Listening to…

Barrydale Cellars does it again

We discovered this little gem a few days ago, an answer to our prayers if you will, because just last week I made a mental note that we need to get grappa urgently as my last drop of Dalla Cia Grappa was finally had. Enter the team at Barrydale Cellars Building on the Klein Karoo's legendary distilling prowess, Barrydale Cellars launches Joseph Barry Husk Spirit, a welcome addition to the region's rich bounty. “Husk spirit – or grappa as it’s known in Italy - is gaining ground world-wide as a trendy lifestyle drink,” says Riaan Marais, CEO of Southern Cape Vineyards. “That’s...

Read more...

Canadian Bach

Thanks to their abundant tunefulness, exuberance and virtuosity,Bach’s concertos for solo keyboard and string orchestra remain widely popular with audiences and performers. Written originally for harpsichord, they are performed today equally often on modern piano. From 1729 to 1741, Bach was director of the Collegium musicum in Leipzig, a student musical society, founded by Georg Philipp Telemann in 1703 and run before Bach by Balthasar Schott. The Collegium musicum often gave performances at Zimmermann's coffee-house. It was for these occasions that Bach produced his harpsichord...

Read more...

Café Zimmermann

Located in Saint-Catherine street in Leipzig, Gottfried Zimmermann's coffee house would host weekly concerts by theCollegium Musicum back in the XVIIIth century. The ensemble, founded by Georg Philipp Telemann, and conducted by J. S. Bach between 1729 and 1739, performed secular cantatas and instrumental music for an audience of experimented music-lovers. At the time, Leipzig and the neighboring town of Dresden drew numerous musicians eager to meet the famous Cantor or participate in the rich musical life of the Saxon capital. Hence, Zimmermann's coffee house offered a broad spectrum from the repertory...

Read more...

Recital-time in Swellendam

An exciting programme of music to suit all tastes is in store for visitors on 22nd January at 4 p.m. in the beautiful setting of Red Roan Ranch, Hermitage, Swellendam and on 29th January also at 4 p.m. in the welcoming and intimate atmosphere of 41 Tennant Road, Barrydale. The artists who will entertain you are Brad Liebl (baritone) and Sylvia Schulman (pianist). Brad is a superb singer, master of his art. Dr. Brad Liebl (summa cum laude from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music) is an Associate Professor of Classical Voice and Co-ordinator (from 1998 to 2003) of that division...

Read more...

If memory serves…

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...

Read more...

50 years ago: A Swellendam walk down memory lane

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...

Read more...

Musical Tart: Nancy Storace

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...

Read more...

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

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...

Read more...

Howe impressed was he?

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....

Read more...

Chants d’Swellendam

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...

Read more...