Mondnacht: Works for A Cappella Choir by C & R Schumann & W Killmayer | Es-Dur ES2078

Mondnacht: Works for A Cappella Choir by C & R Schumann & W Killmayer


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Label: Es-Dur

Cat No: ES2078

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 15th January 2021



NDR Chor


Philipp Ahmann


Gottwald, Clytus

Killmayer, Wilhelm

...wie in Welschland lau und blau...

Schumann, Clara

Mixed Choruses (3), op.19

Schumann, Robert

Doppelchorige Gesange (4), op.141
Liederkreis, op.39
» no.5 Mondnacht (arr. Clytus Gottwald)
Romanzen fur Frauenstimmen I (6), op.69
Romanzen und Balladen (5), op.67
» no.1 Der Konig von Thule
» no.3 Heidenroslein
» no.4 Ungewitter
Romanzen und Balladen fur Chor II (5), op.75
» no.1 Schnitter Tod
» no.2 Im Walde
Romanzen und Balladen fur Chorgesang III (5), op.145
» no.1 Der Schmid
Romanzen und Balladen fur Chorgesang IV (6), op.146
» no.4 Sommerlied
» no.5 Das Schifflein


NDR Chor


Philipp Ahmann


In July 2018, the NDR Choir and Philipp Ahmann gave a highly acclaimed concert at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival as part of the SHMF Chornacht, which focused on the choral works of Robert Schumann. The CD “Mondnacht”, carefully produced during this time, is now being released as the fifth CD of the NDR Choir on ES-Dur.

If one considers Robert Schumann’s works for choir, the year 1849 turns out to be an extraordinarily productive one. He himself wrote to his publisher in the spring of 1849: “With true passion I have begun to write a collection of ballads for choir; something which, I believe, does not yet exist. It seems to me that this way of treating the balladic character results in an almost more effective pronunciation than individual vocal parts”

The background to this was Schumann’s activity as a conductor during his time in Dresden: he had first taken over Ferdinand Hiller’s Liedertafel at the site and had also founded a “Chorgesangsverein” himself, which he not only directed, but for which he also composed perseveringly. This is how the majority of Robert Schumann’s works recorded on the CD were created this year. A year earlier Clara Schumann had already composed her Three Mixed Choirs based on texts by the Lübeck poet Emanuel Geibel.

Eichendorff’s poem “Mondnacht” from 1835, to which the present recording owes its title, is probably the most famous poem of German Romanticism. The CD features the solo song, originally accompanied by piano, from Schumann’s Liederkreis op.39 in Clytus Gottwald’s version for mixed choir a cappella.

The combination of Schumann songs with those of contemporary composer and Carl Orff pupil Wilhelm Killmayer is only at first glance a bit of an adjustment. In fact, his eight songs for four-part male choir - they were written between 1995 and 1997 for the Renner Ensemble Regensburg, commissioned by the “Kissinger Sommer” - which are summarised under the framework quotation “ in Welschland laude and blue...”, build a bridge back to German Romanticism, thanks to their choice of text alone: Killmayer sets poems by Eichendorff exclusively to music.

Not only this: musically, too, Killmayer’s affinity to Schumann’s choral idiom is likely to strike even the most superficial listener.

“The NDR Choir is particularly impressive in terms of intonation and text comprehensibility. And one of the strengths of the excellently acting choir soloists is the ability to blend in with the homogeneous sound of the choir at all times.” - Fono Forum, May 2020

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