In Temptation 2008 album When Angels

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- The spoken word is valid. -

Salutation,

"When angels make music", as the motto of today's festival concert announces, the keynote speaker feels called to forego profane greetings and instead sing a hymn to the great composers, whose legacy is lovingly cherished and cherished by the Central German Baroque Music Association becomes. I resist this temptation for one reason only, because the spoken word - even if I “speak with angels tongues” - cannot take on the musical delight that awaits us: music by Central German composers on the replicas of the angel instruments in Freiberg Cathedral - that is a completely new and special experience even for the spoiled ears of regular concert goers! I am all the more pleased to be here in Chemnitz today and to enjoy this gala concert with you! What a wonderful present for the 20th anniversary of MBM!

If you want to read why the federal government launched the MBM 20 years ago as a "lighthouse measure" for the new states and why we finance the work of the association together with the states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia with over 600,000 euros annually, then I recommend - no, not the corresponding administrative agreement, but: - Thomas Mann to read. In his great novel "Doktor Faustus" he illustrates in bright colors what makes this part of Germany so special, for example when he describes the fictional city of Kaiseraschern an der Saale at the beginning:

A city "located in the middle of the home district of the Reformation, in the heart of the Luther area". He located them in the administrative district of Merseburg "south of Halle, towards the Thuringian region". "Neither Halle itself, the Handel city, nor Leipzig, the city of the Thomas Cantor, nor Weimar or even Dessau and Magdeburg are far away ..." he adds. And with the description of the cathedral and castle, of old churches and faithfully conserved town houses, the town hall, "floating between Gothic and Renaissance" in the head of the reader, the image of a small town shaped by the Middle Ages emerges in the mind of the reader, which is a "cultural center of historical dignity ... “May feel.

A real gem, the pars pro toto stands for the cultural wealth of an entire region. For me, who come from the historically not insignificant city of Münster, the pearl necklace of closely spaced, historical cities in Central Germany is always a fascination. The abundance of events, of historically significant places and of memories of personalities from history, science and culture who have achieved far supra-regional importance - this abundance is overwhelming! And especially in music, the series of names of composers who came from this area extends to the Olympus of cultural history: Pretorius, Schütz, Schein, Scheidt, of course Bach and Handel, Fasch and Telemann, Schumann, Wagner. Central Germany was a heartland of European musical development in the 17th and 18th centuries and was in lively exchange with the European centers of music - with Venice, Paris, London, Prague, Lübeck, Copenhagen. The unique musical legacy of which you are rightly very proud here goes back to this time.

When in November 1989, almost 25 years ago, the will of the GDR citizens for freedom brought the Berlin Wall down and the reunification of Germany became possible, the "East Germany" that had become so remote during the years of separation came to an end for many West Germans too. with its cultural richness back into view. Many initiatives arose to save cultural monuments in the new federal states. Ensembles, academies, festivals were founded. During this time of change, the federal government, which according to the Basic Law actually has no express responsibility for culture, supported the new federal states on the basis of Article 35 Unification Treaty with a so-called substance maintenance program and a cultural infrastructure program. I consider it to be one of the most remarkable developments in German cultural policy that a way of working has developed between the administrations responsible for culture at the federal level and in the new federal states, which we now call "cooperative cultural federalism" and which has then established itself nationwide .

One of the first projects in this context was the promotion of a "Standing Conference on Central German Baroque Music", decided 20 years ago by the states of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt together with the then Federal Ministry of the Interior and supported by the idea of ​​contributing to the region's extraordinary musical wealth preserve to unearth its often still hidden treasures and make them accessible to the public again. There were still no role models for such a project, but there was a lot of enthusiasm and great commitment from all those involved.

The fruits of this commitment include successful own projects of the MBM with charisma far beyond Central Germany, such as the Days of Central German Baroque Music and the Heinrich Schütz Music Festival, but also a large number of concerts and opera performances sponsored by the MBM. The MBM not only brings baroque music to life in all its diversity, but after the fall of the Wall it also contributed to bringing the rich cultural landscapes in this region steeped in history to bloom again! Thank you for your commitment, dear Prof. Hirschmann, dear Dr. Siegfried, the entire presidium and the supporters of the association very warmly!

Over the past few years, the MBM has repeatedly managed to inspire a broad audience for the musical legacy of the Baroque era, and I am sure that it will again succeed this evening! What a wonderful idea to recreate the original instruments that the Italian sculptor Giovanni Maria Nosseni put into the hands of his music-making plaster angels in the funeral chapel of Freiberg Cathedral and to have them played as a late Renaissance orchestra - with trombones, prongs, lutes, Shawms, cistern, harps and percussion! I am very excited and look forward to the Ensemble Musica Freybergensis, which will present us today works that were played in Central Germany at the time - by Valentin Haussmann, Hans Leo Hassler, David Samenhammer and Friedrich Weissensee. Many of you, like me, will not have heard of these composers. This, too, is part of the MBM's secret of success. As listeners, we are invited to experience not only the big names, but also the art of the lesser-known composers and to get to know them in their historical context!

So let's look forward to a very special concert with instruments that we may have only known, if at all, from "Doktor Faustus", namely from the Leverkühn musical instrument warehouse at Parochialstrasse 15 in Kaiseraschern. Knowledgeable and colorful like no other author, Thomas Mann described the variety of musical instruments, including the old ones like the viola alta or the viola d'amore, in this novel: “And so a Bach festival only needed to be imminent somewhere in the country, its stylish performance required an oboe d'amore, the lower oboe that had long since disappeared from the orchestras, so that the old house on Parochialstrasse could receive a customer visit from a musician who had traveled ... "

The instrument store in Kaiseraschern is fiction. The stylish performances, on the other hand, of which "Doktor Faustus" is mentioned, really exist - thanks to the MBM, which ensures unique musical experiences with the enthusiasm of all its employees, supporters and sponsors!

Thank you for that - and congratulations on a successful 20 years!