Two Choirs, an Excited Audience
Von Gertrud Adlassnig
Translation by Maria Frick
Two Choir Leaders – Stephen Galvan and Herwig Nerdinger (at right), two choirs – Ising Community Choir and Kammerchor Burgau, an excited audience: The charitable concert for Kartei der Not in the Church in Burgau was a great success musically and financially.
Burgau. Thanks to the international relations of the Kammerchor Burgau, music lovers sometimes get the benefit of unusual concerts by foreign choirs. The concert performed by the ISing Community Choir from Beaverton, Oregon on Saturday night for the benefit of Kartei der Not is one such example of this exquisite tradition. The choir, which was only founded six years ago, attracts highly talented singers who masterfully perform challenging pieces under the direction of Stephen Galvan.
The Kammerchor set the tone for this sacral concert from the balcony. Wit Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Heinrich Kaminski the choir established a brilliant beginning for this musical evening. The American choir surprised the Burgau listeners with Salmo 150 from the aisles. The musical intonation of the psalm is amongst the most famous pieces of the contemporary Brazilian composer Ernani Aguiar. The temperament, the incredible speed of the singing, and the sensitive rhythm provided a first taste to a concert that was as unusual as it was exciting.
O Nata Lux by the American composer Morten Lauridsen whose roots are in Denmark forms part of his five-piece choir cycle Lux Aeterna. After the fiery Brazilian beginning the counterpoint influenced by European tradition: The piece that is close to the Requiem was interpreted by the choir in a quiet, solemn way, as providing hope and consolation. The whole breadth of the virtuosity of this very young choir was already reflected in these first two presentations. And the visitors continued to be fascinated by an unusual choral presentation.
The powerful piece The conversion of Saul by Z. Randall Stroope required everything from the singers. Counterpointed call and response, tumultuous, quick passages in sudden contrast to the most sensitive pianissimi which excited every choir lover with their subtleness and homogeneity. A brief organ interlude by Herwig Nerdinger, a choral piece by Bach, gave the audience a chance to catch their breath from so much unusal choral presentation.
This presentation continued with two pieces by the German composer Franz Biebl, a grandiose Ave Maria with separated choir and Deep River presented by the women. The next block of music was interpreted by the ISing Community Choir without a break as one piece, even though the 3 gospel pieces have been arranged by different musicians. The apparent folks songs from the American South turned into a highly artistic piece of art, which impressed as much with its soli as well as the percussion, with swinging passages and grandiose fortissimi.
The solemn conclusion of the concert was introduced by the ISing Community Choir after another organ piece presented by Herwig Nerdinger with another piece by Morten Lauridsen, Sure on this Shining Night. The Kammerchor Burgau left their spot on the balcony and moved solemnly through the nave singing Alta Trinita beata, an Italian piece of the 15th century. United in the choir with their colleagues from the US, the roughly 80 Singers together began Antonio Salazars O Sacrum Convivium.
An excited audience, long applause, and a joyful elevated mood provided the finale of this concert that was as unusual as it was wonderful. The charitable event yielded more than 1000 Euros for Kartei der Not, the beneficiary supported by this newspaper, including a donation of 300 Euros provided by the American choir which only collects donations for various beneficiaries during their concerts.