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Vol. 13: The most beautiful Concert Highlights 2012-2013

Cover: The most beautiful Concert Highlights from Maulbronn Monastery 2012-2013
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The 20th Anniversary of the Maulbronn Monastery Edition
The most beautiful Concert Highlights
from Maulbronn Monastery 2012-2013

The 50th Anniversary of the Maulbronn Monastery Concerts
Anniversary Series, Vol. 13

Highlights from

The chant concert "Vespera de beata Maria Virgine" (June 2, 2012)

The piano recital
"Grand Piano Masters ~ Chopin & Szymanowski" (July 5, 2012):
Chopin: Ballade No. 4, Op. 52 & Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 58 · Szymanowski: 9 Preludes for Piano, Op. 1

Handel: Jephtha, HWV 70
(September 29 & 30, 2012)

The choral music release
"Liebe & Leid · Love & Sorrow" (March 6-9, 2013):
Cornelius: Liebe, dir ergeb' ich mich · Hill: Ubi Caritas et Amor
Whitacre: Three Songs of Faith: Hope, Faith, Life, Love · Sandström: The Lord's Prayer

Bach: Vom Reiche Gottes (About the Kingdom of God) (September 21 & 22, 2013)

Recordings from the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery

HD Recordings · DDD · Duration: c. 119 Minutes
Digital Album · 26 Tracks · incl. Digital Booklet

FILES
Previews
Work(s) & Performance
Maulbronn Monastery Edition - A Series by Josef-Stefan Kindler and Andreas Otto Grimminger, K&K Verlagsanstalt, Germany

W

e have been documenting for 20 years the concerts at the UNESCO World Heritage Maulbronn Monastery. The concerts supply the ideal conditions for our aspirations. It is, above all, the atmosphere of the romantic, candle-lit arches, the magic of the monastery in its unadulterated sublime presence and tranquillity that impresses itself upon the performers and audience of these concerts. Renowned soloists and ensembles from the international arena repeatedly welcome the opportunity to appear here - enjoying the unparalleled acoustic and architectural beauty of this World Heritage Site, providing exquisite performances of secular and sacred music, documented by us in our Maulbronn Monastery Edition.

Josef-Stefan Kindler & Andreas Otto Grimminger, K&K Verlagsanstalt

Vespera de Beata Maria Virgine

Vespera de Beata Maria Virgine · Gregorian & Cistercian Chants

A Vespers of the Cistercian Order in the 13th century with works by Monastery Maulbronn, Cistercian nuns of the monastery Las Huelgas and Cistercian Antiphonary from Morimondo, performed by the Ensemble Vox Nostra.

Grand Piano Masters ~ Chopin & Szymanowski

Grand Piano Masters ~ Chopin & Szymanowski

A piano recital, performed by Aleksandra Mikulska. Sensitivity, musical expression and a flawless, transparent technique: Aleksandra Mikulska embodies to the highest degree all of these qualities once demanded by Chopin himself. Teachers, critics, members of the jury as well as audiences all unanimously agree on this. For a long time now Aleksandra Mikulska has not only distinguished herself through her very own, extraordinarily genuine interpretation of Chopin, which won her the prestigious special award as best Polish female pianist at the International Frédéric Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2005 and ensured an enthusiastic reception of her début Chopin CD in 2010. With her "passionate" and "enrapturing" performances of Haydn, Beethoven and Chopin, she presented audiences at the Lake Constance Festival in 2010 and 2011 with some of the "finest hours of piano music". Attending the class for gifted children at the Karol Szymanowski Music High School in Warsaw, gaining several promotion awards from the Polish government as well as winning prizes at international competitions laid the groundwork for the top-class international training of the young pianist. Even while still at grammar school, Aleksandra Mikulska was already being coached by Peter Eichler in Mannheim, and, after gaining her high-school diploma, she continued to study with him at the Karlsruhe Academy of Music. Parallel to her studies there, international masterclasses with Diane Andersen and Lev Natochenny amongst others provided further stimuli. After graduating with honours she moved to the piano academy "Accademia Pianistica incontri col maestro" in Imola, Italy, the land of music, where she was coached mainly by Lazar Berman and Michael Dalberto till 2008. From 2006 she also worked with Prof. Arie Vardi at the Hanover Academy of Music, where she gained her concert diploma in 2010. Aleksandra Mikulska unites the three musical traditions of Poland, Germany and Italy in a unique, personal and unmistakable style. She is a frequent guest at international festivals such as the Lake Constance Festival, the Maulbronn Monastery Concerts, the piano cycle "Musik am Hochrhein" (Switzerland), the Merano Festival in Italy and the Lapland Piano Festival. Furthermore, she also gives solo recitals all over Europe and performs with orchestras in Germany, Italy and Belgium. One focus of her artistic efforts is the dissemination of music by the great composers of her native country. Aleksandra Mikulska is vice-president of the Chopin Society in the Federal Republic of Germany in Darmstadt and board member of the German-Polish Association of Baden-Württemberg. Furthermore, she is a member of the Karol Szymanowski Society in Zakopane (Poland) and has close ties with the music society De Musica in Warsaw and the German-Polish Cultural Society "Salonik". Her recording début in 2010 was devoted to the works of Frédéric Chopin. In the Autumn of 2011 Aleksandra Mikulska published her second CD with the title "Expressions" including works by Haydn, Szymanowski und Chopin. Both recordings enjoyed great popularity with audiences and the specialist press. Meanwhile she has presented her third album which includes Chopin's four ballades. (Translation by Jill Rabenau)

Handel ~ Jephtha

"Jephtha" by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Jephta was Handel's last work of great dimensions. It was written in 1751 in London. It was performed for the first time at Covent Garden at february, 26. in 1752. Händel's last dramatical work was in the same time the most poetic of his oratories. The tension is not created by action but by the inner aspect of Jephta's unsolvible solitude. Expelled from Gilead by his half-brothers, he grows up in exile and becomes a godfearing army commander, while Gilead is suppressed by the Ammonites. After 18 years of slavery, the eldest of Gilead ask Jephta to free them from their tyrants. As army commander, Jephta swears his god Jehova to sacrifice to him the first creature he will meet after victory. He can't see that it's his own daughter Iphis to take this burdon upon her shoulders. The desperation of Jephta, mother Storge and lover Hamor is met by the courage of Iphis, who comes to show herself as a true heroine. The tragical conflict of the sacrifice of his own daughter is turned to a good end, inspite of the outlines of the old testament. The music is of an overwhelming forcefulness and beauty. Jephta's importance is based in the first place on the imposing choir scenes. The choir has double function: at one hand he takes part in action actively, on the other hand he stays in the backround and comments on the story.
The story: Jephtha is the illegitimate son of the Israelite leader, Gilead. On Gilead's death (over eighteen years before the action begins) Jephtha was scorned and thrown out of Israel by his half-brothers. He has been living in Tob with his wife, Storgè, and their daughter, Iphis, who was born in exile. Soon after Jephtha's exile the Ammonites attacked Israel and began a long and bitter war.
Act One: The Israelites have been at war with the Ammonites for the past eighteen years. All their military leaders have been killed, and the people have begun to turn away from Jehovah and worship false gods. In desperation they ask the exiled Jephtha to return and lead their forces in a final offensive against the Ammonite occupation. Jephtha agrees to lead the army on condition that he is allowed to lead the country if he wins the battle. The Israelites, led by Jephtha's half‑brother, Zebul, agree to his demand. He says goodbye to his wife and daughter. Iphis then says goodbye to the Israelite, Hamor, to whom she is engaged and who will fight alongside her father in the forthcoming battle. Jephtha is worried about the outcome of the battle and privately makes a deal with God: if he returns victorious, he will sacrifice the first living thing that he sees on his return. Meanwhile his wife is afraid that some misfortune will happen, and is comforted after a nightmare by her daughter and servants. Jephtha, who has failed to secure a peace by treaty, prepares his Israelite forces for the battle.
Act Two: Hamor informs Iphis of her father's victory, and describes the miracle of the battle, in which an army of angels signalled the enemy's defeat. She asks her servants to prepare to welcome her father back. Jephtha returns triumphant and commends the bravery of his officers, Zebul and Hamor, but says that God deserves the real credit for the victory. Iphis then appears unexpectedly to greet her father with her servants. Jephtha is horrified to realize that it his daughter who is the subject of his rash promise to God. He is forced to tell everyone of his vow, and all try to persuade him to change his mind. He refuses. Iphis herself convinces him that she will go ahead with the with the sacrifice for the sake of her country and family. The community wrestles with the nature of the goodness of a God who asks for the murder of a child.
Act Three: Jephtha, his wife and the community prepare for Iphis's sacrifice. She is very frightened and says goodbye to everyone. The whole community appeals to God for guidance. Just as Iphis is being dragged off to her death an angel appears and forbids the sacrifice to proceed: Iphis must dedicate herself to a life of chastity and the service of God. Jephtha and the community thank God for sparing Iphis's life. Storgè and her servants prepare for Iphis to leave. lphis and Hamor say a final goodbye to each other. Everyone tries their best to rejoice at the happy and strange end to their troubles, and the peace which Jephtha's military leadership has secured.
This live recording of "Jephtha" is part of a cycle of oratorios and masses, performed in the basilica of Maulbronn Abbey under the direction of Jürgen Budday. The series combines authentically performed oratorios and masses with the optimal acoustics and atmosphere of this unique monastic church. This ideal location demands the transparency of playing and the interpretive unveiling of the rhetoric intimations of the composition, which is especially aided by the historically informed performance. The music is exclusively performed on reconstructed historical instruments, tuned in the pitch, which was customary during the composer's lifetime (this performance is tuned in a' = 415 Hz).

Liebe & Leid (Love & Sorrow)

The Choral Music Release "Liebe & Leid" (Love & Sorrow)

An a-cappella-recording with works about love and sorrow for 4- to 12-part mixed Choir by Robert L. de Pearsall (1795-1856), Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Peter Cornelius (1824-1874), Sven David Sandström (*1942), John Tavener (*1944), John Rutter (*1945), Branko Stark (*1954), David Hill (*1957), Wolfram Buchenberg (*1962), Jaakko Mäntyjärvi (*1963) & Eric Whitacre (*1970). The Maulbronn Chamber Choir (German: Maulbronner Kammerchor) was founded in 1983 and counts today as one of the renowned chamber choirs in Europe. Awards like first places at the Baden-Württemberg Choir Competitions in 1989 and 1997, second place at the German Choir Competition in 1990, first prize at the German Choir Competition in 1998, second place at the International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf 2009 and first place at the Malta Choir Competition show the extraordinary musical calibre of this ensemble. The Chamber Choir has managed to make quite a name for itself on the international scene, too. It was received enthusiastically by audiences and reviewers alike during its debut tour through the USA in 1983, with concerts in New York, Indianapolis and elsewhere. Its concert tours in many European countries, in Israel and Argentina as well as in South Africa and Namibia have also met with a similar response. The choir has performed oratorios by George Frideric Handel each year annually since 1997. All these performances were documented on disc; because of that the Maulbronn Chamber Choir holds a leading position internationally as an interpreter of this genre. Since June 2016 Benjamin Hartmann is conductor and artistic director of the choir.

Bach: "Vom Reiche Gottes" (About the Kingdom of God)

The great Cantata "Vom Reiche Gottes" (About the Kingdom of God)
by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), compilated by Hans Grischkat

In the Year of J.S. Bach 1950 (200th anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach) I first performed the cantata "Vom Reiche Gottes" in Stuttgart and Reutlingen, which is a feature-length compilation of cantatas emerging from the desire to keep unique, significant parts of the Bach cantatas having - out of several reasons - never been performed and were therefore nearly unknown, from neglect and to (re-)open them for the public. At first, I stumbled upon these pieces more or less accidentally, but gradually I started to continue my search systematically. Over the years, I gathered about 50 single arias, choirs and chorals out of 25 different cantatas. I always tried to juxtapose these single movements to intact cantatas, but they never merged to a homogenous whole. Thereby, the thought of combining these separate parts to a larger oeuvre came up soon. In doing so, it was understood that in this new compilation the single parts had to be utilized note for note completely true to original without the slightest change, in original text lacking any reversification. A single exception of this principle was necessary in recitative no.15 "Wie nun? Der Allerhöchste spricht", where the first bar had to be changed due to tying it to the preceding part. Foremost it had to be checked whether a textual coherence with clear development could be found, as I mustn't haphazardly string together individual musical pieces. Prof. Köberle (University of Tübingen) and Rev. Rudolf Daur (Stuttgart) have always been helpful with these textual questions, wherefore I want to thank them at this point once again. I often was tempted to use single parts of well-known and frequently performed cantatas. But I abandoned this option due to the fact that I wanted to keep the complete works of Bach in its totality untouched under all circumstances. Therefore, I would exceedingly deplore if the work presented here would abet the random selection of particularly known parts out of cantatas otherwise complete. After the first performance in the Markuskirche Stuttgart at the "Württembergisches Bachfest" Friday 21th of July 1950 wrote f. ex. the "Allgemeine Zeitung": "It is no random string of fragments, but an entity of persuading closeness.The 23 choirs, chorals, recitatives, ariosi and arias had been so cautiously compiled in many years (and without touching the score) that an inner line is perceptible: the relation from man to god, from the reflective contemplation of the first part to the choirs of jubilance praising the glory of the Creator of all things." Albert Schweitzer as well commented on the cantata "Vom Reiche Gottes" very pleased. He wrote after his examination of the piano score that had been sent to him personally: "Dear Mr. Grischkat! Your letter containing the piano score of the cantata "Vom Reiche Gottes" with a dear dedication lies in front of me. My poor injured hand doesn't allow me to write as I want to. But you shall receive compliment and gratitude by me. And the Great Cantata is beautifully compiled. A wonderful oeuvre. And that you added the figures in the score is nice. Cordially yours, Albert Schweitzer." A possibility for amplification shall be indicated here. After the introductive choir "Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal in das Reich Gottes eingehen", the associated and in its textual worthy, lovely ancient aria "Unerforschlich ist die Weise, wie der Herr die Seinen führt" from cantata no.188 "Ich habe meine Zuversicht" could be added... (Hans Grischkat)
This live recording of "About the Kingdom of God" is also part of the cycle of oratorios, masses and other grand works, performed in the basilica of Maulbronn Abbey under the direction of Jürgen Budday. The series combines authentically performed oratorios and masses with the optimal acoustics and atmosphere of this unique monastic church. This ideal location demands the transparency of playing and the interpretive unveiling of the rhetoric intimations of the composition, which is especially aided by the historically informed performance. The music is exclusively performed on reconstructed historical instruments, which are tuned to the pitch customary in the composer's lifetimes (this performance is tuned in a' = 415 Hz).

Series & Edition

P

ublishing Authentic Classical Concerts entails for us capturing and recording outstanding performances and concerts for posterity. The performers, audience, opus and room enter into an intimate dialogue that in its form and expression, its atmosphere, is unique and unrepeatable. It is our aim, the philosophy of our house, to enable the listener to acutely experience every facet of this symbiosis, the intensity of the performance, so we record the concerts in direct 2-Track Stereo digital HD. The results are unparalleled interpretations of musical and literary works, simply - audiophile snapshots of permanent value. Flourishing culture, enthralling the audience and last but not least also you the listener, are the values we endeavor to document in our editions and series.

The concerts at the UNESCO World Heritage Maulbronn Monastery supply the ideal conditions for our aspirations. It is, above all, the atmosphere of the romantic, candle-lit arches, the magic of the monastery in its unadulterated sublime presence and tranquillity that impresses itself upon the performers and audience of these concerts. Renowned soloists and ensembles from the international arena repeatedly welcome the opportunity to appear here - enjoying the unparalleled acoustic and architectural beauty of this World Heritage Site, providing exquisite performances of secular and sacred music, documented by us in our Maulbronn Monastery Edition.

The concert grand piano is incontestably the king of instruments. We could now wax lyrical about its incomparable dynamics and go into its ability to go from the tenderest of sounds in a soft minor key to the magnificent power of a fortissimo, or I could rhapsodise about its impressive size and elegance. But what makes this instrument really fascinating is its individuality, since each one is unique in itself - created by a master. A concert grand has a life all of its own that a virtuoso can really "get into" and hence bring the work of the composer to life. In our Grand Piano Masters Series, we get into the character and soul of the concert grand piano and experience, during the performance itself, the dialogue between the instrument, the virtuoso and the performance space.

Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler, K&K Verlagsanstalt

Works, Movements & Tracklist

The concert

Vespera de beata Maria Virgine

A Vespers of the Cistercian Order in the 13th century
with works by Monastery Maulbronn,
Cistercian nuns of the monastery Las Huelgas
and Cistercian Antiphonary from Morimondo,
performed by the Ensemble Vox Nostra:
Winnie Brückner (Soprano) · Philipp Cieslewicz (Countertenor)
Christoph Burmester (Tenor) · Werner Blau (Bass)
Burkard Wehner (Tenor & Music Director)
on June 2, 2012

1. Unguentum effusum (Hl 1,2) & Psalm 112: Laudate pueri [4:04]
From Maulbronn Monastery, 1249

2. Pulchra es, et decora (Hl. 6,3) & Psalm 113: In exitu Israel [8:48]
Cistercian Antiphonary from Morimondo Abbey, 1175

3. O Maria, maris stella - O Maria, virgo davitica - In veritate [3:56]
Motet from the monastery of Cistercian nuns Las Huelgas, c. 1320

4. Benedicamus Domino cum cantico - Deo gratias [2:14]
From the monastery of Cistercian nuns Las Huelgas, c. 1320


Grand Piano Masters

Chopin & Szymanowski

A piano recital,
performed by Aleksandra Mikulska
on July 5, 2012

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849):
5. Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52 [11:28]

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937):
6. Nine Preludes, Op. 1: No. 2 in D Minor: Andante con moto [2:45]
7. Nine Preludes, Op. 1: No. 8 in E-flat Minor: Andante ma non troppo [2:27]

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849):
Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58
8. III. Largo [8:59]


George Frideric Handel (1685-1759):

Jephtha, HWV 70

Complete recording of the English Oratorio,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by the Maulbronn Chamber Choir
and the Baroque Orchestra 'Ensemble il capriccio',
conducted by Jürgen Budday
on September 29 & 30, 2012.
Words by Thomas Morell (1703-1784)

9. Act I, Scene 1:
Pour forth no more unheeded prayr's
[3:31]
Air of Zebul · Soloist: Simon Bailey (Bass)

10. Act I, Scene 1:
No more to Ammon's god and king
[3:04]
Chorus of Israelites

11. Act I, Scene 2:
Twill be a painful Separation - In gentle murmurs will I mourn
[5:57]
Recitative & Air of Storgè · Soloist: Annelie Sophie Müller (Mezzo-Soprano)

12. Act I, Scene 3:
I go. My soul, inspir'd by thy command - These labours past, how happy we!
[7:44]
Recitative of Hamor and Duet of Iphis & Hamor
Soloists: David Allsopp (Countertenor) & Kirsten Blaise (Soprano)

13. Act I, Scene 7:
When his loud voice in thunder spoke
[4:50]
Chorus of Israelites

14. Act III, Scene 2:
All that is in Hamor mine - Joy's triumphant crown thy days - Ye house of Gilead... Amen
[7:34]
Duet of Iphis & Hamor, Quintet and Chorus of Israelites
Soloists: Kirsten Blaise (Soprano/Iphis), Annelie Sophie Müller (Mezzo-Soprano/Storgè), David Allsopp (Countertenor/Hamor), Benjamin Hulett (Tenor/Jephtha) & Simon Bailey (Bass/Zebul)

The choral music release

Liebe & Leid · Love & Sorrow

Works for 4- to 12-part mixed Choir,
performed by the Maulbronn Chamber Choir,
conducted by Jürgen Budday
on March 6 - 9, 2013

Peter Cornelius (1824-1874):
15. Liebe, ein Zyklus von 3 Chorliedern, Op. 18:
No. 1: Liebe, dir ergeb' ich mich
[4:42]
Love, I give myself · For two 4-part choirs (Male Choir / Female Choir)
From the Motet cycle after lyrics by Angelus Silesius (1624-1677)

David Hill (*1957):
16. Ubi Caritas et Amor [5:44]
Motet for three solo voices and 4- to 8-part choir
Soloists: Teresa Frick (Soprano), Johannes Heieck (Tenor) & Matthias Heieck (Baritone)

Eric Whitacre (*1970):
17. Three Songs of Faith:
No. 2: Hope, Faith, Life, Love
[3:58]
Motet for 8- to 11-part mixed choir

Sven David Sandström (*1942):
18. The Lord's Prayer [4:14]
Motet for 12-part mixed choir


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750):

Vom Reiche Gottes · About the Kingdom of God

The World Premiere Recording of the great cantata
with arias, choruses & chants from 18 Bach Cantatas,
compilated by Hans Grischkat,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by the Maulbronn Chamber Choir
and the Baroque Orchestra 'Ensemble il capriccio',
conducted by Jürgen Budday
on September 21 & 22, 2013

19. Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal, BWV 146:
No. 1: Sinfonia
[7:49]
For Orchestra

20. In allen meinen Taten, BWV 97:
No. 9: So sei nun, Seele, deine
[0:45]
Chorale for Choir & Orchestra

21. Erschallet, ihr Lieder, BWV 172:
No. 6: Von Gott kommt mir ein Freudenschein
[1:13]
Chorale for Choir & Orchestra

22. Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 180, No. 1 [6:41]
Chorale for Choir & Orchestra

23. Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten, BWV 59:
No. 3: Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott
[1:32]
Chorale for Choir & Orchestra

24. Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut, BWV 117:
No. 7: Ich will dich all mein Leben lang
[3:34]
Aria for Alto & Orchestra · Soloist: Franz Vitzthum (Countertenor)

25. Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut, BWV 117:
No. 9: So kommet vor sein Angesicht
[0:56]
Chorale for Choir & Orchestra

26. Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren, BWV 137:
No. 5: Lobe den Herren, was in mir ist, lobe den Namen!
[0:52]
Chorale for Choir & Orchestra


Sound & Recording Engineer: Andreas Otto Grimminger
Production & Mastering: Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler
Photography: Josef-Stefan Kindler
Artwork & Coverdesign: Josef-Stefan Kindler

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