Yearly Christmas Concerts
By Morris Bishop
Always one of the most anticipated ‘musical highlights of the year’ on the costa del sol is the Biannual concerts given by Collegium Musicum. The performances, at the Hotel IPV Palace and Spa Beatriz in Fuengirola and the magnificent Iglesia de la Encarnación in Marbella, were received by a ‘standing room only’ audience with rapturous ovations to every one of the 14 pieces played. The eclectic Christmas program, with works written over a period of four centuries by composers from many countries including George Frederic Handle who’s Harp concerto, was to be the major work of the evening. Born in Germany, he became a naturalise Brit and lived in London for most of his life, and this work is the only surviving Harp Concerto from the Baroque era. Telemann’s Ein Fest Burg was chosen to open the program in memory of the 250 anniversary this prolific contemporary of Handel. Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughan Williams who composed ‘Little Babe’ and ‘Greensleeves’ respectively. Pieces from Humperdinck who’s Weihnachten was performed acapella with only harp accompaniment, even works from the Ukraine, Mexico and France were included.
It always amazes me of the absolute professionalism that both Choir and Orchestra perform to, and the Musical arrangements that Delyth Bressington achieves belies the fact that they have little control over the mix of instrumentalist that form the Orchestra. Charlotte Nyborg was the solo Harpist who’s faultless performance with this most Gentle of instruments was made the more difficult for the sheer volume of the Church that she had to fill, only in parts the Larghetto of the Handel did I strain to hear some of the subtlety of her playing. As for the ever-ebullient Annemarie Philipps, Musical Director of the Collegium Musicum, I am sure that one can hear the enthusiasm that she displays and the sound that instrumentalist and choir achieve through the many hours of her mentoring. And finally to the audience, it is quite wonderful to be part of a band of people that get joy out of watching and listening to other people making music, and what better way to show this than by closing the program with the whole of the audience ‘enthusiastically ‘ giving voice to ten of the most popular carols and a very well deserved standing ovation.
Collegium Musicum are always looking for new Voices and instrumentalist. So if you have the qualities to join this exceptional group – contact Driekje firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone Annemarie 95277492 / 696620872