Calmus Vocal Ensemble

April 12, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.

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.

Anja Poche – soprano; Maria Kalmbach – alto; Friedrich Bracks – tenor;  Ludwig Bohme – baritone; Manuel Helmeke – bass  

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”

About Calmus

Described as “nothing short of remarkable…they, quite simply, bring whatever they sing to glorious life” by Deseret Morning News, Calmus was founded in 1999 in Leipzig, Germany. 

A perfect blend of sound, precision, lightness and wit are the hallmarks of Calmus, one of the most successful a cappella quintets in the world. The ensemble has forged a refined sound which few groups have achieved. The wide range of sound colors, the joy in performing that they convey on the concert platform, and their varied and imaginative programs are praised by the press time and time again. These five Leipzig musicians have won a string of international prizes and competitions, including Concert Artists Guild International Competition, the OPUS KLASSIK (Best Choral Performance), the ECHO KLASSIK and the Supersonic Award. The reach of their activities is constantly expanding, taking them throughout Europe as well as to North and South America. Calmus has performed at major series and halls in North America including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center Great Performers series, Ravinia Festival and Washington Performing Arts, the Virginia Arts Festival and Early Music Now.

Calmus is tireless in their quest to discover new repertoire. Shaped by the centuries-old tradition of great German boys’ choirs, the music of Bach, Mendelssohn and other great German composers who lived and worked in Leipzig, they are naturally at home in the vocal music of the Renaissance, the Baroque and the Romantic. In all their ventures, they are frequently partnering with musicians such as vocal ensemble Amarcord, the Lautten Compagney Berlin, the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, Hamburger Ratsmusik and the Frankfurt Radio Bigband. As this frequently means learning new contemporary repertoire, over the years Calmus has commissioned numerous new works from composers including Bernd Franke, Steffen Schleiermacher, Wolfram Buchenberg, Mathew Rosenblum, Bill Dobbins, Paul Moravec, Michael Denhoff and Harald Banter, and the group has given many world premieres.  

Calmus’ latest project from Spring 2021 is called MOSAIK which contains 41 commissioned miniature vocal works by composers and friends from all over the world as a statement on the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The result can be heard and seen online at and it’s breathtaking.  Part of Calmus’s is devoted to encouraging the up-and- coming generation, so teaching and workshops are part of their regular schedule, both at home in Leipzig and on their travels.  



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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