Händel to Hahn

We open this concert with ‘Ombra mai fu’. One of Handel’s best-known arias is from his opera Serse. Beethoven’s only song cycle, ‘An die Ferne Geliebte’, is an ode of longing for an absent beloved.
Czech composer Dvořák composed ‘Sonatina in G Major’ his last chamber music composition from his sojourn in the United States in New York City in 1893. Venezuela-born French composer, Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947), is a new addition to our programme. Our journey ends in South Africa with ‘Sewe Boerneef Liedjies’, a song cycle composed by Pieter de Villiers, dedicated to soprano Mimi Coertse, who also sang the world première. The poems are by the poet Boerneef, Izak Wilhelmus van der Merwe’s literary name. S le Roux Marais composed one of the most renowned Afrikaans lieder, ‘Heimwee’ (and text written). He was born in Bloemfontein, studied in Cape Town and at the Royal College of Music in London, settling in Graaff-Reinet, where most of his compositions were created. To end our programme, we perform the palpably emotional song ‘Dis Al’ by Johannes Joubert, set to Jan F E Celliers’ poem, which describes the return of families to their destroyed farms after the Anglo-Boer War.