In November 2000, the Harlequins set off for Hamburg. Our hosts, under the tireless leadership of Rolf, made us feel so welcome in their homes and the city, and the music making was everything we had hoped for. The weekend was a wonderful mix of singing, sightseeing, eating and talking, and quite a milestone for a choir that had previously only toured as far as Ubley on the Mendips!
Our Saturday evening concert consisted of a number of pieces from both the orchestra ‘Due Quartetti’ and the Harlequin Singers. Pieces included Weelkes’ ‘O Lord, Arise’, Neaum’s folk song ‘Water of Tyne’, Palestrina’s ‘Kyrie’, Rutter’s ‘Dashing Away’, Mendelssohn’s ‘Heilig’ and Stanford’s ‘Coelos Ascendit Hodie’. This was followed by the excellent ‘Magnificat’ by Pergolesi, and Handel’s ‘See, The Conqu’ring Hero Comes’. We repeated the concert on the Sunday; this was recorded for local radio broadcast by NDR.
Our Hamburg visit was enjoyed by all involved and considered a great success. Our sincere thanks go especially to Rolf Seelmann-Eggebert, of NDR and conductor of ‘Due Quartetti’ for his meticulous organisation of our time in Hamburg, and David Jeffery of the Harlequin Singers for organising the logistics from Bristol. Also Heidi Doehl, always on hand to assist during our time in Hamburg, and Peter Wilkinson, Musical Director of the Harlequin Singers for his tireless leadership throughout! We were pleased to welcome Rolf and his orchestra to Bristol for a return visit in 2004.