Gebed (Hans Huyssen)

As we cautiously approach a relaxation of the local lockdown restrictions, we are excited to reveal our second Virtual VOX performance!

Gebed (“Prayer”) is the first recording of a new choral work by local composer Hans Huyssen that we commissioned last year. The words are by South African poet, medical doctor and foodie, C. Louis Leipoldt (1880-1947). The final lines urge us to keep courage when times are tough. Even the darkest moments are eventually dispersed by the light of dawn. The video, reminiscent of ink drops on a manuscript, was designed by Liam Pitcher.

Our intention with Virtual VOX is to share our music in a form that resembles what you might hear at a live performance.

This means that breaths and occasional imperfections are preserved in these “home-made” recordings. Not only do these projects provide us with a meaningful musical goal during this time, but we hope that they bring you a sense of comfort, hope and community as we navigate the uncertainty of our new reality.

Gee vrede en rus vir ons almal wat lam is van swerwe,
Moed en geduld vir ons almal wat bang is vir sterwe;
Gee vir ons hart, soos in somer die sap vir die bome;
Gee vir ons krag vir die werk en verstand vir die drome;
Gee dat ons lag as die lewenslas druk op ons harte;
Gee vir ons hoop in die donkerste nagte en smarte; 
Gee vrede en rus vir ons almal wat lewe en erwe
Smart en verdriet, met die reg om uiteind’lik te sterwe!
Gee vrede en rus! En ons vra nie iets anders, en luister
Stil na die wind wat so sag in ons ore kom fluister: 

     “Moed, mense, hou moed:
     Die kwaad sal verander in goed –
     Die môrelig kom uit die duister!”


C. Louis Leipoldt (1880-1947)

Grant solace and rest to us all who are weary of striving,
Patience and strength to us all who are frightened of dying;
Nourish our hearts, just as trees are by sap in the summer;
Grant us the strength for our work, and a mind free to wonder;
Cause us to laugh when our hearts are oppressed by life’s hardships;
Cause us to hope in our deepest afflictions and darkness;
Grant solace and rest to the living, to us who inherit
Sorrow and grief, with the right, after all’s done, to perish!
Grant solace and rest, and we ask nothing further, but listen
Hushed to the message the murmuring wind seems to whisper:

     “Heart, people, keep heart:
     The good will make evil depart –
     The morning sun banishes darkness!”


(Translation: Owen Rogers)

“Gebed” by Hans Huyssen (b. 1964, South Africa)
VOX Cape Town
Video: Liam Pitcher
27 May 2020

Feedback from our second Virtual VOX project…

“Words are so pertinent – and the resonance beautiful.”

“Thank you, VOX, John, Kyle and Hans. I am speechless.”

“Soulful, uplifting, blissful… Thank you, John and choristers!”

“Very splendidly done! Thanks for this.”