"Only heavenly music": not a line from the work "stella natalis by karl jenkins could better describe the concert that the visitors experienced in the packed parish church in habfurt on christkonig sunday. For the kantorei habberge, the oratorienchor and the orchestra wurzburg, soprano christina roterberg and trumpeter moritz gorg, under the direction of matthias gottemann, performed the cycle of twelve songs so excellently that the audience thanked them with standing ovations for the musical enjoyment.
The fact that the artists and the composer of this christmas work are very popular with music lovers in the region was already shown by the fact that the parish church was once again fully occupied. Moreover, the performance of nearly 100 singers, who could hardly find room in the choir room despite the coarse platform, together with the musicians promised a coarse sound. "Stella natalis illuminates in the twelve sentences different aspects of the christmas and winter time with old and new texts in the world language music.
His multifaceted timbres, harmonies and rhythms appeal to a wide variety of emotions in a modern yet enchanting and driving way. They create a feeling of well-being that flows through the whole body and leaves nothing but heavenly music.
It is to matthias gottemann’s credit that the choir mastered the challenges of the work so excellently, which consist on the one hand in the sometimes complicated rhythmics and on the other hand in the constant change from one key to another. As always, the conductor paid great attention to the intonation, but also to the pronunciation and the dynamic and interpretative shaping of the various movements.
The singers succeeded in expressing the different messages, sometimes quietly and with a certain degree of poise, sometimes loudly and powerfully, sometimes rhythmically pointed, sometimes in broad arcs, sometimes intimately, sometimes lively and always full of tension. While the choir – always in attentive communication with the conductor – impressed with a sound like velvet and silk and admirable articulation, soprano christina roterberg touched with her beautiful voice and expressive singing.
Another high point in the work is the solo part for trumpet, with which moritz gorg, playing a C, a D and a bass trumpet, demonstrated his virtuosity. Especially the "duets between his trumpet and the soprano voice of christina roterberg were true highlights of this concert.
Not only the strings of the wurzburg orchestra, but also the percussionists contributed to the overall success. After all, stephanie carr-lemmerich and evgenia kavaldjieva, playing the darbuka, glockenspiel, xylophone, tambourine, tomtoms, snare drum, finger cymbals, triangle, cymbals and sledge sounds, were extremely virtuosic in creating interesting timbres and rhythmic variety.
For the enthusiastic applause, all participants performed the lullaby "lul lay" again at the request of the auditorium as an encore, so that the listeners went home quite exhilarated.