Choir Concert: Figure humaine

Chorwerk Ruhr / Jean-Guihen Queyras / Elbtonal Percussion / Florian Helgath – Hamburg International Music Festival

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Chorwerk Ruhr
Chorwerk Ruhr © Christian Palm
Jean-Guihen Queyras
Jean-Guihen Queyras © Artūrs Kondrāts
Florian Helgath
Florian Helgath © Christian Palm

The song of the sun

The 2024 Hamburg International Music Festival is dedicated to Sofia Gubaidulina, one of the leading composers of the modern age. She was awarded the Praemium Imperiale art prize in 1998, and the Polar Music Prize in 2002. The work of the Russian-Tatar composer, who has been living near Hamburg for decades, is almost always inspired by poetry. She draws on a diverse range of sources, from the ancient Egyptians to contemporary poets. In 1997, Gubaidulina set one of the earliest pieces of Italian literature – Saint Francis of Assisi’s 13th century »Canticle of the Sun«, a song of praise for the creation – to music, for the unusual combination of cello, choir and percussion.

Chorwerk Ruhr, one of Germany’s best choirs, is coming to Hamburg to perform the piece, and the solo part is played by the French star cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras. Francis Poulenc’s 1943 choral work »Figure humaine« follows in the second half of the concert. The polyphonic cantata, which is based on a poem by Paul Éluard, is pervaded by human tragedies of violence and hate, and opens into an ode to freedom.


Chorwerk Ruhr

Jean-Guihen Queyras violoncello

Sebastian Breuing celesta

Elbtonal Percussion - Jan Frederick Behrend, Stephan Krause percussion

conductor Florian Helgath


Sofia Gubaidulina

– Interval –

Francis Poulenc
Figure humaine / Cantata, FP 120


Hamburg International Music Festival

Promoter: HamburgMusik

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During your visit

Elbphilharmonie Plaza

A public viewing platform on the 8th floor of the Elbphilharmonie

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Food and Drink

Before the concert and in the interval

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Coughing, clapping, chatting

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