Ode For All (female choir)
by Cathy Milliken (2020)
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To mark the occasion of Beethoven's 250th birthday, the Goethe-Institute developed a series of themes and projects. Ode for All was one of the projects sponsored by the Goethe-Institute and other organisations in Germany, and involved six specially selected choirs from the Southeastern European countries.
The text to Ode to Joy (An die Freude) by Schiller is well known as part of the 4th movement of the 9th Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven, and its melody by Beethoven is the official European Anthem. The message of the text An die Freude is an appeal for peace. The central question behind this project was "What would an 'Ode For All', made up of many different and unique voices, sound like?"
Six female choirs from six Eastern-European countries were selected to each take part in two workshops with the artistic directors of the project to create their own musical responses to this text as well as perhaps contributing some of their own words. These choirs are "Sirene" from Istanbul/Turkey, "Alabrea" from Sofia/Bulgaria, "Svetlana Spajic Group" from Belgrade/Serbia, "Corona" from Sarajevo/Bosnia-Herzegovina, "Amalgamation Project" from Nicosia/Cyprus and "Symbol" from Bucharest/Romania. Each choir comprises of 6 women and one choir leader.
During the first phase of the project, three-hour workshops were held in November 2019 in the hometowns of the choirs to develop unique compositional material for the project.
In the second phase of the project with a 2 or 3-day second workshop period, all choirs will came together in Istanbul (either in December 2019 or January 2020) to present their specific idea and workshop their responses into a song format and further, to teach the now finished songs to the other choirs.
Finally Radialsystem V, a major performance venue in Berlin, was to host the premiere live performance in October 2020. This was modified to be a live presentation on 16.10.20 of the recorded and newly edited version (with video installation) due to Covid travel restrictions preventing the choirs from being present at that time.
The artistic curators of this choir project are composer Cathy Milliken and Mezzo Soprano and leader of the Choir "circles", Lucia Douchonova.
Instrumentation: 36 (6 x 6) female voices.
Duration: 45 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Goethe Institute.
First performance: 16 Oct 20. Radialsystem V Berlin
- In the form/style of: Collaboration
Performances of this work
16 Oct 20: Radialsystem V Berlin
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