Ενα τραγούδι για την Ελλάδα/ A song for Hellas
(The article "Ein Lied für Hellas" has been translated into Greek, German and English, just chose your language on the top of the page)
To honor European philhellenism, which contributed so much not only to the liberation of Greece from the Turkish yoke about 200 years ago, but also to the formation of today's Europe, a continent based on principles of humanity and culture, we begin a series of Songs that were inspired by the ideal "Hellas".
Due to the pandemic in Europe, our society had considerable problems organizing the first international singing competition "Bolko von Hochberg", which this year was dedicated to the topic of "Hellas" and after two years will be dedicated to another topic such as "Folk songs" or "Religions of the world". The competition, which was postponed to March 2022 instead of opening, will now end the # Hellas2021 year.
However, one of the objectives of the competition seems to have already been achieved. To remind you that my perspective in plojecting this important event for our small town was to make our town a European cultural center, where every two years the most talented and promising artists not only share their music but also exchange their ideas. This would highlight our beautiful city, which is historically connected to Hellenism anyway, internationally. In addition, I hope that a success of the competition will open up perspectives for the wonderful Statdhalle, a building that Bolko von Hochbergs built right on the border between Poland and Germany hundred years ago. A wonderful international event would fill this concert hall with voices and songs after 100 years again, since Bolko von Hochberg was a real admirer of singing. He wrote many Lieds himself and here in Görlitz he founded a singing academy. The town hall, which has a gable with Orpheus on its facade, has ideal acoustics for the human voice.
This goal in itself may not have been achieved so far, not only because of the pandemics. We have not received support from the city authorities or other state sponsors in our region (with the exception of the Sparkasse Oberlausitz Lower Silesia Foundation and a donation from Winfried Stöcker). Even so, I do not lose hope that, what the city authorities do not understand today, they will, over time, understand and agree. There is no other way. The idea of a competition in our city is a great idea, it doesn't cost as much as a festival and it really brings a lot of people from outside to us, and we need that. It only has pluses, not minuses.
But what was the goal that has already been achieved, even if only a month has passed since March 25? The singers, who participated in large numbers (it is already a huge success in this regard), came into contact with the repertoire I carefully selected, and between September 2020 and March 2021, amid the lock-down and lack of performances they have studied. In the darkness and confinement of their small room, with only their piano, they heard and studied the songs by Schubert and Debussy, the poems by Sappho, Hölderlin, Schiller, and the small room opened up, shone with a wonderful light of hope: what the ideal "Hellas" symbolize and always symbolized.
What I am describing really happened. On March 24th, we received a message from the Canadian pianist Meghan Behiel, who was to accompany the Polish-German soprano Monika Rydz at our competition. They have recorded the entire program that they were preparing for the competition and made also a video. The video was really great. The two talented artists not only presented this music perfectly, but have also prepared a recording of very good quality. They even wore archaic outfits, so that today their initiative seems like a real homage to philhellenism. On March 25, I myself tried to organize at least one concert for "Hellas" in cooperation with the Evangelical Church. That also failed due to new, stricter measures against the pandemic, which the federal government had announced only a day earlier. And yet some artists came. And we spent a few days, which were without a doubt among the most beautiful days in the five-year life of our society. Heinz Miller, who is responsible for our recordings, did his best. He did it with great pleasure too. I will not forget how he walked into the room and said, "What a luck I have! To be able to hear and edit such wonderful voices!".
The result of this adventure, despite all the difficulties amid the irrationality and fear of the pandemic, was this video series on our YouTube channel that will continue throughout 2021. Not only we are giving to all singers the opportunity to send us their own songs, but we will continue to record until the end of August. The next recording session will take place between June 11-19. Our sincere thanks go to the outstanding artists who have performed in this series so far: Georgia Tryfona, Danai Vritsiou, Anna Bineta Diouf, Jan Bukowski, Eunkyeong Kim, Lisa Ochsendorf, Tina Drole, Nathaniel Kondrat, Ana Maria Lupu, Maria Taxidou, Katarzyna Neugebauer , Niki Lioga, Martha Sotiriou, Dionysis Pantis, but also those who have already made an appointment in our studio and will even come from Poland and Switzerland.
We cordially invite all art and music lovers to watch this series all year round and enjoy this wonderful music. In the channel we have combined the songs into a playlist that can continuously play and enrich your day. We also prepare an album with the best songs by the end of the year. To listen, press here.