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7. Festival | 13. - 21.04.2019

Carl Loewe - between duty and freestyle

On April 20, 2019, we commemorated the 150th anniversary of the death of the composer Carl Loewe (Löbejün,1796-Kiel,1869), who is often reverently called the “King of Ballads” by connoisseurs.
However, since Carl Loewe worked primarily in church music throughout his life, the focus of the 7th Carl Loewe Festival was placed on his church music work, under the motto "Carl Loewe - between duty and freestyle".

Loewe's many years of activities in Stettin in the combination of school and singing teacher, choir director, city music director, organist and cantor are still a fascination and inspiration for further study of his life and work.

Special thanks go to the representatives of the Halle-Saalkreis Evangelical Church District and the Wettin Community Church Association, who made a significant contribution to the success of these special holidays.

The extensive festival program and the spectrum of active participants began with the students of our Carl Loewe primary school and the Carl Loewe music school, led to Helois Ph. Palmer on the grand piano (opening event) and KMD Irénée Peyrot on the organ of St. Petri to nationally and internationally known and sought-after vocal ensembles such as SJAELLA and NOBILES from Leipzig or vocal soloists such as Miriam Sharoni and Annika Mendrala, accompanied on the piano by the multiple Grammy award winner Cord Garben.

We were able to welcome national and international guests to Löbejün on this occasion, including representatives of the Japanese Carl Loewe Society and also members from the Netherlands, Switzerland and German partner companies.

The Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk broadcast live the festival concert with the ensembles SJAELLA and NOBILES on Easter Saturday, 7:30 p.m., from the town hall in the historic town estate, as well as the Easter Sunday service, 10:00 a.m., from the town church of St. Petri Löbejün.

The program in detail:

OPENING WITH ORGAN CONCERT / Motto: “Löbejüner roots and wings”

Saturday, April 13, 2019, 6:00 p.m., St. Petri City Church, Löbejün

The poet laureate Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once wrote it in his parents' family register: "Children should get two things from their parents: roots and wings." Not all parents may succeed in this. However, this absolutely applies to the parents of the composer and German ballad king Carl Loewe.

At the opening event of the 7th Carl Loewe Festival on Saturday, April 13th, the President of the International Carl Loewe Society Andreas Porsche recalled the roots that the boy Carl Loewe had in his family through his father, mother and siblings . Singing and playing music in the evenings at the Loewe house was just as much a part of it as was learning to sing in the choir and play the organ in the neighboring town church of St. Petri. The wings came to the roots: Loewe found his way to Stettin via the stations in Köthen and Halle, where he became cantor and city music director. Born in 1796 in the town of Löbejün, he died 150 years ago on April 20, 1869 in Kiel.

Because Loewe was not only the ballad king throughout his life, but also a committed church musician, the 7th Carl Loewe Festival was entirely focused on this. KMD Irénée Peyrot, organist at the Marktkirche Halle, organized the opening concert in a unique and extraordinary way. Compositions that Loewe originally wrote for piano and voice were adapted for playing on the queen of instruments. Already from the first piece, the movement “Bethesda” from Carl Loewe's Biblical Pictures, one could get the impression that this piece had always been written for the organ. Peyrot also found the right stops on the Rühlmann organ in Löbejün for Carl Loewe's well-known ballads and thrilled his listeners, who thanked him with long-lasting applause.

Among them was Prime Minister Dr. Reiner Haseloff, who, as patron of the festival, insisted on being there in person at the start. In his welcoming speech, he emphasized the special importance of Löbejün and Carl Loewe for the music country of Saxony-Anhalt. According to the state father, the people of Löbejün could rightly be proud that such a remarkable person like Carl Loewe was able to put down his roots in Löbejün.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 10:00 a.m., auditorium of the Carl Loewe Elementary School

Since the middle of last year, around 30 primary school children from the Carl Loewe primary school have been rehearsing with their teachers Ms. Heinig and Ms. Bonnke and occasionally with two students from the University of Halle-Wittenberg (music teaching) for the cooperative school project in honor of the 150th anniversary of the composer's death .


On board the participants were Ms. Ina Meyer and Ms. Kerstin Willhelm, puppeteers from Halle and 10 instrumental students from the “Carl Loewe” district music school. Since the beginning of the school year, the children and carers have been interested in the composer's life. Many of his songs and ballads reflect the experiences of his childhood.

In October 2018, everyone met at the Carl Loewe House and looked for clues together, listened to experiences from little Carl's childhood and were amazed at the big differences between Loewe's time and the present. This is how the idea for the project came about in several rounds of discussions, which was performed on Wednesday, April 17th at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of the Carl Loewe Elementary School.

The "Carl Loewe" doll and the elementary school students had a lively dialogue, which was received with great response and enthusiasm by all the other students and the numerous guests.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 7:30 p.m., “Salon Robert Franz” in the Wilhelm-Friedemann-Bach-Haus, Halle (Saale)

"Carl Loewe, musician in the field of tension between improvisation and composition"

The lecture by Prof. Ulrich Messthaler (Basel) on the above. The topic stimulated the many listeners in the Friedemann Bach House in Halle to engage in a lively exchange of ideas.
In his very understandable and yet scientifically based statements and in his comparison of Loewe with other composers, he convincingly brought Loewe's special nature to life.

"Carl Loewe was known for his ability to improvise on the piano. Yes, he even regularly included an impromptu song in his concert programs, the text of which was suggested by the audience. This gift of improvisation is also known to us from other composers, Let's think of Bach, Beethoven or Chopin. While these composers tried with great effort to write down a valid version that would stand as a "work" and serve as the basis for a more or less faithful reproduction, this is not always the case with Loewe Case. His songs and ballads require a freer style of interpretation, just as the composer himself probably did, in order to be convincing. What possibilities are there for a musician today to realize this approach?"

Ulrich Messthaler is a professor at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where he has led a singing and song class since 1990. As a self-accompanying singer, he follows in a performance tradition that Carl Loewe also practiced. Messthaler's artistic, educational and journalistic work is based on intensive research into the performance aesthetics of the time.


Friday, April 19, 2019, 3:00 p.m., St. Petri City Church, Löbejün

Regional service of the Wettin parish association; Pastor Andreas Schuster

The traditional Halle City Singing Choir under the direction of Clemens Flämig and young orchestra musicians from the three Saalekreis music schools provided an impressive musical accompaniment to the regional service.

The town church of St. Petri, which was still in a renovation phase until immediately before the start of the festive season, had rarely seen so many visitors. Although some were only able to experience the service standing, everyone left the city church full of devotion and enthusiasm.


Good Friday, April 19, 2019, 7:00 p.m., town hall in the historic town estate, Löbejün

Under the motto "Carl Loewe - Ballad King - an underestimated song composer" relatively rarely performed early Heine settings were performed, among others. by Carl Loewe, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Robert Schumann, e.g. B. the Loewe settings DER HEINE LIEDERKREIS op. 9 H.I (1828), duets from the piano sonata in E major op. 16 and from the duets trifolium op. 104 (after Goethe) as well as settings of Heine poems by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Robert Schumann.
The honorary member of the International Carl Loewe Society, Cord Garben (Hamburg), accompanied two young sopranos, Miraim Sharoni and Annika Mendrala from Hamburg.


Saturday, April 20, 2019, 5:00 p.m., Bogenhaus in the historic town estate, Löbejün

The lecture with Götz Traxdorf from Halle at 5 p.m. on Easter Saturday attracted a lot of attention, particularly among guests interested in music history. In the past few months he had intensively studied Carl Loewe's work as a church musician and studied numerous sources. He presented the results of his investigations to the public for the first time this afternoon in the arch house of the city estate.

The International Carl Loewe Society, as publisher of issue 5 of its series, was able to win over the renowned art publisher Janos Stekovics from the town of Wettin-Löbejün. Issue 5 contains the essay by Götz Traxdorf together with a systematically structured list of Carl Loewe's church music works and is supplemented by a third part with a large number of interesting illustrations on the life and work of Carl Loewe, some of which have been published for the first time.
This magazine can be purchased at the Carl Loewe House or ordered via our online shop “Publikationen”.


Saturday, April 20, 2019, 7:30 p.m., town hall in the historic town estate, Löbejün

The celebratory concert on the 150th anniversary of Carl Loewe's death under the motto "My song should raise you" contained sacred and secular a cappella music, especially by Carl Loewe.
It was broadcast live by MDR-Kultur.

The two a capella vocal ensembles, Sjaella and Nobiles, both from Leipzig and at home on international stages, thrilled the audience. Their examination of Loewe's choral compositions and the new arrangements specially developed for this concert revealed a new, previously little-known facet of Loewe's work.
It should be emphasized that three songs from "Three Songs" op. 80 were performed in this concert, which are based on Carl Loewe's rediscovered, rare original manuscript, which were presented to the public for the first time as an important new acquisition by the museum on the 7th Carl Loewe Festival . This is an autograph music manuscript of an 11-page complete choral work by Carl Loewe, op. 80.
The songs presented included “Der Lindenbaum” (based on a text by W. A. Häring), “Auf dem See” (based on a text by J.W. von Goethe), “My song should raise you” (based on a text by Georg Ernst von Rühling).


Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, St. Petri City Church

The Easter Sunday 2019 service was broadcast live as a radio service by MDR-Kultur from the St. Petri town church in Löbejün.
It was designed by Superintendent Kant of the Halle-Saalkreis Evangelical Church District and the pastors Andreas and Birgit Schuster. He was musically enriched by the vocal ensemble SJAELLA and KMD Peyrot on the restored Rühlmann organ.

After the service, most of the worshipers accepted the invitation from the local church community and the International Carl Loewe Society to end the festive season in the form of an Easter coffee table with live music from the big band "Brass Impressions" from the "Carl Loewe" district music school in the best sunny weather in the churchyard in Löbejun.


The 150th birthday of the composer Carl Loewe was commemorated throughout Germany in a variety of events around April 20th.

That's why the 7th Carl Loewe Festival received a special, unprecedented media presence.

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