VOICES FROM THE DREISAM VALLEY (Satis Shroff)
The concert began with Andachtsjodler,
A song from South Tyrol in 1820s,
Was rendered by the men’s choirs
From Kappel and Sankt Peter.
Followed by ‘O Heiland, reiß die Himmel auf,’
An archaic advents song printed
In 1622 in Würzburg.
Rorate coeli de super,
Et nubs pluant justum.
The men’s choir Oberried sang:’Macht hoch die Tür’
A song composed in East Prussia in the 17th century.
‘lift up your heads, ye might gates,’
The English version by Catherine Winkworth,
Of the original by Georg Wissel (1590-1636).
‘Trostet mein Volk’ sand the men from Kirchzartener,
A spiritual cantate composed by Roman Zybal.
The Gesangverein Ebnet and the mixed choir Zarten
Sang Wolf Biermann’s ‘Ermutigung’ from 1965,
Composed by the poet in times of Stasi terror.
Biermann dedicated the poem to his friend Peter Huchel
Who was isolated and kept under watch by the secret police.
Johann Friedrih Reicherthardt’s ‘Heilige Nacht’
Was also sung by the choirs from Ebnet and Zarten.
‘E Flämmli glüeht, e Liechtli brennt’
With lyrics and melody by Gerhard Jung,
Was sung by the men’s choir Zarten.
Our men’s choir from Kappel chose to sing
A love ballad with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
And posed the question:
‘Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Remember me to one who lives there,
She was once a true love of mine.’
The men’s choir Buchenbach sand Beethoven’s
‘Hymne an die Nacht.’ Hymns to the Night.
‚Lobegesang‘ with music by Gerhard Rabe
Was sung by the men’s choir Oberried.
Next was a French dance melody from the 16th century,
Later penned in English as:’Ding! Dong! Merrily on High;
Followed by a spiritual song: ‘This Little Light of Mine.’
‘Kyrie’ composed by Eugene Thomas in G-major,
Was rendered by the men’s choir Kirchzarten.
‘Komm göttliches Licht’ which i a sort of advent chant,
Was sung by the men’s choir from Zarten.
Johannes Götz played the Introduction et Variation
Sur une Ancien Noel Polonaise composed for the orgel
By Alexandre Guilmant.
Since the advent is already in Sankt Peter,
With snow everywhere in the Schwarzwald hamlet,
We 170 singers sang ‘Winterfreude’ with gusto.
This was followed by ‘Trommellied’ composed
By American Katherin K. Davis in 1941:
‘Little Drummer Boy’ is the story of a poor boy,
Who can’t afford a present and plays the drum.
The newborn is touched by the poor boy’s gesture.
The Austrian Trapp family made this song popular.
All German choirs sang in French the song:
‘Cantique pour Noel,’
Weihnachtsgesang with Gerald Lauby as solist.
Then came a spiritual from the 17th century: ‘Deep River.’
Those were the times when millions of people were shipped
From frica to America as slaves.
Children lost their parents,
Women lost their husbands.
Only music gave the enslaved people
Hope and a way to express their feelings:
‘Deep River, Lord
I want to cross over
Into camp ground.’
Years later on August 28, 1963
Martin Luther King Jr. Said:
‘I have a dream that my four children
Will one day live in a nation
Where they will not be judges
By the colour of their skin
But by the content of their character.’
Adeste Fideles was the last song,
In German: ‘Herbei, O ihr Gläubigen,’
Composed by Francis Wade (1711-1786).
As we drove home along the snowy landscape,
From Sankt Peter to Kappel we could see
The stars glittering in the sky and naked trees.
A successful concert judging from the applause.