November is the time for remembering Souls and celebrating Saints. Collaboration seems to be the key word to Season XIII; we will once again collaborate with guest conductor Kathy Romey whose proposal centers around Totentanz of Hugo Distler (1908-1942). First performed in 1934 in Lübeck Germany, this unusual composition for a cappella chorus and speakers was inspired by the well-known St. Mary’s Church Totentanz fresco. Distler was profoundly influenced by the Deutsche Sprüche von Leben und Tod (German Sayings of Life and Death) of Leonhard Lechner (1533-1606).
The structure and text of Distler’s work consists of 14 Choral Epigrams or Aphorisms, sung by a cappella choir. Sung in German, each one is followed first by a short recorder solo and then, a dialogue (spoken in English) between an individual, who delivers a farewell speech to life and sometimes a justification for their existence, and Death, who examines them and makes the judgment as to whether their time has come. We conclude the program with motets of Henrich Schütz (1585-1672), including the stunning Selig sind die Toten SWV 391.
- Saturday, November 2, 7:30 pm – Reformation Lutheran Church, Saint Paul
- Sunday, November 3, 3:00 pm – Sacred Heart Church, Owatonna, MN