Today is the release of DIE WEIHNACHTSGESCHICHTE
November 3, 2023
It is s great pleasue to release this Christmas album with the Hugo Distlers not very often recorded Christmas Oratorium " DIE WEOHNACHTSGESCHICHTE". The vocal group CONCER CLEMENS from my hometown Aarhus, the tenor Adam Riis and conductor Carsten Seyer-Hansen made a recording together with producer Preben Iwan that allready got great reviews in US, Beligum and Denmark.
The inspiration for Hugo Distler’s gem of a Christmas narrative can be found in the
German-language protestant sacred music of the early baroque era, especially
the music of Heinrich Schütz. Drawing on Schütz’s example, Distler composed
his Christmas story exclusively for vocalists – soloists and a 4-8-voiced ensemble
– in what is, in Distler’s own words, described as an “Oratorium mit kammermusikalishem
We also hear parts of the beautiful choral Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, which appears
seven times during the course of the narrative. – every time in a new harmonic
The story of Hugo Distler’s life is a tragic one. Born in Nuremburg in 1908, he
would go on to teach at the School for Church Music in Spandau before being appointed
professor of church music in Stuttgart in 1940. Distler, who was a deeply
religious man, has been recognized as a forerunner of the New German Church
Music, an important musical movement which developed in the 1930s. The Nazis
stigmatized Distler’s compositions as “degenerate art”, and when he received his
conscription papers, he took his life. Sadly, Distler’s music is seldom performed
outside of Germany even to this day.
Hailed by Gramophone as “a choir worth listening to for their beautiful singing,
which can deliver performances of pure, natural eloquence,” the 16 voices of the
award-winning vocal ensemble Concert Clemens, founded by conductor Carsten
Seyer-Hansen in 1997, has established itself as one of the leading vocal ensembles
in Scandinavia. Their stylistic versatility has been seen in numerous collaborations
exploring the connections between jazz and classical music as well as noteperfect
interpretations of standard repertoire. The evangelist, tenor Adam Riis, is
one of Denmark’s leading voices.
Recorded in the DXD format by the Danish “Wizard of Sound”, Preben Iwan, in the
resonant sonics of Skt. Markus Kirken, Århus.