Listening to…

If memory serves…

Heritage lecture at Drostdy

As secretary of the Swellendam Heritage Association it is always with great gusto that we plan an outing or event and in some cases a talk or lecture. Naturally you worry about whether anyone in the world will actually attend the event as the market for a sheep shearing experience is presumably quite small. But time after time the numbers surprise us as it seems that there is a real interest in who we are in terms of where we have been. This time it was the turn of Dr Tertius Weich to talk about his experiences living in Swellendam since the early 50's. And he has seen a lot. From the much lamented...

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50 years ago: A Swellendam walk down memory lane

Swellendam in the 50s

The Swellendam Heritage Association is proud to announce an evening of memories and fascinating stories by Dr Ters Weich, one of it's most beloved residents. Dr Weich has lived in Swellendam since 1957 and has a wealth of information and anecdotes about our town stretching over half a century. He is a well-known and highly respected retired medical practitioner, and has the distinction of having delivered a fair proportion of present-day Swellendammers into this world. Saturday 19th November at 18h30 for 19h00 at The Drostdy Barn   Admission: Members R20 /  Non-members & Guests...

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Musical Tart: Nancy Storace

Nancy_Storace_Portrait_By_Pietro_Bettelini

Following on from the previous posting on 'Ch’io mi scordi di te? – Non temer, amato bene K. 505'; The opera beauty Anna Nancy Storace was born in 1765 in London to an Italian father and English mother. Like many of our past musical tarts with musical fathers, Nancy's dad wanted his children to follow in his musical footsteps and began training Nancy in singing from a young age. Nancy's talent shone and she began performing all over and even had some royal audiences. By the age of 13 she was studying opera in Italy. By the time Nancy was eighteen she was an opera star on the Vienna...

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Ch’io mi scordi di te? Grimaud does Wolfgang.

Grimaud. Heavenly

The Adagio from the Piano Concerto in A major K. 488 is one of Mozart’s most magically inspired movements and for Hélène Grimaud it is possibly the most sublime movement that he ever wrote for the keyboard: “Even if this movement were all we had, that would be enough.” It must remain an open question whether Mozart regarded the key of F sharp minor – an extremely unusual one for him – in the same way as his contemporary Daniel Schubart, who defined it as “a dark key that tears at passion as a vicious dog tears at your clothing”. But even if there is no doubt that Mozart was repeatedly...

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Howe impressed was he?

Melanie

The following report on Swellendam and Augusta de Mist appeared on today's Good Taste online magazine and was written by Graham Howe who stayed with us as while back. We asked him to please focus on the town and region as we felt that Augusta de Mist needs to be experienced as part of a bigger itinerary he really did capture that 'weekend in Swellendam' with his article. The Heart of the Overberg But there are also loads of things to do in Swellendam itself—art galleries, antique shops, pottery studios, handcraft shops and restaurants—as well as botanical gardens and historical walks....

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Chants d’Swellendam

Swelendam from AdM

We can’t stop listening to Karina Gauvin’s recording of Josephe Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne. Summer on a CD is what this is. Canteloube studied folk songs of Auvergne and reworked them into the multi-volume Chants d’Auvergne published 1923-1955. The texts are simple songs of shepherdesses, rivers, cuckoos, outsmarting a male passer-by, unrequited love and stolen kisses, but what matters more is the musicality and strangeness of the language they’re written in.  Auvergnat or Auvernhat is one of the many languages that had to die in order for the one national French language...

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Le Manege Enchante

Le Manège Enchanté

At Augusta de Mist we are in a privileged position. We get to meet people at their most relaxed while on holiday or a long weekend and, in the case of business travelers, after a long day as they unwind and enjoy dinner or a glass of wine on the stoep. As a result we frequently hear from guests who keep us up to date with their goings on and today we heard from Kevin and Debbie, the Dutch restaurateurs who got engaged at Augusta after falling under her romantic spells. Kevin writes:  'Thank you for introducing us to Stanislas Renault with the "Song le Manege". It's on the Paris CD and this...

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Much ado about Machaut

Machaut

When studying music at Wits, the music of Machaut stood out. Machaut is frequently portrayed today as an avant garde composer, especially because of his position with regard to the early Ars Nova. Machaut's poetry is one of the most impressive French outputs of the medieval era, serving as an example even for Chaucer. The theme of courtly love dominates his writing, becoming heavily symbolized in the guises of such characters as Fortune & Love, and the personal dramas in which they act. Machaut's poetic output, and by extension the subset of texts he chose to set to music, is both personal...

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Shebeen.

Shebeen front-1

Playing this month at Augusta’s African Cafe is a little gem we found in our ongoing search for South African sounds that are largely unknown and yet familiar as they reflected the times and trends. Like its more famous contemporary ‘King Kong’, the recording of ‘Shebeen’ gives the listener well crafted stand-alone songs that do not succumb to the “group-sing” tendency of some musicals. Set in Cape Town’s District Six (before the apartheid government tore it down) ‘Shebeen’ fuses African jazz, kwela, marabi, and some great vocal performances from Ben Satch Masinga and,...

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High Flyers alert

Hi-Flyers Magazine Sept 2011

Hot off the press. We were interviewed by the wonderful Katherine Graham for High Flyers magazine. It is always nice to read about Augusta in the news. A SHORT EXTRACT FROM THE ARTICLE When it comes to preserving historical buildings, you won’t find anyone as passionate as Henk Klijn. The co-owner of Augusta de Mist Country Estate in Swellendam is familiar with the joys and challenges of living in a home with a history – the oldest part of the guest house dates back to 1802 and is a national monument. ‘A heritage homestead is not cheap and easy; the whole structure needs constant...

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