserve a percentage of every last transaction?
People, friends, Planetmen (shucks it’s a planetary society, but so are the banks) – (see gipsika on her soap box) – please. You need more than that. You need to remember who you are! You need to live for love, not only for money. Do things that make you happy! Retain your identity! You need more than those basic things; you need the knowledge that is your birthright (education); and you need your own culture.
…gipsika over and out.