Bochum: A new Place of Worship for Music

Bochumer Symphoniker /Steven Sloane
Live from the Anneliese Brost Musikforum Ruhr
Direction: Gösta Courkamp
WDR / ARTE Concert

Baruch ata Adonaj, elohejnu melech ha’olam
Schehechejanu wekijemanu wehigianu las’man hase

(Blessed art thou, o Lord our God, King of the Universe, who gave us life,
kept us safe and brought us to this present time.

The Hebrew blessing, a Cantata by Stefan Heucke, starts the new Bochumer Anneliese Brost Musikforum Ruhr.

In Judaism this short text also has to do with an inauguration: it is spoken at the first night of Hanukkah, the festival of lights that lasts for eight days, to commemorate the Holy Temple in Jerusalem being rededicated in 164 BC, after having been conquered by the Seleucid King Antiochos IV. He forbade Judaism and dedicated the Temple to a place to worship Zeus. The Jewish freedom fighter Judas Maccabeus expelled the occupier and the Temple was consecrated anew "accompanied by songs, zither- and harp and the sound of cymbals."

The composer from Bochum, Stefan Heucke, uses big consonants and a huge instrumental display for his consecration music for the Hebrew lyrics of the blessing, and takes into account the immense space of the new musical "place of worship. In addition to the regular choir and the big orchestra more vocal and instrumental soloists are positioned in the galleries on either side. His work has actually been formed as an eight-part cycle of variations ending with a crowning fugue (stretto). Also the musicians constantly change place and musical routine while performing the text sung in Hebrew, 'which makes it', according to the composer, 'very easy for the audience to follow the proceedings'. At the end of the piece the place is filled with performing and singing people from Bochum who have taken complete possession of the hall.

Gustav Mahler Symphonie No.1 in D („Titan“)

'It is experience and suffering I have put into it, truth and invention in tones.' Gustav Mahler about his first Symphony. After the premiere in 1894 in Budapest, the work was known as 'Symphony No.1 in D Major, "Titan".
The first symphony already shows everything that would characterize Mahler; here we already hear the sound of the melody he used during his life and developed it to the utmost: his dedication to nature and thoughts of death", according to Arnold Schönberg in 1913. Now Mahler's first sounds at the opening of the Anneliese Brost Musikforum Ruhr, and building the new hall in Bochum was a titanic undertaking as well.

Stefan Heucke (*1959):

Baruch ata Adonaj - Blessed art thou, O Lord our God
op. 77 Cantata about a Hebrew blessing for Baritone, three boy trebles, singers, choir and orchestra
Theme. Very quietly and mystically
Var. 1. lively
Var. 2. quietly and solemnly
Var. 3. moving, a little restless
Var. 4. somewhat slowly
Var. 5. lively and pressing
Var. 6. very slowly
Var. 7. very lively, taut and rhythmic
Var. 8. Fugue. In moderate tempo
(Commissioned work of the Bochumer Symphoniker, UA 27. and 28. October 2016 Anneliese Brost Musikforum Ruhr in Bochum)

Interview with Steven Sloane by Gösta Courkamp

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911):
Symphony nr. 1 in D-major "Titan"

1. Slowly. Dragging. Always moderately
2. moving strongly, but not too quickly
3. solemnly and unhurried without dragging
4. stormily agitated
(UA 20. November 1889 in Budapest,
creation 1884-88)

Martijn Cornet, Baritone
Boy singers of the Chorakademie Dortmund, choirmaster Bednarz Salm
ChorWerk Ruhr, choirmaster Florian Helgath
Philharmonischer Chor Bochum, choirmaster Susanne Blumenthal
students of the Musikschule Bochum
Bochumer Symphoniker
Steven Sloane, conductor

Composer Stefan Heucke was born in Gaildorf (Baden-Württenberg) and lives in Bochum since 1996. Two constants characterize his work, which includes symphonic- and chamber music as well as opera: a fascination with the human voice, solo as well as in choirs, and his discussions about lyrical and sacred texts. Beside the many awards and invitations as composer-in-residence are highlights like the Hans-Werner-Henze-price 2007, requests for compositions for the Deutschen Symphonie-Orchester Berlin 2013 and his actual job at the Staunton Music Festival in USA.

For the past 25 years, especially around the Rhein-Ruhr area, Stefan Heucke is considered a man of consequence and contributed to first nights and residencies with the Bochumer Symphoniker, the Duisburger Philharmoniker, the Niederrheinischen Sinfoniker and the Kulturhauptstadt RUHR.2010.

Cast & Crew

Gösta Courkamp