Cologne Choir Concert

America

April 28, 2020
8 p.m.
Kölner Philharmonie

Howard Hanson

»Song of Democracy« for choir and orchestra (1957)

Kurt Weill

»Four Walt Whitman Songs« for voice and orchestra (1942/47)

Paul Hindemith

»When Lilacs last in the door-yard bloom'd« for soloists, choir and orchestra (1946)

  • Rolando VillazónTenor
  • Jennifer PanaraMezzo-soprano
  • Simon BaileyBass-baritone
  • Chor des Bach-Vereins Köln
  • Monteverdichor Würzburg
  • Matthias BeckertChoir master
  • Köln-Bonner Jugendprojektchor des Bach-Vereins Köln
  • Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
  • Thomas NeuhoffConductor

In his poems, Walt Whitman creates a utopian image of a modern society – he is the 20th-century American Homer. Whitman has also inspired numerous composers in exile in America with his powerful words. One of them is Kurt Weill, who in his orchestral songs protests war and conflicts. Like Weill, Paul Hindemith also fled to America, and with his oratorio he on the one hand erected a memorial to the American president Roosevelt. On the other, his requiem “for those we love”, composed in 1946, is a memorial for the victims of the Holocaust. With his Song of Democracy, Howard Hanson also remembers that not only the American heritage but also that of humankind is stowed as freight on board the “ship of democracy”. The Bach-Verein Köln and Thomas Neuhoff will present the “I hear America singing” programme at the Cologne Choir Concert. The concert takes place every two years; once again an exquisite ensemble of singers will take part, headed up by an international star.

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