“Although the 12th Klein Karoo Klassique, Oudtshoorn’s winter festival of classical music, art, food and wine could not be presented as planned this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are very excited to announce the programme for our very first digital Klein Karoo Klassique Concert Series.” This according to Hugo Theart, Artistic Director of Klein Karoo Klassique, which was scheduled to take place in Oudtshoorn this past weekend.
“The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO), one of the oldest collaborators of Klassique, forms an integral part of this online festival, presented in August and September. This Concert Series is specially designed to create the winter magic our supporters usually get this time of year. Having the CPO back with us is like going back to our roots”, Theart says.
Theart further adds that the ever-popular Charl du Plessis Trio further adds to this online bouquet, with the South African premiere of works by Bach, Du Plessis, and others, recorded in 2017 at the Festival Musiekdorf Ernen in Switzerland.
The CPO’s programme includes three classical concerts. The Beethoven Triple Concerto is a version transcribed for just piano, violin and cello; two Mozart Octets for Wind Instruments, K 375 and 388; and the Gounod Petite Symphonie for Wind Nonet.
“Klassique has always been close to the heart of the orchestra and we are delighted to collaborate again, this time with works specially recorded under social distancing constraints in Cape Town, for the most part”, says Louis Heyneman, CEO of the CPO.
The recording of a transcription of Beethoven’s well-known Triple Concerto is a world premiere, performed by three colleagues on three different continents and edited in Cape Town. Recording remotely was the idea of the CPO’s principal cello, Peter Martens. Remotely was one thing, on three continents another. “Both pianist Bryan Wallick, now teaching in Colorado, and violinist Frank Stadler, who is concertmaster of the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg, immediately shared my enthusiasm, and we recorded – first Bryan, then me, then Frank – within days of each other in three different cities. Videographer Julian Emdon has done an amazing job to mould the three individual voices into the whole they were envisaged to be”, says Martens.
For Wallick, it was exciting to work on this project. “It is something new and completely different to any other online concerts and videos available during this time of Covid-19. Working with artists on three different continents is challenging, yet something which I hope will yield a fulfilling demonstration of what is possible with today’s innovative technologies.”
Simon Ball, the CPO’s associate principal bassoon, was the dreamer behind the Wind Octets. According to Ball, these three pieces are gems, and so often fall through the cracks because they are too small for orchestral organisations to worry about and too big (too expensive) for chamber music societies. “Once we had the Mozart octets with two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons and two horns, it just made sense to bring in our principal flute Gabriele von Dürckheim and programme the Gounod, part of which is considered to be basically an aria for flute”, he concludes.
The concert by the Charl du Plessis Trio, one of the most successful crossover ensembles in South Africa, was recorded in the spectacular St. Georg Church, at the 2017 Festival Musikdorf in Ernen, Switzerland. Their programme consists of J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins, as well as a new creation by Du Plessis: a suite that combines music from Bach with jazz favourites. This suite includes Wachet Auf, ruft uns die Stimme, two parts from Anna Magdalena Notenbüchlein, Take the A Train and Chick Corea’s well-known Spain. The Charl du Plessis Trio comprises Du Plessis (piano), Werner Spies (bass) and Hugo Radyn (drums).
Tickets for the first digital Klein Karoo Klassique Concert Series will be made available through Quicket, with the first concert airing on Thursday 27 August 2020. Each concert will be available from 18:00 on the Thursday until midnight the following Monday, and performances can be viewed more than once during this time.
The complete line-up:
27 August: Beethoven Triple Concerto
3 September: Mozart Wind Octets
10 September: Gounod’s Petite Symphonie
17 September: Charl du Plessis Trio in Ernen
A Klassique Package are available at R300 for all four concerts, or tickets can be bought for individual concerts at R100 each for Beethoven, Mozart and the Charl du Plessis Trio, and R75 for Gounod. Tickets can be bought from 14 August at www.quicket.com.