Standing Ovations for Peace
Many choral friends und interested people came together in the Magdeburg Cathedral to listen to the music as a sign of peace.
Yesterday evening the Concert for Peace “Power of the Dream” in the Cathedral of Magdeburg was well-attended and one of the political and artistic highlights of the “2. European Choir Games & Grand Prix of Nations”. The concert was dedicated to the former president of the Federal Republic of Germany Walter Scheel on the occasion of his 96th birthday today.
Under the musical direction of Fred Sjöberg from Sweden international choirs and soloists presented compositions dedicated to peace. A musical highlight followed the next one.
At the beginning the church bells were calling for Peace, whereupon the cathedral was quiet. Die lights were turned off. The feeling of peace spread in the cathedral. The only light sources were coming from the candles in the hands of the singers of the first choir Örebro Chamber Choir Females. They sung a traditional Irish melody, which seemed very thoughtful and sad, and created goosebumps to everybody. Now the whole audience in the cathedral was touched by the singing and was invited to feel the peace message of the concert for the next following three hours.
After welcoming speeches the main song of the evening “Power of the Dream” (arranged by Stefan Berglund) was sung together by all choirs: Örebro Chamber Choir (Sweden) Coral Cantus Firmus (Brazil), University of Houston Moores School Concert Chorale (USA), Taipei Fu-Hsing Private School Choir (Chinese Taipei), Collegium Cantorum (Brazil), Exaudi Chor Magdeburg (Germany), Abbellimento (Czech Republic) Akustika Chamber Singers (South Africa). Accompanied by soft percussion, the big choir sang with a vocal power thatwowed everybody. It`s a very special thing to hear eight outstanding choirs singing together in one concert.
In the following each choir presented its phenomenal skills again. No song sounds like the other, every single song caught the public in a special way. But all of the performances had the main message of peace in common.
Another musical ear candy was the “My Song” by the Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds. The song had been particularly composed for the World Choir Games 2014 in Riga.
The main work of the evening, a German Premiere of the “Requiem for Peace” by the Canadian composer Larry Nickel marked the big closing of a long concert.
The composer Larry Nickel was happy to be in Magdeburg for this unique event: „It's amazing to be in a magnificent cathedral which is nearly 800 years old. […] Tonight I feel both pride and humility. I'm so grateful to Fred and his wonderful choir for this opportunity. […] Requiem for Peace remembers all of the civilians who died in the crossfire of warring nations. It is an earnest plea for forgiveness and reconciliation.”
The Requiem contains verses in different languages (Hebrew, Farsi, Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese, French, Dutch, Russian, German and English). As an international call for forgiveness and propitiation the choirs from all parts of the world sung together for the peace message in this work. A video presentation accompanied the singing, which harmonized with the verses and displayed pictures of humans in harm, war and devastation, but also impressions about propitiation and communality. The standing ovations by the audience affirmed that the German premiere was more than successful!
This crowning closing made the concert perfect as a sign of peace. Every single singer was great and made the concert a success! Our thanks go to all participants! You just delivered the call for peace!