Hans G Helms – and other Political Vocal Works
Fri, 10.06.2011, 8 pm CEST
The SWR Vokalensemble concert centers around the premiere of "Konstruktionen" by Hans G Helms, a 1986 composition previously considered impossible to perform. The "Konstruktionen für 16 Chorstimmen a cappella" based on propositions from the Communist Manifesto (1848) by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, 5 May 1968, which will be performed on the occasion of Karl Marx’s 150th birthday, forms the final composition in a series of political vocal works in Helms’ oeuvre inhabiting the space between language and music. The most central and well-known work is the multilingual linguistic composition "Fa:m' Ahniesgwow" (1959). An excerpt from this several-hour work realized as a cassette piece by "die sprechbohrer" (2009) will likewise be presented in concert.
Hans G Helms has been inadequately described as a composer, yet his musical socialization and artistic influence was closely tied to the post-war avant-garde: the philosopher, field researcher, composer, literary scholar, radio show writer, pacifist, sociologist, and economic analyst Hans G Helms is a wanderer between worlds—between Cage and Marx, Ives and Adorno—and a friend of Stockhausen and Paik who should be seen as someone who lives, composes, and writes this wandering as an organic whole. He thus maintains that artists re responsible for having a socially enlightening effect. Similar to Italian composer Luigi Nono, from whom several vocal works will also be performed, including the 1964 piece "La fabbrica illuminata" for soprano and cassette, Helms chose vocal music to lend expression to this social engagement. Karl Amadeus Hartmann also selected texts by Becher and Marx for his male choir.
With this special program, the excellent vocal ensemble will revive a phase of discovering a musical and political language, which gains new brilliance in today’s era.


Luigi Nono "La Fabbrica illuminata" (1964) for soprano and cassette (17’)
Hans G Helms "Fa:m' Ahniesgwow" (1959) - Structure I,1 (7’) excerpt as cassette composition; version and realization: die sprechbohrer (Sigrid Sachse, Harald Muenz, Georg Sachse), 2009; A Hessischer Rundfunk (Hessian Broadcasting) production 2009, Neue Musik/Klangkunst department, hr2-kultur, Stefan Fricke, recording technology: Thomas Rombach
Herbert Eimert "Epitaph for Ailichi Kuboyama" (1962) four-channel tape (voice: Richard Münch, realization: Leopold von Knobelsdorff, a WDR production)(23’)
Luigi Nono "¿Dónde estás, hermano?" (1982) for four women’s voices (6’)
Luigi Nono "Ha venido, Canciones para Silvia" (1960) for soprano solo and six-voice soprano choir
Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1915-1963) "Kantate für sechsstimmigem Männerchor a cappella" (1930) (5’)
I "Kohlenbrot" (Johannes R. Becher)
II "Wir haben eine Welt zu gewinnen" (K. Marx)
Hans G Helms "Konstruktionen für 16 Chorstimmen a cappella" based on propositions from the Communist Manifesto (1848) by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel, 5 May 1968 (1968, UA) (15’)
Organization / Institution

SWR Vokalensemble ; SWR Hörspiel


Hessischer Rundfunk