An alert African mourning dove apparently knows exactly what’s missing in Bach’s Double Violin Concerto and with its typical glissando adds a bit of drama to Ivo Ivanov´s violin. While I try to stay true to my rational self, I can’t help but stare over the Letaba River and feel a connection between nature and music. Some kind of truth. And then the hippos join in…
It is Saturday, the 12th of May and I am a lucky man!
I was going to start my report of this years Sunset Serenade somewhat lyrical like this, but since this thread has turned into an interesting discussion... well, why not continue!!
In the slipstream of my invited SO - as I should call her on this forum
- I was lucky enough to visit day 2 & 3 of the 3-day event. A very well organised event, I must say.
A little welcome package with the program and a tiny (sponsored) amarula bottle was waiting for us in our chalet. I felt rich, but then again: I always feel rich whenever I am in de bush and everybody who has stayed in Letaba must recognize the bliss I was experiencing.
I like classical music - yeah, gimme big orchestras and loud symphonies! But not in Kruger as this would probably be too loud; but there must be an opportunity for this unamplified, b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l.
music that I have been listening to... Each year the 3 sunset concerts are played by the same 7 incredibly talented, friendly & natureloving musicians - whenever one of them wasn´t playing in a particular piece you could see them standing on the side - staring over the river - listening how the sounds of night smoothly replaced the sounds of day.
Concert 2 (our first) was called Letaba Nocturne - inspired by the approaching night. How I wished all you fellow forumites were there to hear how Rosemarie Kane strung her sweet harp sounds under the warm melody of Malanè Hofmeyr-Burger´s flute! There is something tranquil & comforting in music as there is in the bush. I am sure Gaetano Donizetti was not thinking about crickets (soprano), cape turtle doves (alto), and hippos (bass) when he wrote his Sonata for Flute & Harp - but... to me it sounded like a sweet duet between musicians and the earth.
So call me a romantic, but..
- I can hear the conservation message in Gabriel´s Oboe by Enrico Morricone...
- I can hear the well-organised life of insects in Handel´s Xerxes...
- I can hear a cheetah losing its prey to a lion and then catching another in Gershwin´s Rhapsody in Blue...
- And I can hear plenty of funky animals in El Choclo Tango by Angel Villoldo... mainly ostriches
Okay, now let me control myself for a while and tell you about the ´rich´ people that attended the music. For starters: I wouldn´t mind having some spare Rands on a few bank accounts myself...
No seriously... all guests were very nice (and interesting!) people with a big love for nature. And as M. Mouse said: they weren´t all superwealthy - people saved money & were looking forward to this for ages! The drive to the lovely concert venue under the jackalberrie tree was invariably spent discussing all the sightings of the self-drives everyone did - just as all us forumites would do.
I have been thinking about this whole ´just for the happy few´ business but I think we should realize that we are also a bunch of happy few - as most of us are in the comfortable position of being able to visit the parks each year!
Like Di said, wildlife is not affected by the sweet, unamplified sounds of the 7 musical instruments. The watchful Letaba field rangers just had to hush one curious ellie away - but from my time as a volunteer in Mapungubwe I can safely say: sometimes curious ellies just have to be hushed away
The above pic was the venue for day 2 and below the venue for day 3... (I am not going to let you guess the locations ´cause then DuQues will move this thread to the Quizzes section
On the last day we were again collected at 16h00 in front of reception and we drove south to another lovely spot on the river - where some bats accompanied the music with an outstanding airshow.
Pete-Ann Richardson (cello) again had chosen some amazingly appropriate tunes like Impala (ehhh... Sheep) May Safely Graze by J.S. Bach, Tales from the African (... Vienna) Forest by Strauss and the beautiful song The Rose, made famous by Bette Middler. Jeremy Holdcroft stole the show with an elephantesque solo performance of Baker Street on his saxophone and Irene Tsoniff (violoin) and Marjan Vonk-Stirling (viola) shone in two other pieces.
The last tones of Lord of the Dance ended the event, but the concert did not end. For it were hyenas who took the stage in de distance and a boy tenor of a pearl-spotted owlet had something to say too. Their voices spoke before Vivaldi´s Autumn Violin Concerto and will speak after it. And all we have to do is listen.