Der Mensch Lebt und Bestehet
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|Der Mensch Lebt und Bestehet
© ℗ 2006 by K&K Verlagsanstalt
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In this collection entitled Der Mensch Lebt und Bestehet (Man Lives and Exists), the Maulbronn Chamber Choir presents compositions that are interconnected in themselves and in content, in that they regard birth as more than just a joyful event. It is an act of creation, in which the divine and the human find each other and which implies earthly finiteness, but at the same time transcends this and leads back to its divine beginnings. This is how the prophetic words of the Old Testament are taken up, words that are substantiated in the annunciation to Mary of the incarnation of Christ (“Angelus Domini – Ave Maria”) and that lead into the events of Christmas (“Gloria” and “O magnum mysterium”). Yet at the same time, their central theme is the union of man with divine reality by means of reformation and contemplation (the “unio mystica”). Each life has a goal that transcends earthly finiteness, leading to what Reger calls that “hellen, schonen, lichten Tag, an dem er/sie selig werden mag" (that bright, beautiful, clear day when he or she blessed be).
This program is exceptional in that it includes choral works written for more than one choir. The effect of these compositions is heightened appreciably by positioning the various performers in different areas of the church, and they were, in fact, originally composed with this in mind. In the Biebl and Britten motets, we therefore experience a separate smaller choir singing far up in the gallery of the monastery church. Even the soloists in Sandstrom’s Gloria enhance the effect of the performing space by being positioned opposite the choir. The Reger motets also develop a unique sound of their own, due to mixed groupings of voices being placed extremely far apart throughout the entire area. In the Maulbronn Monastery church, the conditions are ideal for these innovative sonic concepts.