IN THE DARK :: GÓRECKI/GLASS

“I felt like I was lifted and transported on a seamless journey of sound. Thank you one and all for a fantastic flight!”

“Congratulations to all the VOX singers on such a fine and rewarding performance of last night’s demanding programme. The choir was in excellent form.”

“It was an unforgettable evening.”

IN THE DARK :: GÓRECKI/GLASS

When did you last experience the magical sensation of listening to beautiful choral music in complete darkness? On Wednesday 13 June 2018, VOX Cape Town teamed up with Biblioteek Productions and Youngblood Arts and Culture Development for another classical music concert “In The Dark”. VOX also launched their second choral album, Northern Lights: A Baltic Voyage, at this sold-out event.

Following their performances of “Tave(r)ner” (2016) and “Pärt/Palestrina” (2017), John Woodland directed VOX Cape Town in a programme of rarely-performed choral music by two contemporary minimalist composers: HENRYK GÓRECKI (Poland) and PHILIP GLASS (United States).

Górecki (1933-2010) has been described as the most commercially successful classical composer of recent times. The programme included his most famous choral work “Totus Tuus” (“Wholly Thine”) as well as a selection of folk songs and lullabies inspired by his native Poland. While typically listed as a minimalist composer, Philip Glass (b. 1937) prefers to describe himself as a composer of “music with repetitive structures”. Glass’s settings of poems written by Leonard Cohen and Octavio Paz were interspersed with his piano music played by Clinton Claasen, including extracts from the award-winning film score for “The Hours”.

Programme
• Totus Tuus (“Wholly Thine”) – Henryk Górecki (1933-2010, Poland)
Piano interlude: Morning Passages from “The Hours” – Philip Glass
• There Are Some Men from “Three Songs” – Philip Glass (b. 1937, United States)
Piano interlude: Etude 5 – Philip Glass
• Quand Les Hommes Vivront D’Amour from “Three Songs” – Philip Glass
Piano interlude: Etude 6 – Philip Glass
• Pierre De Soleil from “Three Songs” – Philip Glass
Piano interlude: Choosing Life from “The Hours” – Philip Glass
• Szeroka Woda (“Broad Waters”) – Henryk Górecki
• Uśnijże Mi, Uśnij (“Sleep For Me, Sleep”) – Henryk Górecki
• Kołyszże Się Kołysz (“Rock, Rock”) – Henryk Górecki

ABOUT CLINTON CLAASEN (GUEST PIANIST)

Clinton Claasen was born in 1986 in Port Elizabeth. He began piano tuition in 2000 under Mari du Plooy at Pearson High School when he was in Grade 8. From 2001 to 2003, Clinton received lessons from Erina Bezuidenhout, passing the Grade 8 Royal Schools piano examination with distinction in 2002. Clinton commenced studies with Professor David du Plooy of the University of Port Elizabeth in 2004. In this year he passed his matriculation requirements for piano with distinction and the Royal Schools Diploma in Piano Performance (DipABRSM) with distinction, as well as taking first prize in the ESKOM Youth Music Competition in East London.

Clinton commenced his undergraduate studies under Associate Professor François du Toit at the South African College of Music in 2005. In his first year, Clinton was the recipient of the Zook Fields Prize for best first-year student, the Johnny Windham Scholarship for a piano performance major (a scholarship which was renewed in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009) and a SAMRO scholarship. In 2007, he won the Lionel Bowman Beethoven Prize, which led to a recital in the Baxter Concert Hall in 2008. He was also selected to perform a movement from Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007 and, as the 2010 winner of the Laura Searle prize, performed the complete concerto with the UCT Symphony Orchestra under Richard Cock in 2011.

Clinton received an MMus in piano performance with distinction in 2012 and is currently teaching at St Cyprian’s School.