Chor, Weltlich, Basel-Stadt
– Clothes from the '50s, knickerbockers, suspenders, corduroy jackets: from the outside the Männerstimmen Basel are deliberately antiquated, but...Read Biography
Clothes from the '50s, knickerbockers, suspenders, corduroy jackets: from the outside the Männerstimmen Basel are deliberately antiquated, but those clothes are worn by young men, who committed heart and soul to the male chorus literature.
A mixed bunch whose qualities impress juries at home and abroad, such as the victory in the category "men's choirs" at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati 2012, the prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary work at the "Fleischmann International Trophy Competition" in Cork in 2011 and numerous other awards.
Passion and ease at the same time are the attributes this choir excels at, on and off stage. Celebrating together is almost as important as singing together.
In concert, however, everyone is focused and attentive to the instructions of the conductors Oliver Rudin and David Rossel. The wide repertoire of Renaissance, Romanticism, folk songs and contemporary literature is interpreted in style and with great ardour.
A project like this is not created by accident. Many of the singers have a past in children's and youth choirs or study music. The choir was founded 2008 by former singers of Knabenkantorei Basel.
It’s no easy task for the two choir directors to select the pieces, because the repertoire needs to satisfy their own high standards and also needs to be accepted by this covenant of individualists.
Regularly the Männerstimmen award a commission to well-known contemporary composers (Rudolf Jaggi, Gion Antoni Derungs), or dig up unknown and long forgotten music, ready for any challenge.
Shared experiences form the group. The trips to Estonia, Macedonia, Ireland and the United States have welded together the choir, the meetings of other choirs and getting to know other vocal traditions open the horizon for new experiments.
Additionally there is a soft spot for their own aesthetic, evident in the artful handling of new media, which presents the classic men's choir habits and simultaneously transforms them.
For the project "tøngedrøhn - a sound and image Expedition", the choir walked through the Swiss Jura, in the style of singing journeymen, produced it into a film, and adapted the repertoire to the pictures. The whole project was recently released on DVD.
With such projects the Männerstimmen Basel build a bridge between tradition and modernity, define their own male choir form and with that are young and old-fashioned at the same time.