This weekend was the 11th international chamber choir festival in Marktoberdorf, Germany, and New Dublin Voices made the trip.
The opening concert was given by Consono, from Köln, who won the top prize at the festival in 2007. We first heard of them then and we learned a piece written for them by Michael Ostrzyga called ‘Iuppiter’. We met the choir at the Cork festival last year and, in a whirl of giddy choral excitement, sang the (amazing, but certainly not ‘light’) piece to the bewildered festival club attendees. While not making us hugely popular with the gathered choir folk that night, it did forge a link between ourselves and Consono (who won the Cork festival that year).
Their performance at the Marktoberdorf opening concert was a real pleasure to behold. One of the best things about these choral festivals is the opportunity to hear other choirs and we certainly listened attentively to the wonderful, disciplined sound of Consono.
It was great, too, to bump into another choir we have become great fans of, the Stockholm Musikgymnasium Choir.
The competition consists of two rounds: the first is a twenty-five minute programme of more ‘serious’ music and the second is a ten minute set of lighter material. In the first round we sang: Musica noster amor (Handl-Gallus), Sonnet No 76 (Janson), Bogoroditse dyevo (Rachmaninov), Bagairt na marbh (Holohan), Ecco mormorar l’onde (Monteverdi), Bealach Conglais (the world premiere of the piece written for us by Ian Wilson), and Rotala (Karlsons).
In the second round we performed: Double double, toil and trouble (Mäntyjärvi), Wade in de water (Koepke), and Lady Madonna (arr. Carol Canning). I sang the verses in Lady Madonna, which was great fun 🙂
The festival was run like clockwork and had a wonderful atmosphere. The competition element was not overemphasised and the organiser, Dolf Rabus, has done an amazing job of cultivating such an inspiring event. One of the exciting and forward-thinking things about it is that all the performances are recorded and videoed, so hopefully I’ll be able to point you to some YouTube links soon…