The Ensemble Connections was recently founded by its artistic director Christoph Schlechter and presents its first concert program at the beginning of February 2019. The choir consists of 16 professional singers who driven by their passion for choral music at the highest level. The carefully selected programs aim to highlight connections between musical eras, styles, genres, and other art forms.
Connections in choral music
I am particularly interested in how compositions are related or inconsolably opposed to each other. I rarely manage to take off these glasses and just look at a musical work, an event or a person by itself.
The reason might be biographical: My mother is British, my father is German. Through my bilingual education and the numerous visits to the relatives in England, I had the priviledge to grow up experiencing two cultures. These experiences broadened when I spent a total of three years in the US during my school and study years, thus illuminating German and European culture from the outside.
It is the nature of music to penetrate and connect many areas of life, as it is an elementary and omnipresent element of our human experience. Thus, music should not be detached from life and its experiences and remain abstract art. When making music, I strive for moments in which the mind is wide awake, and the brain is challenged, but at the same time the heart opens to the music and one’s body can lose itself in the waves of sound. Unfortunately (or maybe: fortunately) these moments are rare, but extremely moving and formative.
This is the route I would like to take with this new ensemble searching for connections within the music and beyond. The concert programs that I have in mind will show cross-relations between eras, genres, and styles, raise new questions, and encourage the audience to join in on this search.
There are innumerable biographical connections between composers of different cultures, continents and eras, which haven’t been highlighted yet. Part of my programs will be devoted to this academic detective work. Other programs will be devoted to connecting different art forms and sensory perceptions. But at this point I do not want to reveal too much.