Orchester Alla Breve

In July, a new orchestra came into being in Pretoria.

“A la breve” is a musical term meaning, “half-time” or “cut time”.  If a piece of music is counted in 4/4 time (four beats to each bar), but has the “breve” time signature, you really only count every second beat.  The result (or the implication) is that the pace of the piece picks up significantly, even to double speed.

Orchester Alla Breve
Orchester Alla Breve during rehearsal

The “Orchester Alla Breve” is called this because it is populated with professionals:  Performers, teachers, high-level students and to a large part, old players of the PACT and SABC orchestras.  These experienced old hands can heat up a performance in record time.

The conductor, Daniel Keet, is newly graduated; we played his exam pieces with him and the choir master Charlotte with the “Sinkronies” choir, in June.

Yesterday Alla Breve gave their first performance sans choir.  We played:

  • Beethoven 7th Symphony
  • 1st movement of Mendelssohn’s 4th symphony and
  • the Maestoso from Saint-Saens’ Organ symphony.

The performance came off beautifully.

My greatest regret is that despite our efforts of distributing pamphlets and inviting everyone, there wasn’t really a lot of audience.

This seems to be a chronic ailment in Pretoria.  I have to feel quite honoured with my studio concerts that we have about 60% attendance.  There was an event when a world-famous Bulgarian violinist came to visit SA – and about 100 people went to see the performance.

One of the bestest benefits of music is the complete immersion in it, and the “break” you give yourself from your daily hassles and woes as you allow yourself to wander into a different world for that hour or two.

It’s good for your health.

Please, contact me here if you are in or around Pretoria, love classical music and wish to stay updated by email on our concerts!

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