You don't hear the high "e" in the choir every day! Harmony" is the key word here. The harmony, the perfect intonation are central in choral singing, but here "harmony" goes beyond that. The German-French harmony is the theme - also its temporary absence. Poulenc's famous choral work "Figure humaine" was written in France during the occupation. The music has a goal towards which it is heading: the mighty "Liberté", "Freiheit", on the final chord, in a quadruple fortissimo, which demands the aforementioned three-stroked "E" from the soprano. To this, in counter-cut, Brahms' "Fest- und Gedenksprüche", celebrating the founding of the German Reich in 1871. Along the way, the programme confronts Protestant and Catholic singing traditions. Incidentally, on the day of the liberation of Paris, Poulenc hung his "Figure" score out of the window. To shout out to the world: Here, for once, art has triumphed over barbarism.
With surtitles in German and English
Francis Poulenc Priez pour paix for voice and piano Figure humaine Cantata for choir a cappella
Carl Loewe Die Walpurgisnacht op. 25 for soli, choir and piano
Gabriel Fauré Madrigal op. 35 Les Djinns op. 12 Pavane op. 50 for choir and piano
Johannes Brahms Festive and Commemorative Sayings op. 109 for choir a cappella