VOX CAPE TOWN PRESENTS

OF BARRELS AND BLOSSOMS

Pour yourself a glass of wine and download Of Barrels and Blossoms now from your favourite streaming platform (Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music) or listen on YouTube.

Alternatively, the deluxe CD is available from Upbeat Music at Piazza St John, Sea Point (021 434 1994, info@upbeatmusic.co.za). This may be the perfect gift for a fellow music-lover!

On Saturday 12 September 2020, singers and special guests gathered in the spring sunshine to celebrate the launch of our fifth CD. At this intimate event – our first opportunity to get together in person since the start of the national lockdown in March – we savoured a festive glass of Cap Classique amongst the beautiful spring flowers and toasted to good health and good music. We are grateful to Karen Woodcock and her team at Groot Constantia for allowing us to celebrate in the beautiful surroundings of South Africa’s oldest wine-producing estate.

Put a musical SPRING in your step with our latest collection of recordings  a rich bouquet of choral masterpieces from home and abroad.

VOX Cape Town’s fifth album, aptly titled Of Barrels and Blossoms, is a collection of highlights from our wine and music pairings at Groot Constantia (“ViniChoral”) and our botanically-inspired recitals at the UCT Irma Stern Museum (“Flower Songs”).

It was recorded at CapeTown Sound in November 2019 and comprises the Five Flower Songs by Benjamin Britten, new music by local composers Nicky Schrire and Matthew Dennis, and choral gems by Ola Gjeilo, Philip Glass, Thomas Morley and Petrus Lemmer.

Contributions by Fi Smit (poetry readings), Matthew Ferrandi (clarinet), Clinton Claasen (piano) and Nicky Schrire (vocals) recreate the intimate, immersive atmosphere of our memorable performances at these iconic venues.

The unique, whimsical design of the CD packaging was conceived by Casey Driver and features two original paintings by Margot Dower. Inside, a full-colour booklet contains the words and translations of the choral texts as well as detailed listening notes by Owen Rogers.

The printing costs associated with this CD were kindly sponsored by the Mapula Trust. Bill van Rensburg is also acknowledged for his generous support.

Of Barrels and Blossoms, concluding our fifth birthday celebrations in 2020, is another way in which we hope to provide comfort and community through choral music during these times of stay-at-home performances.

TRACK LISTING

1. In vino veritas (Paul Gibson, b. 1952)
2. Ubi Caritas (Ola Gjeilo, b. 1978) with Clinton Claasen (piano)
3. Now is the month of Maying (Thomas Morley, c. 1557-1602)
4. There are some men (Philip Glass, b. 1937)
5. Caged Bird (Nicky Schrire, b. 1986) with Nicky Schrire (vocals)

Two Pastoral Ballads with Matthew Ferrandi (clarinet)
6. Down by the Salley Gardens (Matthew Dennis, b. 1991)
7. The Sprig of Thyme (Matthew Dennis)

Five Flower Songs with Fi Smit (readings)
8. Poem: To Daffodils (Robert Herrick)
9. To Daffodils (Benjamin Britten, 1913-1976)
10. Poem: The Succession of the Four Sweet Months (Robert Herrick)
11. The Succession of the Four Sweet Months (Benjamin Britten)
12. Poem: Marsh Flowers (George Crabbe)
13. Marsh Flowers (Benjamin Britten)
14. Poem: Evening Primrose (John Clare)
15. The Evening Primrose (Benjamin Britten)
16. Poem: Ballad of Green Broom (Anonymous)
17. Ballad of Green Broom (Benjamin Britten)

18. Rooi Disa (Petrus Lemmer, 1896-1989) with Matthew Ferrandi (clarinet)

VOX Cape Town
Directed by John Woodland

Pre-Recording Open Rehearsal

“It was a huge pleasure to witness! You all sing magnificently.”
“The friendly/happy/family feeling […] meant a lot to me.”
“I especially enjoyed it when you used only your expression and body language to elicit a response. Awesome!”

These were some of the appreciative comments from the scores of supporters who joined us at our second-ever open rehearsal on Monday 7 October 2019 at St George’s Grammar School. Whether curious to experience what happens behind the scenes or hoping for a last chance to hear (live) the repertoire from our recent projects, guests savoured a glass of wine as we put the finishing touches to some of our favourite music ranging from Benjamin Britten to Nicky Schrire. (Our studio session was booked for the following weekend!) Many thanks to in-VOX photographer (and singer) Simon Hartley for capturing these moments.