Calmus Vocal Ensemble

April 12, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.
Free Concert – No Ticket Required

Calmus is one of the world’s premiere a cappella vocal groups coming to us from Leipzig, Germany. We were sad that they couldn’t make it last December, but Vesper Concerts is thrilled to reschedule the Calmus concert for Wednesday evening, April 12, at 7:00 p.m.

About Calmus

Homogeneity, precision, lightness, emotionality, humorousness—these are characteristics of the Calmus Ensemble, one of Germany’s most successful vocal groups. The wide range of tonal colors, the passionate joy the singers convey on stage, their sound culture and their varied and imaginative programs never fail to inspire. The five singers from Leipzig have won several international prizes and competitions—most recently the OPUS Klassik 2019 for “Best Choral Recording”. With over 50 concerts a year, Calmus is always a welcome guest throughout Europe and North America alike.

The ensemble’s repertoire range is almost unlimited. Influenced by the tradition of the old masters of Leipzig, the singers are at home in the vocal music of the Renaissance, Baroque, and Romantic periods alike. Over the years, they have commissioned and premiered numerous compositions, including works by Paul Moravec, Mathew Rosenblum, Bernd Franke, Steffen Schleiermacher, Wolfram Buchenberg, Bill Dobbins, Mia Makaroff, Dan Dediu and Harald Banter. They also enjoy singing and arranging pop, folk, and jazz, as they published numerous sheet music publications.

Calmus is known for its many collaborations including projects with the MDR Sinfonieorchester (Weill’s “The Seven Deadly Sins”), the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, the Hamburg Ratsmusik, the hr-Bigband, the Capella de la Torre, amarcord (“Disputation”) or Elke Heidenreich (“Nachtgedanken”) further enrich Calmus’ repertoire, and with the lautten compagney BERLIN (“BachArkaden” / “Mitten im Leben”).

Calmus devotes a part of its time to the promotion of young talent. Lessons, workshops, and jury activities are part of the singers’ daily routine, at home in Leipzig and on the road as artists-in-residence at the STIMMEN Festival Lörrach, at the Bachwoche Stuttgart.

Elisabeth Mücksch, soprano

Maria Kalmbach, alto

Friedrich Bracks, tenor

Jonathan Saretz, baritone

Michael B. Gernert, bass



Video: Calmus Ensemble: 20 years


Video: J.S. Bach: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland


Video: Calmus: Rise up, shepherd, and follow


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About the Program

Love. Amen! describes a whole cosmos of feelings associated with love. Love not only gives rise to happiness, joy, pride and hope, but also to disappointment, anger and revenge. It is therefore not surprising that music has always been created about and out of love and that it has inspired the most beautiful pieces of music.

This may include love in all of its different forms: love of family and one’s child, recently sparked and old familiar love between people, love of oneself, love of nature, unrequited or rejected love.

In “Love. Amen!”, Calmus dedicates itself to all these spectrums of love, but first and foremost to divine love, which for many people is an elixir of life in times of uncertainty, grief or need. At the heart of it all is the hymn Ubi caritas et amor, with arrangements and works from centuries woven around it. The hymn tells of God becoming one with mankind and, importantly, of mankind becoming one with each other. This call for neighborly love and solidarity is not only reflected in the verse – a reunion can be heard and experienced in the tight melodic line. With the program “Love. Amen!”, Calmus sends a message of compassion and caring in times of division. For as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Dobrinka Tabakova, “Good-will to men and peace on earth”
Paul Moravec, “Love endures all things”
Heinrich Schütz, “Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt”
Aaron Copland, “Thou, oh Jehovah, abideth forever” and “Sing ye praises to our King”
Joseph Rheinberger, “In Deo speravit cor meum”
Ola Gjeilo, “Ubi Caritas”

Paul Moravec, “Love endures all things”
Johann Sebastian Bach, “Sehet, welch eine Liebe”
Jaako Mäntyjärvi, “Come live with me”
Gustav Holst, “I love my love”
Richard Kidd, “Ubi Caritas”

Paul Moravec, “Love endures all things”
Reger/Schauer, “Es waen zwei Königskinder”
Johannes Brahms, “Da unten im Tale”
Bill Withers, “Ain’t no sunshine”
Lennox Berkeley, “Ubi Caritas”

Paul Moravec, “Love endures all things”
Leonard Cohen, “Here it is”
Florence + The Machine, “You’ve got the love”
Tom Odell, “Another love”
The Killers, “Mr. Brightside”
Giancarlo Aquilanti, “Ubi Caritas”