Christmas Concert

Sunday 1 December 2019

Odeion ~ 16:00

Admission: FREE

Josef Rheinberger (1839 – 1901)
Suite for Organ Trio and Strings, Op. 149

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921)
Oratorio de Noël, Op. 12

In the light of this year’s advent time, the Odeion School of Music in collaboration with the Free State Symphony Orchestra, will present a Christmas Concert with various soloists and mainly string orchestra. The centre piece will be the Oratorio de Noël Op. 12 (Christmas Oratorio) from Camille Saint-Saëns, composed for five vocal soloists, mixed choir, strings, organ and harp. It was first performed at the Madeleine church on 25 December 1858 in Paris. This early work of the composer resembles a distinct lyricism of 19th-century French church music. It is sung in Latin, based on texts from the Old and New Testaments, the Psalms and Gospels, as well as the Catholic Christmas liturgy. The chamber music-like instrumentation with the exclusion of wind instruments, lyrical solo parts, and a modest choral part combine to create a general pastoral mood. The Suite for Organ Trio and String Orchestra fits into this programme with its pastoral character and chamber music setting.

The initiative for this concert is not only to offer the community of Bloemfontein a classical Christmas Concert, but it also serves as an educational project in which vocal students will form the choir of the oratorio, and string students will be part of the orchestra. These students share the stage with professional singers and instrumentalist and therefore gain first-hand experience of their profession. The Odeion String Quartet will lead the string sections. The soloists of the Rheinberger Suite are Jan Beukes (organ), Anmarie van der Westhuizen (Cello) and Samson Diamond (violin). A unique combination of vocal soloists sing in the Saint-Saëns Oratorio with Kimmy Skota (soprano), Teresa de Wit (mezzo-soprano), Mariëtte Pitout (contralto), Albertus Engelbrecht (tenor) and Thesele Kemane (baritone). Both these works will be performed under the baton of Alexander Fokkens.

Ninette Pretorius
+27 51 401 2504


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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