During the Advent and Christmas season the cathedral choirs are in full swing. Because it is precisely then that they are in great demand as cultural figures – even with appearances outside Cologne. But the crowning finale is always the concert in the cathedral.
In December, the four choirs at Cologne Cathedral are known to tackle a tight program. Especially the singers of the girls' choir as well as the boys and gentlemen of the cathedral choir are sometimes in demand throughout the diocese or even beyond. Because vocal music on top level loads itself also the one or other church municipality for a special music benefit in the Advent season already times gladly from the Rhine metropolis in. Then many of the traditional and familiar Advent songs are on the program of the Cathedral musicians: for example, "We tell you of the dear Advent" or "Mary went through a thorn forest", but above all also settings in which both ensembles demonstrate all their skills.
To this end, the choirmasters, Cathedral Kapellmeister Eberhard Metternich and Cathedral Cantor Oliver Sperling, always specially select literature of high quality, which sometimes includes very special pearls of music history such as the motets "Ave maris stella" by Claudio Monteverdi, the famous "Ave Maria" by Anton Bruckner or "The Angels and the Shepherds" by Zoltan Kodaly. But also the more common pieces from the repertoire of both choirs like "Christmas Lullaby" by John Rutter, "Sussex Carol" by Bob Chilcott or "Hark! The Herald-Angels sing" by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy is one of the works that is extremely popular with the public, which is then almost indispensable.
Musical attunement to Christmas
The crowning finale of this annual series of Advent concerts, in which both choirs performed a total of seven times on the three Advent weekends, is the big Advent concert in Cologne Cathedral a few days before Christmas Eve. Under the heading "The Cathedral Choirs Sing for Advent," the approximately 250 singers between the ages of ten and 25 are now performing for the 13th time. The three kings sing together, either alternately from different locations or together in their individual contributions.
In doing so, they like to fall back on the compositions already rehearsed for the past weeks, but nevertheless expand the program once again with one or the other highlight, in which the listeners are always consciously invited to sing along. For the Advent concerts of the Cologne Cathedral Music want to very consciously tune into the great feast of the Incarnation of God and once again animate to pause with one and a half hours of musical reflection in the pre-Christmas bustle and not to lose sight of the essentials.
Benefit in favor of the AIDS project "HOPE
The proceeds of the concert will be donated to the international AIDS project "HOPE Cape Town" of Father Stefan Hippler, a German priest living in South Africa, who started this initiative in Cape Town in 2001. During its concert tour through South Africa this summer on the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the girls' choir got to know this aid organization better and was very impressed by Pastor Hippler's commitment and his fight against the large number of new infections with the HIV virus every day.
Therefore, the singers of the Cathedral Music want to organize their traditional Advent concert as a benefit concert and show solidarity with the people who need the support of strong partners in another part of the world. Very important, so the girls' choir had learned during its visit to Cape Town, is educational work in this context, also because the government – according to Hippler – has covered up and downplayed the AIDS problem for years. Within a few years, "HOPE" has become one of the most successful AIDS projects in the region.
The concert on 20. The concert, which will be conducted by Eberhard Metternich and Oliver Sperling and will feature Cathedral music assistants Anna Goeke and Gregor Loers on the organ, begins at 8 p.m. on Sunday.3 p.m. Admission to the concert in the series "Sacred Music at the Shrine of the Epiphany" is free. our site broadcasts live.