20 November 2023

A liberal tradition

We attended another Motet at Thomaskiche but this time no Bach. It was a surprise but structured much the same way. Organ opening; various readings as song by choir and soloist/s; some congregational singing; a sermon and the Lord's prayer and benediction; organ to finish. But this music was strange to our ears, from synagogues. A young slick man in front of me was dicreetly videoing the sermon and more although this is "strictly prohibited for copyright reasons and in the interest of an undisturbed event". I wondered at any political implications given the current war and an Israeli event in Marktplaz days before, under lights and PA and attendant Police vans, announcing those 1,400 losses to Hamas. No mention of deaths from the response. And that music from Synagogues (Synagogengesange). Then an awareness that this was a performance by the Leipzig Synagogue Choir from the liberal traditions, formed in 1962 and recorded in the German register of intangible cultural assets and a member of the Tolerant Saxony Network and had taken on a quasi-ambassadorial function between East and West in the Cold War. So, a worthy history. Still, somewhat a challenge to my ears. And I'd love to know just what that bloke planned to do with those recordings.

The Thursday Motet at Thomaskirche featured the Leipzig Synagogue Choir with Anja Poche (soprano) and Ivo Mrvelj (organ) under Philipp Goldmann (conductor).

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