Immortal Bach Ensemble
The Immortal Bach Ensemble has its roots in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. In 2001 Morten Schuldt-Jensen, the former director of the Gewandhaus choirs, formed the GewandhausKammerchor, its members having been recruited from the top professional concert and choral singers of Germany, The Netherlands, Southern Scandinavia and Switzerland.
With this handpicked ensemble Schuldt-Jensen works on projects with a variety of programmes and a very wide-ranging repertoire, from baroque oratorios to twentieth-century a cappella music, for which the choir has been acclaimed by audiences and the press alike. In addition to frequent performances in Leipzig and at high profile venues such as Schleswig-Holstein and Rheingau, the choir has produced several highly praised CDs, with acclaimed recordings of Mozart’s Requiem and Davide Penitente, Haydn’s the Seasons, Sacred music by Scarlatti and all the Schubert masses by for Naxos.
Since May 2006 the GewandhausKammerchor has been renamed the Immortal Bach Ensemble. The title ‘Immortal Bach’ is taken from a work by the Norwegian composer Knut Nystedt, a “sound spectrographic” arrangement of a Bach chorale in different tempi and sequences, thus demonstrating the artistic credo of the choir: The Immortal Bach Ensemble aims to combine old and new and with top quality performances, seeking to explore new ideas and perspectives that are captivating for both singers and audience.
The Leipzig Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1971 by members of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra who were, in addition to playing larger-scale symphonic and operatic repertory, striving for the experience of performance practice on a more individual level.
Morten Schuldt-Jensen, artistic director since 2000, has formed a very flexible ensemble with a very personal style that suits the present time. Their interest in rhetorical detail, the different colours to be achieved by even simple chords and a dynamic force deriving from the composition’s structure has led them to a unique intensity of sound that appears not only in well-known repertoire but in some more unusual works recorded by the orchestra. They seek to perform compositions on modern instruments with extra care, combining the technical possibilities of modern instruments with the latest insights of performance practice from baroque music to the present.
The Leipzig Chamber Orchestra with its conductor Morten Schuldt-Jensen has toured Denmark, Germany, Spain, Korea, and Japan, and appeared at the Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festivals. Together with the Immortal Bach Ensemble (formerly GewandhausKammerchor) they have made some remarkable recordings including Mozart’s Requiem and all the Masses by Franz Schubert.
Since the beginning in 1984 Sokkelund Sangkor has worked ith all types of choral music ranging from Gregorian Chant through contemporary music and jazz/rock. With an exquisite sound modulation, an impeccable intonation, a breathtakingly musical phrasing and its dynamic and extremely convincing performances the choir is a fine ambassador for the Scandinavian choral tradition. The choir belongs to the absolute elite in Scandinavia and has won the „Holmboe-Price 2001“ (considered the Danish Choral Championship) and the Chamber Choir Competition of the European Broadcasting Union.
Sokkelund Sangkor works in concentrated periods focused on a certain repertoire or a special project. Despite the very high public profile on the symphonic concerts of the choir, a-cappella concerts are considered the nucleus of the work. Here a certain idea or subject (e.g. a literary theme, a certain time of year, a composer etc.) is treated with variation in musical style and with a very personal and not seldom provocative angle.
Sokkelund Sangkor is also involved in collaborations with some of the best instrumental ensembles. Helsingborg Symfoniorkester from Sweden and Leipzig Chamber Orchestra should be mentioned as partners in the annual Messiah-concerts in Garnisons Church in Copenhagen, for a number of years till now reviewed by the music critics as the best performance available. But also concerts with some of Denmark’s best jazz musicians belong to the highlights of every concert season, as do the symphonic concerts in the Tivoli Concert Hall along with partners like e.g. the Vocal Ensemble of the National Danish Radio.
The CD-production and broadcasts of the choir mirror this wide repertoire profile, here you will find jazz-and gospel recordings with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Ole Kock Hansen and Etta Cameron, Handels Messiah, recordings of national Danish Romantic opera alongside with feinschmecker-a-cappella music by the Danish composer Vagn Holmboe.