The program started with Rameau (sort of a Buskaid tradition) - Overture to Pigmailion and Dances from Zaïs. At least in South Africa, Buskaid seems to be the only ensemble that plays a selection of composers outside the greats (Beethoven, Mozart etc.) - and the Rameau is an example of that. I can't say I love the style - but it is nevertheless enjoyable and different.
My personal favorite was Sibelius' Impromptu for String Orchetra. It is an amazing piece - slow and moody at the start and end, sandwiching a very energetic middle. It was an amazing contrast to the Rameau; and the performance was mesmerising. In fact, I went and found a performance on Apple Music to listen to while completing this post!
Camille Saint-Sans' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso is played quite often on Classic FM, but this was the first time I have heard it live. It is a virtuoso piece, and Simiso Radebe's solo performance brought the audience to its feet. A perfect follow up to the amazing Sibelius.
The last performance before the interval highlighted another great difference between Buskaid and other classical ensembles. I had not heard Luigi Boccherini's Night Music of the Streets of Madrid before - but the ensemble took it further; by having a coordinated dance performance while playing the music. It was fun to watch, it was fun to see and gave a real feel for what the music was trying to achieve - something Boccherini himself was unsure could be achieved.
The second half started off with Khachaturian's Waltz from Masquerade, before going through to three movie themes - Theme from Age of Innocence, Theme from Cinema Paradiso (soloist Kabelo Monnathebe) and Tango Por Una Cabenza (probably best known for as the tango in Scent of a woman, soloist Simiso Radebe).
As with all Buskaid performances, the movie themes indicated a transition to the kwela, gospel and Afropop - to bring the evening to a close. Once again, Buskaid delivered a standout performance.