Concert Archive

Choir concert „Fire and Water“

Saturday, 23 March 2019, 6 pm, St. Johannes Hamburg Eppendorf
Sunday, 24. March 2019, 5 pm, Ansgarikirche Oldenburg

Choir Concert “Fire and Water”

in literature and choral works by Th. Morley, H. Distler, E. Whitacre and many others.
Speaker: Bernhard Hackmann
Oldenburger Kammerchor, conductor: Johannes von Hoff

 

NWZ 26 March 2019

Chamber choir impresses with precision

By Christoph Keller

EVERSTEN “And then I want to dive into the depths, immerse myself in the glow of wonders, and I feel as if angels were calling me into the old city of wonders” (Wilhelm Müller) – A deeply impressive concert in the Ansgari Church on Sunday showed what powerful images poets and composers were inspired to by the allegories of fire and water. Under the inspiring direction of Johannes von Hoff, the Oldenburg Chamber Choir sang a cappella works on the theme “Fire and Water” from different stylistic eras. Even in Thomas Morley’s oldest choral work “Fyer, Fyer!”, the 30 or so singers unfolded an effective sound space through extremely precise phrasing and rapidly changing accents in the individual voices. That the fire can not only consume in the longing for love, but also destroy enormously, became clear in Eduard Mörikes dramatic “Feuerreiter”, set to music by Hugo Distler, who was presented expressively by the choir with intensive density and engaging dynamic variety.

Bernhard Hackmann recited suitably selected texts in a lively manner, including “Aus Feuer ist der Geist geschaffen” by Ernst Moritz Arndt. These offered numerous supplementary perspectives on the basic theme.

In the poem “Vineta” by Wilhelm Müller, set to music by Johannes Brahms, the chamber choir sang with longing melodic swings from the sunken old wonder city. Water as an element of transformation became clear in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ harmonically advanced “Full fathom five”, where the choir depicted the enchanting bell tones of the all-changing nymphs with striking dissonances.

It was extremely impressive to experience the precision and intonation certainty with which the chamber choir created even the densest harmonic structures and overlapping harmonies in the works of the 20th century. In Eric Whitacre’s “Water night” and J. W. Goethe’s “Song of Spirits over Water”, the allegory of water was transformed into manifold images of the human soul.

A Latvian folk song formed the main melody in Erik’s Esenvald’s “Northern Lights” composed in 2012. The singers also used water glasses and bells to colour the enchanting atmosphere of the wonder of the blazing polar lights “on which dreams travel to unknown worlds”.

The light installation by Rainer Martens expressed both elements in the modified basic colours red and blue. Only with the “Northern Lights” did they merge, and at the end the large cross in the sanctuary above the choir had a transforming effect through the flowing light movements.

A choir of great homogeneity

 NWZ Region Wesermarsch Culture 26.09.2018

The Kammerchor Oldenburg inspires with its desire and ability to sing out subtle details. At the end the audience thanks with standing ovations.

by Reinhard Rakow

BERNE Everything is sound, flawless and sublime. The basses prepare the ground earthy, tenor and alto strive upwards, gain height and form, artfully fan themselves out until the soprano finally rises above everything. With compelling radiance he occupies the zenith of the sound firmament, conjures surfaces that glow, dots that shine, arches that sparkle and glisten: the Oldenburg Chamber Choir under Johannes von Hoff gives a guest performance in St. Aegidius, and the enthusiasm knows no bounds.

The performance was the result of cooperation between fellow cantors Natalia Gvozdkova (Berne) and von Hoff (Oldenburg). The concert was repeated the following day in Oldenburg. Natalia Gvozdkova took part in both performances as organist.

The three-part 90-minute programme, entitled “Praise and Lament”, framed the middle block with short organ pieces, a lamento by Jehan Alain (1911-1940) and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s Fugue in F minor, two works attributable to the lamenting ductus, which Gvozdkova performed in touching austerity, but each in its own distinctive tone.

Strict and delicate simplicity also characterized the choral works of the evening. In his introduction, von Hoff emphasized that the Christian three-movement had inspired lament, consolation and praise for composers of all epochs to create great choral works. Nevertheless, the programme was able to dispense well with the opulent melismatics of the pompous late Baroque. Instead, it concentrated entirely on pieces that demanded the singing out of clear lines, the artistic colouring and layering of even simple phrases, the architectural creation of sound spaces through pure vocal culture – chorically even the greater challenge.

In addition to psalm settings by Schütz und Schein from the beginning of the Baroque and the neo-romanticists Frank Martin (1890-1974) and Georg Schumann (1866-1952), Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s “German Liturgy” from 1846 and Francis Poulenc’s “Mass in G” from 1947, which was actually regarded as harsh, marked the highlights of colourful and lively music; the 30 singers staged Poulenc’s Gloria so intensively and so splendidly that they had to repeat it as an encore.

Breathing a single breath, the Oldenburg Chamber Choir acts in great homogeneity, intonation-safe even with difficult harmonies and delicate rhythms, always excellently articulating. The desire and ability to sing out subtle details is always inspiring; especially where quiet, seemingly simple lines cautiously touch one another, it becomes audible how highly developed the sense of sound of the choir is: organic tonal spaces grow there, chords follow one another in natural flow, crescendi blossom, diminuendi extinguish, nothing is what might be different.

So this evening two miracles could be inscribed into the Annals of St. Aegidius: Firstly, that even in the eleventh row of the high room the final consonant, breathed in the polyphonic pianissimo, was clearly heard as “t”.

Secondly, after an hour and a half of liturgical singing, visitors jumped up who couldn’t help but get rid of their exuberant enthusiasm with loud Bravo calls.

Choir concert – praise and lament
Sa, Sept 22nd, 2018 | 7pm
St. Aegidius-Kirche zu Berne
Su, Sept 23rd 2018 | 5pm
Ansgari-Kirche, Oldenburg – Eversten

Hodie Christus natus est – Choirconcert Christmas Carols

Sa, 2. December, 2017, 7pm St. Ansgari Oldenburg

Mo, 4. December, 2017, 7pm Eglise Notre-Dame du Sablon, Brussels

Choirconcert “peace in Time and Eternity”

Saturday, .June 17th, 2017, 7pm, St. Ansgari Oldenburg Sonntag, June 18th, 2017, Herz-Jesu-Kirche Munster, Wolbecker Str. 125 Works of Rheinberger, Esenvalds, Dubra, Poos etc.

(Deutsch) Auch die feine Belle Epoque hat ihre Kanten

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Passionskonzerte

Samstag, 25. März 2017,
Marktkirche Hannover
Sonntag, 26. März 2017,
St. Ansgari Oldenburg

Gabriel Fauré: Requiem
Francis Poulenc: Stabat Mater

Gabriel Faure: Requiem Francis Poulenc: Stabat Mater

Francisca Prudencio (Sopran) Samuel Hasselhorn (Bariton) Oldenburger Kammerchor und Collegium Vocale Hannover Junges

Christmas Carols at church service Sunday

Dec 18th, 2016 |10 am Ansgarikirche, Oldenburg Eversten

“Love” – Choirmusic of the 19. and 20. century with works of G. Holst, N. Lindberg, M. Lauridson etc.

Sa,Oct 22nd, 6pm, Norderney, Conversationshaus