His mission was to make Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – probably one of the best loved classical masterpieces of all time – accessible for everyone everywhere while staying true to the original music, says Petrus de Beer.
De Beer is the violinist and musical director of “Four Seasons Revisited / Vier Seisoene Herbesoek” which forms part of this weekend’s Klein Karoo Klassique in Oudtshoorn.
Joining De Beer are musicians Schalk Joubert on bass and Stanislav Angelov on accordion.
For this concert the musicians have adapted the piece – originally composed for a string orchestra, church organ and violin soloist – for three instruments only.
“Because of the size of the original instrumentation it is very difficult for people to hear it on their doorstep since an orchestra is costly affair,” says De Beer.
“For years I have been working with the virtuoso accordionist Stanislav Angelov. His deep knowledge of music history gave me the idea for replacing the organ or harpsichord with the accordion – which was done in the previous centuries by churches that couldn’t afford an organ.
“The next step was to find a bassist that could play the original score and would be willing to fill in the missing parts for us to be faithful to the Italian maestro. Schalk Joubert was the obvious choice and his creative input is abundantly clear in every live performance. He is also our narrator.
“Stanislav covers the rest and I play the original four concertos as written over 300 years ago.
“Since it’s the first programmatic music of its kind and was published originally with four sonnets depicting and telling a story of each season, I thought it essential to include them in our performance. We aim to translate them in many more languages, but for now, Afrikaans and English must do.”
The Afrikaans translation from the Italian was done by Dr Dawid de Villiers.
• Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons Revisited / Vier Seisoene Herbesoek” will be performed on Saturday (12 August) at 09:30 in the NG Moederkerk. Tickets (R125) at Computicket, Shoprite/Checkers and at the doors.