Archive for March, 2016

Mar 30 2016


We travelled up the West Coast to play in Langebaan for the wedding of Steve and Sonia,a wonderful couple living in the UK. Sonia is South African and wanted to share the best of the Cape with her family and friends,many of whom had travelled from the Uk to be with them on this day. The Boesmanland Farm Kitchen is a unique spot right on the beach at Club Mykonos.

It is an informal outdoor “African food” seafood and boerekos eating eaxperience on the beach,the food being prepared on open fires in enormous potjies by Susan and her expert team of helpers. The ceremony was held on the beach,and of course the Cape Doctor felt that the wedding would not be complete without his presence. We set up in a super-strong breeze-the great advantage of the Hungarian Trio is that we do not need any music,music stands, or amplification.The wind blew the chairs down the beach,but we still managed to play the bride in and out! The strong wind made for a hilarious and energising wedding ceremony, everyone ,ourselves included,could not stop laughing and trying not to fall over! Sonia and her lovely daughter sang Josh Groban’s “You raise me up” together with us as a wonderful surprise for Steve. Then everyone walked back to the covered gazebo fro the pre-drinks.

The atmosphere at this wedding was really extraordinarily happy and merry ,Sonja being one of those wonderful,laughing people who somehow lift everyone around them into a special sphere of gaiety.Of course,we played for her our most cheerful tunes and soon had everyone tapping their feet and humming along. The food was absolutely delicious,starting with boerbrood baked in a wood-fired oven and served on enamel plates to help the environment.

Susan, who is in charge of the venue, has a passion for making food the old traditional way, and the guests could not stop queing up for second and third helpings!A special surprise for Sonja and Steve were the resident singers belonging to the restaurant, who sang some real Cape Coon style songs as the couple opened the dance floor.

Sonja had made cushions for all her guests,each with a message of Love,Faith and Hope. We wish Sonja and Steve well in their future lives together.

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Mar 19 2016


Oh to be in Italy , now that summer is here! Well, we cannot all go off to Italy at the drop of a hat , but staying at Devon Valley Castle just outside Stellenbosch in the Devon Valley comes a close second! This is a full-on stone castle , set in magnificent Italianate gardens , with symmetrical avenues of massive cypress trees surrounding a stone fountain, all overlooking hazy fields ,valleys and distant mountains. It could not be more romantic!

Here, we played the wedding of Deirdre Conway and Michael, a unique Cape wedding in the winelands. The ceremony was held deep in a forest glade .The bride entered down a long,treed avenue.Instead of the usual Wedding March ,Deirdre Conway chose “Scent of a Woman” for her entry item, an excellent choice for an unconventional bride. Deirdre was radiant, accompanied down the avenue by her children.

After the moving ceremony , the Hungarian Trio led the guests back, playing all the way back through the forest and up the hill between the majestic cypresses. At the Castle , champagne flowed , well deserved! Many couples like to utilise our mobility in this way , leading the guests from one part of the venue to another while strolling.

On the terrace, we continued with our gypsy serenades, alternating baroque pieces like the well-beloved Pachelbel Kanon and light classics such as Bizet’s Carmen, with items for the jazz lovers , such as Besame Mucho and Girl from Ipanema. Summer Samba is beautiful ,especially on a glorious summer’s day , and of course we played many Italian items to complement the theme and setting.Deirdre had requested especially a lot of French Cafe` music,such as Under Paris Skies,C’est ci Bon ,La vie en Rose etc , and lots of Hungarian gypsy music ,always a great favourite with the audience and with the musicians too. Cape Town felt very far away, we were all in another,more beautiful world!

it is always such a great pleasure to be part of such a special day and to help create an atmosphere of beauty and love.

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Mar 18 2016


Imagine a mysterious forest glade,sunlight glinting through the rustling leaves… no sound but birdsong and the sweetest music…imagine a beautiful bride floating down the rose petal path between bowers of whispering flowers in this summer season’s idyll… imagine the guests listening to loving vows spoken in this dream-like setting… imagine the heavenly music expressing this shining burst of happiness.

Yes, this is exquisite Langverwacht, the most inspiring venue of them all, just outside Kuilsriver, with the Hungarian Trio providing splendid wedding music. Langverwagt combines a natural ,forest setting with magnificent gardens, the life work of the Le Roux family. One thinks of the owner of the famous Courances Garden in France who said ” We know that God alone created the splendours of nature-but what about gardens? Perhaps we both did a little bit together?”

On this occasion, we started with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, so suited to this pastoral setting, and continued with some Hungarian dances and the Bach Air to complement the rustic ,country wedding atmosphere.

Our radiant bride, Adri van der Merwe and her groom walked through a path of ancient oaks to sign the register while the Hungarian Trio led the guests behind them,playing our happiest tune. As the couple exited from the historic manor house,hundreds of years old, we played Love Changes Everything, that Andrew Lloyd-Webber favourite.

Then delicious fruit punch and substantial snacks were served next to the Khoi pond,surrounded by trees,flowers,and overlooking a stunning view of Cape Town and Table Mountain. The guests mingled and gathered into small groups.As usual we strolled from group to group, serenading them and asking them what they would like us to play for them.Fortunately , we have an extensive repertoire and are usually able to oblige with any special requests, from tango to jazz standards, love songs to classics.

The sun set ,lending a golden light as the couple returned to their guests, and expressions of true happiness lit the faces of the guests as they made thier way through the flowery paths to the cellar,twinkling merrily with fairy lights.

Throughout ,Juria and her long-serving team, who have been part of Langverwagt for years , ensured the smooth running of the function unpbtrusively and expertly.

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Mar 12 2016


Our superb live musical entertainment set the tone for a mystical forest wedding on the grounds of D’Aria Winery,just outside Durbanville, about 50 km away from Cape Town.

As the guests arrived ,they were served delicious D’Aria wine to enliven them before they set off on a short walk into the depths of the little forest. We , the musicians of the Hungarian Trio first played at the site of the welcome drinks where everyone was already in a merry mood, and then set off to play in the beautiful glade of poplar trees,for which the renowned Poplars Restaurant on D’Aria is named.

Before playing the Wedding March,we set the tone for the Wedding Ceremony with uplifing light classics, nothing heavy ,just things that most people would know and enjoy, such as Vivaldi Four Seasons, (the Spring is our favourite,with its imitated birdsongs – most apt for the forest setting!) , Lord of the Dance, Bach Air , Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission , and so on.This time our beautiful bride chose to enter to Pachelbel’s Kanon in D , a very suitable choice as she approached from the other side of a rustic bridge over the stream. Of course,for the Ceremony,we play in a stationary set-up like a string-quartet.

As we played,the bride floated over the path of fallen leaves,our cool and beautiful sounds mingled with the gentle breeze and bird song . A heavenly moment.

The ceremony, Afrikaans and English together, was most moving, and we were encouraged to think of the holy union of two blessed souls.

At the end of the ceremony, we changed the solemn mood to a far more celebratory atmosphere with the Mendelssohn Wedding March as the couple made their exit, and then with our favourite foot-tapping Wien Bleibt Wien, a brilliant cheer-up number for the petal shower and kissing-queue,always a delightful moment!

After a group photograph, the couple and their family left for photographs, leaving their guests in our capable hands. Time for music for the beginning of the party! This is where we start to stroll through the guests,serenading them with romantic gypsy serenades. If there is any constraint in the air,where guests perhaps do not know one another, we pride ourselves on breaking the ice and getting everyone relaxed, happy and chatting.Italian songs made famous by Pavarotti always bring on the smiles, together with movie themes such as Scent of a Woman and Titanic, tunes from Phantom and Les Miserables, some jazzy numbers like Girl from Ipanema, Summer Samba, Besame Mucho , and of course for the older family members, Johann Strauss Waltzes -if we do not play them ,someone will surely ask for them! The evening would not be complete without the romantic violin strains of some Hungarian Gypsy csardas , and some lovely French Cafe` tunes , Under Paris Skies,C’est si Bon etc. African guests always enjoy our Soweto String Quartet style arrangements such as Ntyilo,Ntyilo (Little Bird) , and everyone,not only Jewish or Irish guests, love the Irish Jigs and items such as If I were a Rich Man and Havah Nagila.Tangos always inspire some of the guests to dance the night away, or at least until the Wedding Cake makes its appearance.

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