In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
The English conductor, Marcus Creed, began his studies at King's College in Cambridge, where he had the opportunity to sing in the famed King's College Choir. Further studies took him to Christ Church in Oxford and the Guildhall School in London.
Marcus Creed began living in Berlin in 1976 (or 1977). Stations along his way have been the Deutsche Oper Berlin (where he worked as opera coach and choir director), Hochschule der Kunste (lecturer on song), as well as the Gruppe Neue Musik and the Scharoun Ensemble (pianist and conductor). In 1987 he was appointed artistic director of the RIAS-Kammerchor, which won numerous international awards under his direction (including the Edison Award, the Diapason D'Or and the Cannes Classical Award). His work together with the Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, the Freiburger Barockorchester and the Concerto Koln formed an important part of his concert activities.
Marcus Creed has been invited by several early music festivals. He gave performances of Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232), Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden, and his cycle of Handel oratorios (Solomon, Messiah, Jephtha, Israel in Egypt, Alexander's Feast, Theodora, etc.) set an exemplary criterion in Germany. He conducts Belshazzar at the Gottingen Handel Festival in 1996. In the performance of new music with the RIAS-Kammerchor, he is also closely associated with the Berlin Scharoun Ensemble as a pianist and conductor. He regularly appears at the Berlin Festwochen as well as at festivals like the Warsaw Spring, Wien Modern, the Salzburg Festspielen, the Venice Biennale and at festivals in Montreux, Edinburgh, Lucerne and Innsbruck.
In partnership with Claudio Abbado and the Berliner Philharmoniker Marcus Creed conducted Stockhausen's orchestral Gruppen. He has worked with other orchestras like the Berlin Staatskapelle and the Berliner Symphoniker. In 1998, he accepted a call to take up the position of professor of conducting at the Musikhochschule in Koln. Since January 1, 2003, he has been artistic director of the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart.
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Review: "It is an art to conceal art" : Mendelssohn had never presented a more perfect illustration of this maxim than in his Motets, Op.69. Composed in the year of his death, they are probably the finest works of religious music by this composer whom Berlioz had accused of being "a little too fond of the dead". But the most romantic of Bach's votaries had more than one trick up his sleeve and it would be a mistake to underestimate these extraodinary psalms and motets that Mendelssohn went on producing throughout his life, in spite of his rather strained relationship with the eccelsiastic authorities. Tradition and inventiveness are the leading principles of an artistic credo based on the skilful and beguiling mixture of counterpoint and melody, of harmony and brilliant orchestration. After having devoted three universally acclaimed recordings to the choral music of Brahms, the RIAS-Kammerchor is here on familiar ground
Review: Considered by W. Siegmund-Schultze as 'formally the most perfect of Schumann's choral compositions', The Pilgrimage of the Rose was composed in 1851, a few months after the composer had received a manuscript from the poet Moritz Horn with a subject he found fascinating. This fairy tale, deeply impregnated by the spirit of the Biedermeier period, tells the story of a little rose that aspires to the human condition - and thus, to love. In a few weeks Schumann composed this huge fresco for chorus, soloists and piano, orchestrating it in 1851-52 with the aim of reaching a larger audience. But it is undoubtedly in its original form that the work is most pertinent, because it is entirely in the glorious tradition of the Romantic Lied.
Review: Last year, in celebration of Elliot Carter's 100th birthday, the thoroughbred of choral ensembles performed and recorded a program of the great man's complete works for choir - a cappella, men's voices, and accompanied. Now, for the first time, a thoroughly modern recording of Carter's complete works for choir is available - and in performances that will serve as the template for all future ensembles. Once again, the SWR Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Marcus Creed has distinguished itself as one of the most adventurous and capable choirs performing in the world today!
Review: Rare recordings of the music of this popular contemporary composer. Amazing choral virtuosity from the SWR Vocal Ensemble and director Marcus Creed. Gyorgy Kurtag was long overshadowed by his fellow Hungarian Gyorgy Ligeti, but in recent years his music has become far better known. Kurtag was the teacher of the renowned pianists Andras Schiff and Zoltan Kocsis at the Liszt Academy in Budapest.
Review: Rachmaninov's passionate setting of the Russian "All Night Vigil" is to the Eastern Orthodox liturgy what Bach's B Minor Mass is to the West. Consulting Rachmaninov's manuscripts and correspondence, and working with Russian language and cultural specialists, the virtuoso SWR Vocal Ensemble, under the direction of Marcus Creed, has drawn upon every artistic source available to make this new recording of Rachmaninov's transcendent Vespers.
Review: The Motet is the oldest compositional genre in European polyphonic art music. Its history can be followed without interruption from the 12th century to the present day. The form was regular part of liturgical services in the two principle churches of Leipzig where JS Bach was employed from 1723 until his death in 1750. Scholars are divided as to the purpose of the six Motets. Though most of them were thought to be funeral music, they cover a lot of ground in terms of creativity, originality, choral and vocal techniques. Marcus Creed and the Vocalconsort Berlin offer small scale, intimate readings of these evergreen masterpieces.
Review: Between the late Baroque and the twentieth century, musical literature was enriched by a great variety of choral forms. From the simplest (the Lutheran chorale as practised by Bach, or the chorus a cappella) to the most complex (double choruses, combinations with soloists and orchestra), they are all here in this exhaustive survey drawing on the finest recordings of one of the world's most highly acclaimed choirs, the RIAS-Kammerchor of Berlin.
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