NDR Vokalensemble
Video on demand from 9 Sep 2021
available until 31 Dec 2099

75 years of the NDR Vokalensemble

The NDR Vokalensemble celebrates its 75th anniversary with works by Whitacre, Mäntyjärvi and Monteverdi – and in a completely new line-up.

75 years ago, on 1 May 1946, the newly-founded NDR Chor gave its first concert. In the three-quarters of a century since then, the ensemble has changed and re-invented itself many times, progressing from sacred music through operetta and light music to contemporary works, and becoming in the process one of the world’s leading chamber choirs. The beginning of the 2021/22 season sees another transformation: the NDR Chor becomes the NDR Vokalensemble. The plan is to place even more emphasis on a cappella music of all eras with singers who have a soloist profile of their own, in keeping with the well-established motto »taking on the greatest challenges that the choir is able to manage«.


NDR Vokalensemble
Ensemble Schirokko
Dagmar Lübking chest organ

Klaas Stok conductor


Eric Whitacre
Leonardo dreams of his flying machine

Claudio Monteverdi
Gloria a 7

Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

Claudio Monteverdi
Laudate Dominum primo

– Interval –

Dieter Schnebel
Contrapunctus 1

David Fennessy
Ne reminiscaris

Johann Sebastian Bach
Singet dem Herren

Klaas Stok Klaas Stok © Peter Hundert
NDR Vokalensemble NDR Vokalensemble © Peter Hundert
Ensemble Schirokko Ensemble Schirokko © Chris Reiner

About the programme

The NDR Vokalensemble marks its 75th anniversary with a programme that celebrates singing and breath itself. The Latin word »spiro« means to whisper, to breathe, to be inspired. Thus Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi takes the silence of breath as the starting point for his piece. In Eric Whitacre’s composition »Leonardo dreams of his flying machine«, on the other hand, the winds fill Leonardo da Vinci with a longing to be able to fly. Dieter Schnebel’s Bach arrangement »Contrapunctus I« is in turn also a reminiscence of the past: it has long been a classic of contemporary choral music. But chief conductor Klaas Stok gives the old masters a chance to speak as well, in the shape of Claudio Monteverdi’s magnificent »Gloria« and Johann Sebastian Bach’s motet »Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied«.

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