Rolling Stone – Antoine Brumel’s Earthquake Mass in Times of Disaster
In cooperation with Elbphilharmonie Summer
The »Earthquake Mass« by Atoine Brumel is a 500-year-old masterpiece with which the Franco-Flemish composer set to music the biblical earthquake at the rolling away of Jesus' tombstone. This unique mass for 12 voices will now be performed in the Grand Hall of Elbphilharmonie by one of the most innovative vocal ensembles for early music: Graindelavoix from Antwerp brings together singers with different cultural and vocal backgrounds from the Mediterranean region, and has »not only brought a breath of fresh air to Renaissance music, but has ignited a veritable storm« (Süddeutsche Zeitung). The ensemble around music researcher and vocal specialist Björn Schmelzer is also known for spectacular performances in which Graindelavoix stages the music theatrically and exhausts the sound potential of museums, concert halls or churches to the maximum (for instance also at Kampnagel Summer Festival in 2021). Thus, Brumel's Mass in Elbphilharmonie’s Grand Hall is also a theatrical staging that begins with a short documentary from 1967 showing a ritual of believers in a stone cave in Abruzzo: an introduction to the visual and sonic universe of the rolling tombstone. The 13-minute film is subtly accompanied by Portuguese avant-garde guitarist Manuel Mota, who added arrangements for wind instruments to Brumel's mass »Et ecce terrae motus« which then follows and recomposed unreadable passages from the original score. The hypnotically flowing, polyphonic melodic lines of the 12 vocal parts fuse with the four wind instruments and Mota's smart extensions to create a concert event of existential force that unleashes the energy and imaginative power stored in the score - and at the same time also offers an impressive experience of Elbphilharmonie’s unique spatial sound.
This is one of three concerts of the Kampnagel International Summer Festival in cooperation with the Elbphilharmonie Sommer.
Helmut Mauró in der Süddeutschen Zeitung
»This ensemble hasn't just brought a breath of fresh air to Renaissance music; it's ignited a veritable storm. The Belgian vocal group Graindelavoix breaks hard with the sanitized aesthetics of conventional church choirs and searches for the music's living, glowing core. To this end, they welcome singers who come from vocal traditions of the Mediterranean. And suddenly there are flashes of sound, cooing basses and emotionally charged upper voices that make your ears ring.«» «