Classical Chasing the history of hallelujah

Chasing the history of hallelujah

The ATKV is presenting a “transcendental” performance of religious music that includes four renditions of Ave Maria and five of Hallelujah, in a programme that encompasses composers from Bach to Leonard Cohen.

Ave Maria/Hallelujah is in its second year. First created for the Stellenbosch Woordfees, it has since toured major Afrikaans festivals including Fryfees, In die Bos and KKK.

The concert is scheduled to go on to Aardklap after this year’s Festival.

Each performance is different as the group is comprised of a small ensemble of permanent musicians and singers. At each performance they are joined by a local choir, which this year is the Victoria Girls High School Choir. All of the musicians are connected with their patron, the ATKV. This is the first time the AKTV has been at Festival for more than 10 years.

“The show has a lovely mood and atmosphere,” said violinist Liezelle le Roux. “It is a transcendental experience, but not something that only religious people can relate to.”

The performance caters for everyone, the message being communicated through the music. The performance includes both Afrikaans and English songs, ranging from the classical music sung by Du Toit-Pearce to the commercial content of Jak de Priester. There is a cross-over between the genres of these two artists, who sing together.

Those familiar with Afrikaans, however, will gain additional background into the works presented through explanatory voiceovers between pieces. “This means it is more than just a concert,” said soprano Minette du Toit-Pearce. The voiceover comprises a small portion of the show, so those who do not speak Afrikaans will not miss too much.

Ilse Shürmann was inspired to create the show after she heard Annali van Rooyen‘s rendition of Hallelujah. The performance includes many favourites, including Cohen and Handel’s versions of Hallelujah and Bach and Schubert’s Ave Maria. Pianist Ockie Vermeulen did the arrangements of the pieces. -Kate-Lyn Moore-

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