Christmas Concert in Kappel on December 26,2010
The Weihnachtskonzert was staged this time by the MGV Kappel and conducted by Johannes Söllner, and the Musikverein Freiburg-Kappel conducted by Manfred Preiß. The two vereins play host in alternating years. The concert began at 8pm in the Kappeler Festhalle. We did a last rehearsal in the media-room of the Schauinsland school in Kappel. Christel barged into the room and exclaimed, in a tearful voice, ‘The guests have started pouring in and there’s no one to greet them and take care of the tickets.’ That worked like a signal and we started to descend the stairs towards the Festhalle.
There were concert-guests taking off their thick winter overcoats, and helping their ladies out of their fur coats. The members of the musikverein were guests gathered in the foyer. There was no chaos. Everything was under control.
The concert began with the Project Orchestra of the Musikverein conducted by Rainer Heuberger. They played popular instrumentals such as: Amazing Grace, the Pink Panther, My Romance, a Christmas medley, the Little Town of Bethlehem and Hawk. Most of the musicians were young boy barely in their teens, which is a good thing since there is a dearth of German youth in the singing and music choirs.
This time, we the Kappeler men’s choir, began with ‘Il est ne,le divin enfant´, a French song, followed by a beautiful yodel-song from Tyrole (Austria): ‘Andachtsjodler.’ The next song was the popular ‘Fröhliche Weihnacht überall’ which was originally a song from England.
Someone had absent-mindedly locked up the piano and the pianist started looking for the keys in his pockets and elsewhere. All the while under the scrutiny of a silent, tolerant audience. Perhaps they thought this was a gag, but it wasn’t. Finally Werner Walter asked the conductor who’d played the piano whether he had the keys. And voila! He had ’em in his raised left hand.
In such a constellation you have to have a few gospel and spiritual songs, and accordingly ‘Oh, Happy Day’ with Christoph Fuss as the lead singer, and ‘My Lord, What a Morning’ was sung to the delight of the audience.
A song that conjoured up images of South Africa was ‘Aya Ngena’ sung in Swaheli by the Männergesangverein, and promises of peace in the Middle East with ‘Hora Jerusalem.’ The Hebrew accents that we’d learned all these weeks and the fast tempi of the song got the audience raving.
The Musikverein Freiburg-Kappel came up with a project-orchestra conducted by Rainer Heuberger for this special occasion. The repertoire had ‘Gaillarde’ Pierre d’ Attaignant’ with arrangements by Manu Mellaerts, ‘And the Mountains Echoed: Gloria’ by Robert Longfield. Then came ‘Der Zigeunerbaron’ composed by Johann Strauss and arranged by Akira Yodo. Another song is from the musical ‘Elizabeth’ composed by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay with arrangements by Johan de Meij, followed by ‘Czardas’ by Vittorio Monti and arranged by Jan Rypens. The solist was Felix Klein. The musical arrangements were rather long but there was variety in the pieces, so it wasn’t that bad.
The moderators were Klaus Suetterle for the MGV Kappel and Karin Peter, who had an East-Bloc accent, for the Musikverein Kappel. After the concert it was a comfortable get-together and Miteinander in the Festhalle and the bar downstairs. The day after the Festhalle was cleared of everything that resembled a concert hall. We did it with German thoroughness: pico bello.