European Culture: Spiritual Concert (Satis Shroff)

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Geistliche Konzert: From Evening Rise to Hine Ma Tov (Satis Shroff)

Man soll alle Tage wenigstens

Ein kleines Lied hören,

Ein gutes Gedicht lesen,

Ein treffliches Gemälde sehen und,

Wenn es möglich zu machen wäre,

Einige vernünftige Worte sprechen.

–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It was a lovely evening in Kappel’s graveyard on one of those green benches and looking at the three big trees where a lot of birds were twittering and chirping, coming home to roost. You could discern the water sprout of a nearby fountain with the water splashing incessantly. Tits and finches were flying about on the tree tops. I heard heavy steps and saw the anticipated faces of the members of our men’s choir.

I greeted them with ‘Grüß Gott die Herren!’ and was greeted by smiling faces, all wearing the choir uniform, ties studded with myriads of lyras, white shirts, black shoes and trousers and cobalt blue blazers. Reminded my of the Brit school I went to in my schooldays in the foothills of the Himalayas.

This time we had another motto: geistliche Musik aus aller Welt, that is, spiritual music from all over the world. This time our guests were Intermezzo Ihringen, yes Ihringen, the sunniest place in Germany and excellent wines.

We sang ‘Evening Rise,’ which is a Native American song, in German together with or guests from Intermezzo Ihringen, which is a mixed choir. The audience was advised not to applaud after every song but at the end.

We from the MGV-Kappel sang a song composed by L. Mason and arranged by our common conductor Johannes Söllner: ‘Näher mein Gott’, which I knew as ‘Nearer to Thee’ from my school days, which was sung during a retreat in the woods where we were obliged to write resolution on pieces of paper and then burn them in the end. Our second song was ‘Tebje payom’ by D. Bortnyansky.

This was followed by a Mongolian song sung by Mrs. Schneider who hails from Ulan bator.

Intermezzo Ihringen sang ‘Weit Weg’ by H. von Goisern, followed by G. Sutherland’s ‘Sailing,’ made famous by  Rod Stewart.

Since Christian Kohler couldn’t make it, the orgel-improvisation was done by Robert Klöckner, a lanky, bespectacled guy, who plays the orgel in neighbouring Ebnet and studies Music as a Freshman.

We then sang two songs: ‘Sancta Maria,’ a slow song with feeling, followed by ‘Heil dir, Heil’ge Himmelskönigin’, an spiritual from England.

Another Mongolian song came thereafter, which evoked images of the vast Stepplands because the singer shouted in her songs. It was delightful to hear her and her headgear and golden costume reminded me of Tibetan festive clothes. The Mongolians are Buddhists too, despite the long years of Soviet rule.

Intermezzo Ihringgen then brought groove to the evening and  sang ‘Swing Low’, a spiritual followed by ‘Didn’t my Lord Deliver Daniel’, a gospel song.

Robert Klöckner played his orgel-improvisations for the second time.

After that we sang ‘Hine ma tov,’ a popular song from Israel, followed by ‘Good News’, a gospel song with the theme ‘chariots are coming’ and threatening to destroy a folk that is on the run. Then came ‘Hora Jerusalem,’ another well-known song from Israel. The encore song was, as usual, the German version of ‘The Rivers of Babylon.’

After the concert, we all went over to the Gemeindehaus, a wooden house built in the Schwarzwald-style, where we drank beer, wine, ate brezeln and other German dishes like sausages and steaks and talked animatedly late into the night.

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