The Creative Force of the Reformation
The Frauenkirche in Dresden is throwing new light onto the Reformation with its musical programme for 2017: re|formation. With over 130 events in this anniversary year of the Reformation, the programme organisers invite audiences to discover a wide variety of works, artists and performances.
On offer are around 60 concerts, 40 evening organ recitals, 20 performances of sacred music on Sundays and church holidays, as well as 12 events for families and young people. In addition, there are two audience participation events, with opportunities for audiences to join in with the singing, and two Advent hymn-singing concerts. There are many reasons to join us during the 2017 Year of Music for enjoyable concert evenings in both the central space and the crypt at the Frauenkirche.
re | formation – opening new perspectives
The great Martin Luther anniversary is central to our programming for 2017. Under the heading, ‘500 Years of Reformation’, the music we have selected ranges from work composed during Luther’s lifetime to contemporary pieces. This includes two evenings with the Calmus Ensemble: ‘Now praise my soul’ and ‘Luther’s songs in the works of Praetorius and Schütz’; a performance of the Mass in B-minor by the Frauenkirche Orchestra, and a special programme of music selected by Ludwig Güttler for our Reformation Festival.
A composition, commissioned from Jörg Herchet by the Frauenkirche Stiftung for the Luther anniversary, entitled, ‘Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g'mein’ [‘Now rejoice, dear Christians together’] will be performed for the first time, sponsored by the Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Frauenkirche Dresden e.V. A multi-genre project, devised by actress, Katja Riemann with the Kammerakademie Potsdam, combines music and text addressing themes of belief and Reformation.
Choir master and organist at the Frauenkirche, Matthias Grünert, has good reason to introduce these themes into his performances of sacred music on Sundays, since, for Martin Luther, music was in no way inferior to the written word. Instead, he felt it should be developed into an independent form of preaching. The programmes for Trinity Sunday and the third Sunday in Advent are exemplary in this respect. In line with Reformation thinkers, who believed that the community should be included in sung performances as singers, experienced lay people are invited to join the project choir to perform the Bach cantata, ‘Es wartet alles auf dich’ on Harvest Festival Sunday, and the public will be encouraged to join in the final chorale.
A Year of Anniversaries
However, it is not just the Reformation of 500 years ago that we are celebrating in 2017. The Frauenkirche is planning to pay special tribute to three other world-ranking composers this year.The Frauenkirche Chamber Choir and the special ensemble, Instrumenta musica, will celebrate the 450th birthday of the great Italian composer, Claudio Monteverdi, who initiated an epochal shift on the musical terrain in much the same way as Luther did on the theological one, with a performance of the ‘Vespro della Beata Vergine’. Jos van Immerseel and his ensemble, Anima Eterna, with father and son soloists, Christoph and Julian Prégardien, will perform their Monteverdi evening as part of the Dresden Music Festival.
The work of Georg Philipp Telemann, the 250th anniversary of whose death takes place in 2017, will be the focus of a concert featuring the Dresdner Trompeten-Consort and the Dresden Kapellsolisten Chamber Orchestra under Helmut Branny in May. In September, Magali Mosnier and the Dresden Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra will return to Telemann’s work, as will the Catalan soprano, Nuria Rial with a performance of Telemann’s cantata, ‘Ino’.
The 175th anniversary of the death of Luigi Cherubini will be marked by a performance of his poignant Requiem in C-minor to commemorate the destruction of Dresden.
Dresden and its Hofkapelle were famed throughout Europe. Händel, Vivaldi and many other composers of distinction dedicated many brilliant works to the legendary ‘orchestra di Dresda’. As leader of the orchestra, Johann Georg Pisendel established a network of composers, on whom he would call during his entire career. Pre-eminent amongst them were those who represented the ‘mixed taste’ of Germany, in particular, Telemann, as well as Heinichen and Fasch, who created new styles and opened up new avenues in music in their reworking of French and Italian influences.
The Frauenkirche has drawn on this intellectually stimulating and illustrious tradition to produce a programme of events for 2017, concentrating on several specific themes.
Johann Sebastian Bach maintained close contact with musicians belonging to the Hofkapelle, including, of course, Johann Georg Pisendel. He was also linked to Dresden through his eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, who was the organist at the Sophienkirche. For this reason, Bach and sons is a recurring theme in concerts held at the Frauenkirche, as, indeed, is Bach and Dresden. After all, Bach bore the title of Composer to the Saxon Prince Electoral and Royal Polish Courts, for which post he had applied with the Kyrie and Gloria of his Mass in B-minor of 1733. All of these themes will come together in the Bach Festival Series at the Frauenkirche in September 2017.
The Great Riches of Musica Sacra
The gorgeous sound of church music at the Frauenkirche will feature the church’s own highly skilled ensembles in 2017, as always. Under the leadership of the Frauenkirche’s choirmaster and organist, Matthias Grünert, the choir, chamber choir and the Frauenkirche ensemble will perform in over 20 concerts—from explanatory pre-concert talks to evening-length concerts—aside from their duties during religious services.
The chamber choir will present the St John Passion, which will be recorded for Berlin Classics, as well as the Mass in B-minor, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Haydn’s ‘Harmoniemesse’, Monteverdi’s ‘Vespro della Beata Vergine’ and Mozart’s Requiem. The choir will perform Haydn’s Great Organ Mass and his Missa Sancti Bernardi von Offida, Mendelssohn’s ‘Lobgesang’ (‘Hymn of Praise’) and Mozart’s Coronation Mass. By including many mass settings, especially in the programmes for Sundays and church holidays, choirmaster and organist, Matthias Grünert, is deliberately linking to an ecumenical message.
A clear focus on Bach is also evident in the choice of composers in 2017. Again, 10 Bach Cycle concerts, several performances of the Cantatas, and Dresden Organ Cycle programmes are dedicated to the Frauenkirche’s musical patron. In addition, the choirmaster and Frauenkirche organist invite audiences to join them on a musical journey through the Baroque Dresden of 1736 with three recently devised BACH organ recitals. Other highlights of the repertoire include Organ Night-time Concerts, which, particularly in the summer months, feature the talents of younger generations of composers and organ improvisations.
Renowned soloists, prestigious orchestras
Several renowed singers have agreed to perform as part of the Frauenkirche’s 2017 programme. Valer Sabadus, Andreas Scholl, Julia Lezhneva, Nuria Rial, Dame Emma Kirkby and Dorothee Mields will delight audiences with their intense and moving performances. They will appear with well-known ensembles, such as the Cappella Gabetta, the Ensemble 1700, the Basel Chamber Orchestra, La Stagione Frankfurt, Bell’Arte Salzburg and the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra of Leipzig.
Instrumentalists, such as Martin Stadtfeld and the Mozart Orchestra of Mannheim, will dedicate their performances to the work of the Bach family, whilst Daniel Hope and the Baroque orchestra, l'arte del mondo, will perform the lost and recovered treasures of Vivaldi. Three exciting piano evenings will highlight the artistic force field that can exist between music, instrument and performer. Fazil Say, who will make a guest appearance with the Russian St Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, will perform his piano concerto no. 2, ‘Music between cultures’. Kit Armstrong will present compositions by Bach, Brahms and Busconi. Sebastian Knauer will perform Arash Safaian’s ÜBERBACH – a respectful, sensitive and courageous translation of Bach’s aural vocabulary into the modern world, thus clearly demonstrating the timelessness of the Baroque master.
Thanks to our prestigious collaborators, other talented performers have agreed to contribute to our programme. Christian Tetzlaff and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and Waltraud Meier and the Dresdner Festspielorchester have devised two of the four Frauenkirche evenings for the Dresden Music Festival. Our collaboration with the MDR Orchestra, MDR Musiksommer, the Dresden Staatskapelle, and the Heinrich-Schütz Music Festival continues in 2017.
The Frauenkirche has the potential and opportunity to inspire a wide public with an interest in music, to introduce a younger audience to classical music, and to acquaint the traditional concert-going public with new developments in music.
Designed specifically for a younger audience, our Church Concerts for Young Ears and our Musical Classroom projects will continue this year, as will our concert talks for young people. In 2017 the concert talks will focus on the cooperation between the brothers, Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian Bach, and will lead into a workshop concert performance of the Christmas Oratorio.
Our concert audiences can hear artists in conversation as part of several pre-concert lectures, specifically planned to introduce the works being performed. Two pre-concert lectures of particular note will take place in April and October. At the Albertinum, art history specialists and music experts will speak about paintings that address and rework musical themes. The talks at the museum will act as exclusive preludes to concert evenings at the Frauenkirche, and as an inspiring introduction to both paintings and music.
Tickets, Offers and Discounts
Tickets can be bought online and in person at the Frauenkirche’s Advance Booking Office on Georg-Treu-Platz 3 (Mon-Fri, 9 am – 6 pm, Sat 9am – 3pm, tel.: 0351-656 06 701).
Offers and Discounts
In 2017, Dresden residents can look forward to five special concerts, for which tickets for all available seats will cost only EUR 15.00 each. Special performances include:
- Sa | 11.02. | 20 Uhr: Konzert in Erinnerung an die Zerstörung im Zweiten Weltkrieg
- Sa | 29.04. | 20 Uhr: Große Stimmen: Julia Lezhneva & das Kammerorchester Basel
- Sa | 02.09. | 20 Uhr: Magali Mosnier & Philharmonisches Kammerorchester Dresden
- Sa | 07.10. | 20 Uhr: Abschlusskonzert der Frauenkirchen-Bachtage u.a. mit Sebastian Knauer
- Sa | 25.11. | 17 Uhr: Brahms-Requiem mit dem MDR Rundfunkchor & MDR Sinfonieorchester
If they wish, audience members can buy a Frauenkirche card. When you buy tickets for three or more events, your tickets will automatically be converted into a Frauenkirche card plus+, with which you can get a 25% discount on your purchases of additional tickets this year and next. (You will find more information on the Frauenkirche card here.)
We are continuing our cooperation with the Sächsische Zeitung, DREWAG and the ‘Dresden for friends’ card, which offer holders discounts of up to 50%. Two joint subscriptions with the State Theatre Dresden are also available. (You will find more information about offers and subscriptions here.)
Please find additional information about our programme HERE.