DURING one weekend of music-making in May, those in and around the scenic and historic town of Franschhoek will have the chance to indulge in a series of concerts in the NG Church and the Café Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine.
Presented by Christopher Duigan’s Music Revival, the Autumn Music Weekend holds a unique place in the local music landscape with Duigan active as performer and producer. This dual role has won the festival a loyal following over the past few years.
“We strive to include a range of musical styles and genres in the concerts but always with the emphasis on happy working relationships; where the friendship off the stage leads to great enthusiasm, brought together by mutual love of music, onstage,” says Duigan, a concert pianist, based in Pietermaritzburg.
“I am delighted to return to Franschhoek with the company of some excellent international and local musicians to do what we enjoy most: share music with others.”
This year’s festival runs from Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21.
In the first concert, The French Piano, which takes place in the NG Church at 7 pm on Friday, May 19, Duigan plays a classical recital of French music by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Jean-Phillippe Rameau with compositions drawing inspiration from the East, the exotic underworld, and reflections of the magical world that surrounds us.
At 11 am on Saturday, May 20, again in the NG Church, is Two Flutes and Guitar, in which the Duo Zomari – Bridget Rennie-Salonen (flute) and guitarist James Grace – are joined by and Catherine Stephenson (flute) in a programme of music ranging from JS Bach to music with a strong Latin-American flavour. The concert will include performances of Maximo Diego-Pujol’s Suite Buenos Aires and Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango.
The final concert in the NG Church is Trio Frontier play Beethoven and Brahms on Sunday, May 21 at 12.15 pm. Made up of Junnan Sun (clarinet), Aristide du Plessis (cello) and Duigan, the Trio Frontier will play Beethoven’s youthful Trio in B-flat Op. 11, contrasted with the Brahms Trio Op. 114, one of the composers most touching and beautiful ‘twilight’ works.
Tickets for all the NG Church concerts are R100 with booking at www.webtickets.co.za Tickets can also be bought at the door.
The Café Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine will host the candlelight soiree, Songs My Mother Taught Me, at 6.30 pm for 7 pm on Saturday, May 20.
In this concert, Duigan plays a selection of light classics that evoke a bygone world of nostalgia, often associated with salon music and evenings at the family piano. Included in the programme are Brahms’s Waltz in A-flat, Dvorak’s Humoresque, Rubenstein’s Melody in F and The Maiden’s Prayer.
Tickets are R600, which includes a three-course meal. To book contact Café Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine at 021 876 3936.
Also at Café Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine in the Bon Bon Finale at 12.30 pm for 1 pm on Sunday, May 21. In this concert Sun (clarinet), Du Plessis (cello) and Duigan (piano) offer a thrilling afternoon music by JS Bach, Saint-Saëns, Bella-Kovacs, Piazzolla and the evergreen The Swan from Carnival of the Animals.
Tickets are R500, which includes a three-course meal. To book contact Café Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine at 021 876 3936.
For more information about the Autumn Music Weekend in Franschhoek, visit www.franschhoekclassic.co.za