And not a little quiet, culture


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Updated: 22/05/14 18:45

And not a bit quiet

Munich – Great Anniversary: ​​The Munich Bach Choir celebrates its 60th birthday. A retrospective with singers who were already under Karl Richter.

With the “Magnificat” the Munich Bach Choir celebrates its 60th birthday tomorrow, Saturday. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Marienlob has accompanied several singers of the ensemble for decades. Bassist Peter Holzer gets loose on ten performances, while tenor Siegfried Scharrer says: “There were certainly more, and I particularly like to remember one with Karl Richter and Maurice André in Oxford.”

He fell there, the name Karl Richter. He still buzzes through the heads of the singers and the audience. Karl Richter, musically socialized in the Dresdner Kreuzchor, later organist at the Leipzig Thomaskirche, changed in 1951 to the Munich Markuskirche and developed from the local Heinrich-Schütz-Kreis the Munich Bach Choir. An important counterpoint in the Mozart, Wagner, Bruckner and Strauss city of Munich. It got more and more ear, as well as the short time later founded Munich Bach Orchestra.

From 1954 until his sudden death in 1981 Richter coined the amateur ensemble, which meets to this day at least twice a week to the rehearsal and its members have to assert themselves on average every two years in a Vorsingen. “At that time we were students without a bachelor’s degree, so that was no problem.” Smirk at the three singers who have been there since Richter’s time.

And later? Siegfried Scharrer organized his time as a medical assistant so that it did not conflict with rehearsals and performances and took his wife into the choir. “In 1967 I was busy with the choir on 270 days.” The daughters of Susanne Schneidt now also sing along. “This is normal for the children,” says the alto, who regrets that fewer and fewer young song-goers can or want to take the time.

In the sixties, the Ansbach Bach Week lived from the commitment of the people of Munich, who enjoyed a great reputation as a semi-professional ensemble: “On a tour of Russia in 1968, we sang the first St. John Passion under Judge Richter after the October Revolution, exactly on the Orthodox Good Friday, which was the official probably escaped, “says Siegfried Scharrer. A remake of Russia is planned for 2015, but Susanne Schneidt fears that the choir is very difficult to finance despite being co-opted. At the end of the sixties Richter’s ensemble was a cultural export article, the funds of the federal government flowed generously at that time. This looks different now – as Susanne Schneidt confirmed as a member of the Board: “It’s always about the money. When choosing a program, when the soloists are involved, everything has to be earned by the choir. “Holzer adds:” Without the generous friends of the Bach Choir, we would have been broke for a long time already. “

Although after Karl Richter’s death in 1981, the characters initially stood on storm – renaming, even dissolution were required – survived the Bach Choir and found after Ekkehard Tietzes interim commitment in Hans Martin Schneidt a new leader. The ex-Thomaner and former general music director in Wuppertal steered the choir to new shores. Just as it tries after the abrupt end of the era Schneidt (1984-2001) and another interim phase also his successor Hansjörg Albrecht.

Since 2005, the former Kruzianer has guided the fortunes of the Bach choir in the direction of original sound and modernity. New challenges for the members of the school Karl Richter, who at the time strolled through the voting groups during the rehearsals, singers fixed and tested, whether they found their use without a sign. The high standards of the respective choral directors have not changed to this day. “All three were and are ingenious continuo players”, emphasizes Peter Holzer and remembers with his colleagues how Kapellmeister cuts the choir with Verdi’s Requiem, Handel’s “Judas Maccabaeus”, with works by Haydn or Schütz, but also by Hindemith and Pepping challenged.

“The young Albrecht has gained a lot of experience with us, and we enjoyed the expansion of the repertoire,” says Holzer. Susanne Schneidt names as proof not only the composer Arvo Pärt, but also Ennio Morricone. A tremendous difference to earlier times, as Siegfried Scharrer confirms: “Richter has played Bach’s Mass in B Minor in 15 out of 40 concerts. Bach was just his focus. “

That their Bach style has changed enormously, the singer can recognize old recordings. Although they rave about how Richter played out the tempo contrasts, how he edited a work as a sculpture and it always sounded spontaneous and different, they are now irritated by old passions. “They are sometimes incredibly slow, which simply no longer fits the current listening habits,” Holzer admits. But whether fast, slow or inspired by the historical performance practice (the judges disappointed and Schneider also quickly turned away) – a choir leader has to convince. “And that was and is the case with all three,” confirms the Bach Choir Trio. unison.


on Saturday, May 24, 7 pm, with works by Handel and Bach in the Prinzregententheater; Tel. 089/54 81 81 81.

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