Under the baton of the distinguished choral director Martin Lehmann, the German choir of boys and young men in Windsbach, the Windsbacher Knabenchor sings German Christmas carols. Participates the Modern Slide Quartett. Recorded live in HD on December 20, 2015 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, during the Sunday Morning Concert.
The Windsbach Boys Choir is one of the leading ensembles of its kind. Sacred music – spanning from the Renaissance to the present – forms the core of its repertoire. In addition to many a cappella pieces, the major oratorios of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Stravinsky are its primary focus.
A unique synthesis of musicality, versatility, precision, and purity of sound is the choir's trade-mark. "The music begins for them beyond the point where others stop, that is to say, deeper than the lovely surface", raved the "Frankfurter Rundschau" about the choir's fascinating vocal abilities. It is, then, no wonder that leading conductors, such as Kent Nagano, and orchestras such as the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester and the Symphonieorchester of the Bavarian Rundfunk, enjoy collaborations with the choir. Frequent invitations to important music festivals have solidified the choir's reputation as an important part of the national and international concert scene. In addition to concert tours within Europe, the choir has performed in Japan, North and South America, Taiwan, and Singapore, and will appear in China in May/June 2009. Many CD and radio recordings, as well as television appearances, have inspired music critics and audiences alike.
Raising young people's enthusiasm and appreciation for music is central to the mission of Windsbach's leadership. Along with the choral training the boys receive from Karl-Friedrich Beringer and the musical staff, a very high-quality, well-rounded education is provided by the boarding school, which is integrated within a state school (Gymnasium). Support is provided by the state, the church, and private donors committed to the musical and educational development of the students. As cultural ambassadors, the choir represents the Franconian region, as well the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Bavaria.
German Christmas Carols
1. Traditional: Nun sei willkommen, Herre Christ [bew. Carl Hirsch (1858-1918)]
2. Traditional: Advents-Kyrie [arr. Günter Raphael (1903-1960)]
3. Tielman Susato (c. 1510/15 - after 1570): Mohrentanz *
4. Traditional: Übers Gebirg Maria geht [arr. Johannes Eccard (1553-1611)]
5. Francis Poulenc (1899-1963): Quatre petites prières de Saint-François d'Assise, No.3
6. Benjamin Britten (1913-1976): A Hymn to the Virgin
7. Pierre-Max Dubois (1930-1995): Kwartet, deel IV *
8. Max Reger (1873-1916): Und unsrer lieben Frauen, Op.138 No.4
9. William Byrd (1543?-1623): The Earl of Salisbury's Pavane *
10. Jan Sandström (b. 1954): Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
11. Tielman Susato: Pavane "The Bataille" *
12. Traditional: Zu Bethlehem geboren [arr. Friedemann Winklhofer]
13. Francis Poulenc: Quatre petites prières de Saint-François d'Assise, No.2 *
14. Eric Whitacre (b. 1970): Lux aurumque
15. Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713): Sonata in E minor, Op.1 No.2 *
16. Traditional: Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier [bew. Johannes Eccard]
17. Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630): Choral *
18. Valentin Triller (1493-1573): Preis sei Gott im höchsten Throne [arr. Carl Thiel (1862-1939)]
19. Anton Bruckner (1824-1896): Inveni David, WAB 19 *
20. Traditional: Adeste fideles [arr. Carl Thiel]
Modern Slide Quartett*
Conductor: Martin Lehmann
Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, during the Sunday Morning Concert, December 20, 2015
Since its founding by Hans Thamm in 1946, the Windsbach Boys Choir has deeply influenced generations of young singers. The boys in the original choir who joined at age nine are now in their 70s; the boys entering the current choir could be their grandchildren! Over 1500 boys and young men have spent significant years of their lives here in Windsbach.
The choir gives approximately seventy performances a year in Germany and abroad, reaching some 35,000 concertgoers. As the first post-WWII German ensemble to perform in Israel, the choir wrote history with its rendition of Bach's St Matthew Passion there. The choir has also acted as a musical ambassador for Germany at official state visits of several German presidents. In the anniversary year of 2006, the choir was able to look back on its stunning development: from the provincial choir that it was in the 1950s, it has evolved into one of the most respected boys choirs in the world. For this accomplishment, it is grateful to its founder and especially his successor, Karl-Friedrich Beringer.
Martin Lehmann succeeded Karl-Friedrich Beringer in February 2012 as the conductor of the Windsbach Boys Choir. Lehmann, born in 1973, received his first musical training as a member of the Kreuzchor of Dresden, one of Germany's oldest boys choirs. In 1995, he entered a foreign study program for musicology in South America, then returned to Dresden to study choral conducting with Professor Hans-Christoph Rademann at the Musikhochschule Carl-Maria von Weber. During this time, Martin Lehmann was a member, then assistant conductor, of the Dresdner Kammerchor, as well as founder and director of the chamber choir Cantamus Dresden. In 2000 he was the recipient of the Rudolf Mauersberger Scholarship, and completed his degree in 2001. Lehmann also worked as a teaching assistant conducting the choir of the Musikhochschule from 2000-2005. During this time he continued advanced study in Choral Conducting (Prof. Rademann) and Orchestral Conducting (GMD Georg Sandemann) at Dresden's Musikhochschule. He completed this degree "with high honors" in 2004.
From 2001-2005, Martin Lehmann directed the Schola Cantorum Leipzig, a children's and girls' choir of the city of Leipzig. From 2005-2011, he was the musical director of the boys Wuppertaler Kurrende. During this time, from 2008 to 2011, he also led the chamber choir amici del canto in Wuppertal.
Numerous prizes of choral competitions, collaboration with renowned orchestras (WDR BigBand, Dresdner Barockorchester), as well as CD, television, and radio recordings, document Martin Lehmann's outstand.
The Modern Slide Quartett was founded in September 1992 by four trombonists from the Bavarian music academies in Munich and Würzburg. The Quartet has been playing since 2008 as follows:
Martin Balser, bass trombone
Gerhard Lederer, tenor trombone
Oliver Meissner, tenor trombone
Gerwin Steinberg, tenor trombone
Christmas with the Faces of Classical Music