The program for this year's Johannesburg International Mozart Festival is the most interesting and varied since I have been going to them. One of the problems however, is that there is so much choice - that you can only really afford the time and money to go to a few of them.
This year's opening concert, on Mozart's birthday on Tuesday, featured his last work, the unfinished Requiem, together with South African composer (and the festival's composer in residence), Peter Klatzow's Mass for Choir, Horn, Marimba and Strings.
M doesn't agree, but my reaction to Peter Klatzow's Mass, was that it was quite "New Agey", something out of fantasy movies - and would fit perfectly in the Lord of the Rings (or similar). It is fun, it is light, and very enjoyable.
Mozart's Requiem is a long piece and very well known. But the performance by the Chanticleer Singers and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra was equal to the task, and thoroughly deserved the standing ovation. It is off course more traditional, when compared to the preceding Mass, but it also has a sense of gravitas that the Mass didn't.
As an opening concert, it was a great start to the festival.