World Cafe performs Vivaldi’s masterpiece, Four Seasons at this festival.
With musicians Schalk Joubert on bass, Petrus de Beer on violin (and musical director) and Stanislav Angelov on accordion. This show is extra special as the musicians have adapted the piece for 3 instruments only. The sound and mood quality of these 3 instruments alongside each other, together with the reading of Vivaldi’s poems – describing the intent behind his music – creates an amazing ambiance and captures audience members’ imaginations quite magically.
Tickets at Computicket.
Please see an extract out of a concert recently performed at a private event at De Zalze Stellenbosch.
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is probably one of the best loved Classical masterpieces of all time. Enjoyed by old and young across the whole spectrum of music lovers.
The original score was written for a string orchestra, church organ and violin soloist. These days the organ is replaced mostly by a harpsichord.
Because of the size of this instrumentation it is very difficult for people to hear it on their doorstep since an orchestra is costly affair.
My mission was to make it accessible for everyone everywhere and staying true to the original music.
For years I have been working with the Virtuoso accordionist Stanislav Angelov. His deep knowledge of music history gave me the idea for replacing the organ or harpsichord with the accordion( which was done in the previous centuries by churches that couldn’t afford an organ)
The next step was to find a bassist that could play the original score and would be willing to fill in the missing parts for us to be faithful to the Italian Maestro. Schalk Joubert was the obvious choice and his creative input is abundantly clear in every live performance. He is also our Narrator.
Stanislav covers the rest and I play the original 4 Concertos as written over 300 years ago.
Since it’s the first programmatic music of its kind and was published originally with 4 sonnets depicting and telling a story of each season, I thought it essential to include them in our performance. We aim to translate them in many more languages, but for now, Afrikaans and English must do.
The Afrikaans translation from the Italian was done by my dear friend Dr. Dawid de Villiers.
Petrus de Beer
More about each musician:
Petrus de Beer:
Petrus is a classically trained violinist (Mmus RSAMD) who resides in Paarl. He performs regularly with various artists in various genres. He is a member of the acclaimed Cape Town Tango Ensemble and works frequently with his colleague Stanislav Angelov in a variety of styles. Recently he launched a collaboration with guitarist Albert Frost, exploring the world of Blues. De Beer has has made recordings with artists like David Kramer & Zanne Stapelberg to name but a few.
South African born Schalk Joubert is a truly seasoned musician who has been working as a solo artist, freelance bass player, composer, arranger, producer and musical director with some of the most popular and revered artists in the South African music industry. He is the product of his mixed cultural heritage and his biggest influences are the traditional music of South Africa, rhythms of West Africa, the harmony of Europe and the great variety of pop, rock and jazz music he grew up listening to. Over the last ten years he has performed extensively in the USA, Europe, Australia, Malaysia, the UK and New Zealand, both as a bandleader as well as freelance bassist.
Classical Accordionist was born and educated in Bulgaria with Conservatory degree in Accordion, before he came and settled in Cape Town in 1992. Since then he has appeared on CD’s of many South African artists like Valiant Swart, Koos Kombuis, Daniele Pascal and many more. He has released 3 CD’s with his Cape Town Tango Ensemble with one SAMA nomination, as well as another 2 CD’s with other projects. In 2003 he appeared at the first 46664 Nelson Mandela Concert at old Green Point Stadium in a song together with Brian May, Rodger Taylor (from Queen) & Dave Stewart (from The Eurithmics) and in another song accompanying Bob Geldof. He performed Piazzolla Accordion Concerto with CPO in 2004 and with ECPO in 2012. His repertoire is as versatile as his instrument, ranging from Classical to Jazz, to Tango, to French Cafe, Balkan etc.
This group of violin concerti was composed in 1723 and published in 1725 in Amsterdam. It is to this day one of Antonio Vivaldi’s most famous works. Allegedly, he later wrote poems to express the meaning of the music in which he tries to portray his experiences of each of the 4 seasons of the year. This is one of the earliest examples of program music – which in essence, is music with a narrative element. With this rendition of Four Seasons, listeners hear the familiar piece of music in a format not heard before in South Africa. Picture these various violin parts performed with 3 instruments only – a violin, a bass and an accordion.
Allegro (Danza Pastorale)
Allegro non molto
Allegro, e tutti sopra like Canto
Piano e larghetto
Allegro non molto
The Afrikaans translation of the sonnet:
Meteens is lente hier, en word feest’lik
Verwelkom deur die blye voëlgesang,
Wyl stroompies murmel in die westelike
Bries se vol en sagte asemdrang.
Dan word die lug gehul in donkerder gewaad –
Dat blits en donder dit ook kan verkondig –
En dan uit stilte keer die voëls terug
Om weer opnuut bekoring los te laat.
In die blomryke veld, onder ’n tak
Vol ruiselende blare lê en slaap
Die bokwagter en sy getroue brak.
Geroer deur pastorale doedelsak
Dans nimf en herder op die lentemaat
Onder ’n helderbloue hemeldak.
Onder die son se agtelose gloed
[Allegro non molto]
Word boom verskroei, word mens en trop verdryf.
Ons hoor die koekoekvoël asook die soet
Gesange van die vink en tortelduif.
Sag roer die luggie, maar die noorderwind
Kom ingebeur soos ’n onstoke god.
Dan skud en beef die herder soos ’n kind,
En vrees die toorn van storms en sy eie lot.
Dié vrees vir donderslag en bliksemstraal
[Adagio e piano – Presto e forte]
Wring uit ’n diepe rus sy tam liggaam,
Wyl vliëe en muggies rasend om hom maal.
Dit blyk sy vrese het tereg gemaan:
Noudat die hemel brul en brute hael
Neerdonder op die fier en trotse graan.
Die werkers dans en sing, die oes was gul;
Nou vier hul fees, voorlopig klaar gebid.
Vrylik vloei die drank van Bacchus, tot hul
Uit loutere verligting begin dut.
Weldrae begin die dans en sang te faal
Soos die gemoedelike luggie oor hul streel
En die seisoen hul een vir een oorhaal
Om aan ’n sorgelose slaap hul oor te gee.
Met dagbreek staan die jagter reeds gereed
Om te gaan jag, en roep die wild tot stryd
Met honde, beuelgeskal, en luide kreet;
Die prooi, beangs en moeg, probeer ontwyk
Hond en geweer se blaf, als wat hom leed
Wil doen: tog word hy oorrompel, en beswyk.
Om in die koue sneeu te staan en ril,
[Allegro con molto]
Voete te stamp – met die geklap van tande –
Geboelie deur die wind se harde hande,
Genadeloos die koue, skraal en kil;
Om nader aan die vuur te skuif, so stil
En vergenoegd, wyl reën op ander neersak;
Om die bevrore pad stug aan te pak,
Versigtig om net nie te val of struikel;
Om neer te slaan, oorhaastig en wantrouig,
En voor die ys kan opbreek en versplinter
Weer op te spring en vinnig voort te vlug.
Tot agter ’n toe deur is mens verwilder
Wyl winde steeds mekaar te lyf gaan, onbedug.
Eiesoortig is die vreugdes van die winter.