On December 17, 2016, we will perform our seasonal programme “O Freude? – Neue Chormusik zum Advent” (“O Joy? Contemporary seasonal choral music”) at the Friedenskirche Altona. All pieces have been composed after 1966, many of them during this millennium. With Christmas approaching, the works reflect on various feelings and states of mind connected with the seasonal time, including joy and doubts, fear and hope. The programm strives to reach far beyond the simple and sometimes superficial beatitude connected with Christmas. Cornelius Trantow explains the concept underlying the programme: “Todays image of Christmas is often that of an idyllic world. But we want to present the time of advent also as a time of insecurity and questioning. Many people nowadays feel a certain scepticism towards Christmas and wonder what the birth of Christ might mean to them.”
In four blocks, the programme encompasses a wide range of ideas, moving from frail and doubtful sounds towards joyful certainty, as most imminent in Wolfram Buchenbergs “O Freude über Freude” (“O Joy Over Joy”). Special highlight of the concert will be the first performance of “Quia non erat eis locus” (“Because there was no room for them”), a work composed by choir member Clemens Garbe, dedicated to the suffering refugees.
This year we took part in two international competitions, a thing we had last done in 2012, and which ment two exciting trips. Preparing a programme for a competition means in-depth rehearsing, with a level of intensity and profoundness that cannot always be achieved in our weekly rehearsals. That not only brings great joy, but also enhances the quality of our choral and musical standards. And – most important – it is a wonderful and very enriching expearience to meet foreign choirs on international festivals, get to know their musical traditions and present ourselves and our music in turn.
The first Competition was the “Internationale Wettbewerb für Kammerchöre” (“International Competition for Chamber Choirs”) from April 29 til May 2 2016 in Mosbach (southwest Germany). As one of six participating choirs, we were awarded a 2nd prize by the jury (Frieder Bernius and Marcus Creed).
Our second trip took us to the “Béla Bartók International Choir Competition” from July 7 til July 10 in Debrecen/Hungary, which specializes on works composed after 1945, just like we do! We achieved another 2nd prize to take home with us. We are ever so happy about our two awards!
Our trip to Hugary was kindly supported by the Goethe Institut. Many thanks!
For us, 2015 musically stood under the sign of peace. Remembering the 70th aniversary of the end of World War II, we performed a programme on the subject of peace.
For our 20th aniversary, we treated ourselves to a performance of one of the greatest works of musical history: Johann Sebastian Bach’s b minor mass.
By courtesy of the hamburg baroque orchestra elbipolis, whose excellent acompaniment we greatly enjoyed, we are proud to present some titles from our private recording of that concert: