In Licht, Oeke Hoogendijk shows the creative process of the most radical project in the history of music theatre: an opera written by the legendary and controversial composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. It took him 26 years to write this day-long larger-than-life opera. His magnum opus, however, was never performed; production-wise it was too complicated, logistically almost impossible and also simply too expensive. Until 2019, when the Dutch National Opera, the Holland Festival, the Royal Conservatoire and the Stockhausen Foundation for Music took up the challenge of performing the opera cycle. The documentary Licht reconstructs Stockhausen's musical universe on the basis of the making-of of this opera cycle, against the background of his dramatic life story.
“Licht is also an undisguised portrait of composer Stockhausen's family and love story […]. A document from a bygone era.” – ★★★★ de Volkskrant
“Properly illustrates the human side of this demanding, difficult music” – ★★★★ NRC
“A fascinating portrait of composer Karlheinz Stockhausen” – Het Parool
“Hoogendijk knows how to separate those two aspects – genius and people – with great ingenuity.” – the Film Newspaper
Prix du Jury, Festival International du Film sur l‘Art Montreal, 2022
“With her well-focused, finely articulated soprano voice, which shines beautifully at the top, and her refined sense of languages, she shows many different facets, humor and interpretive prowess.”
Eva Maria Schramm, 13.01.2021
ORF – Ö1 Des Cis
“Pia Davila then leads the listener through an imaginary day. The accompaniment for the soprano voice is as varying from piece to piece as the compositions themselves: a cappella, electronic sounds, piano and baroque guitar.” Daniela Knaller, 26.01.2021
The sun rises, and later the moon: the Berlin soprano sings of the events of a day on her debut album spanning 400 years in music history. With lutes, with electronics, solo. Clear diction, cheeky sayings, a shimmering timbre, weightless – the way in which one would like to go through the day.
Christiane Peitz, 14.3.2021
The debut CD of the Berlin-native soprano Pia Davila brings together the unexpected and the unusual in a delightful manner. With “her” moon as the chosen title, the listener may be justified in suspecting that some humor has crept into the program. (…) All of which is carried by the 32 year-old soprano’s voice, which is exceptionally pure, bell-like, and at the same time perfectly capable of radiating warmth. Musical intelligence and talent form a happy union here. The combination of the extremes of contemporary and baroque works particularly well. For Debussy’s symbolism, more dramatic voices have more glowing colors; nevertheless Pia Davila’s interpretation of the two famous Claire de Lune is captivating. A fantastic debut. (Ark) 9.1.2021
Classical music for three: Pia Davila ventures tremendous leaps between periods on her debut album. The soprano compiled very few well-known songs, which revolve around day and night and stylistically include a range from early baroque to contemporary. (…) Adding to the coherence of the album is the accompaniment by Eric Schneider (piano) and Andreas Nachtsheim (lute), which underlies the intimate, personal character of the quite demanding album with all of its expressiveness. oc 23.2.2021, Nr 45
Without question it is an exceptionally original and impressive debut album, which the Berlin soprano Pia Davila has presented here. The eponymous moon acts solely as a point of reference for a journey through a day and (musically) over four centuries. The very old and the brand new are constantly colliding and set in relation to each other. Feeling at home in every genre, the singer is a competent “travel guide”.
(…) the singer, who – predominantly a cappella – has to alternate between speaking, whispering and singing, takes us to the outer limits of the voice: a brilliant vocal performance by Pia Davila. (…)
Ekkehard Pluta, 27.1.2021
(…) How courageous does one have to be to bridge several centuries! Pia Davila deliberately placed three pieces (with electronic accompaniment), composed in 2019 for an opera, directly after Merula and, in doing so, achieves a wonderful effect as the early baroque songs influence the music of the 21st century and visa versa. A cleverly put-together program always offers new perspectives. J. Gahre, February 2021
A concept for a song album, far removed from anything mainstream. (…) Kerstin Peetz:
“Anyone recording an album such as this is deliberately handing out a musical business card to advertise his or herself to organizers and agents. If the result is also a well-thought-out album, as is the case here, it shows Pia Davila has done everything right. Her program “O Luna Mia” is thoughtfully put together and shows her enormous vocal and stylistic versatility. The young soprano traverses the interpretational horizon of this constellated repertoire with ultimate confidence and impressively demonstrates the technical possibilities of her exceptional voice.”
(…) Above all, however, she is an artist who confidently does not do what “one” does, or do it how “one” does it, but instead dares to take untrodden paths.
(...) Like good literature, this music is best enjoyed in small bites. But with a focus on the melody, text and soprano voice.
(…) On this album Pia Davila offers pure singing without any frills or arbitrariness that are not specified by the composer.
Birgit Kleinfeld, 16.2.2021
(…) The dynamic range in the piano passages is marvelous. Subsequently there are three songs by Claude Debussy, which are carefully and delicately carved out, whereby each one, particularly the last one, is bestowed with its own touching timbre. … songs delight with their rhythmic crispness. … All three songs are imbued with emotion and sensitivity, and for each of these songs she finds a distinct color.
Sven Godenrath, 20.12.2020
It’s all in the mix: Pia Davila incorporates early baroque, Debussy and contemporary music on her debut album. This keeps the ears perked while listening and shows the diversity with which she establishes herself.
... This “Luna incostante” is an interesting piece…
... From the very first three tracks, the soprano Pia Davila presents all three musical languages
… It is enjoyable to listen to how gently and sensitively Andreas Nachtsheim accompanies her on the lute. Even in piano he adjusts the balance with great sensitivity and lets the music breathe through very gentle changes in tempo. Giving Pia Davila a good platform.
... She sings with a clear sound and wonderful diction. She forms secure and stable vowels, which at the same flow gently forward. The consonants are clearly articulated, and she delightfully savors their sounds.
... Pia Davila is very open to contemporary music and supports it. It is unusual for a young singer not only to include first recordings on her debut CD but also to commission them for it. She engages particularly with the ideas of her own generation.
But Pia Davila’s interest in contemporary music already becomes clear by just listening to this album, as she shows the full range of her vocal abilities especially in the new works.
… to be able to reach across fragments of movements and to sustain the tension by means of intense, vibrant tones. She stays close to the text, evidently loving to tell its story.
Jonas Zerweck, 17.01.2021
Pia Davila, soprano
Marco Blaauw, flugelhorn
Sebastian Schottke, recording
Label Musikfabrik Köln
Unabridged audio book production complete with 3D sound
This release offers a lavishly produced 3D audio book with a captivating soundtrack of music and sound design. Tom Vogt, also known as the voice of Colin Firth, Clive Owen and Laurence Fishburne, among others, gives a dramatic reading with enthralling clarity and brilliant flexibility. Alternately and with fascinating vibrancy, the author also lends her voice to the recording in narrating the dark past of the labyrinth.
Music, sound design, production & direction: German Wahnsinn Team. Special thanks to Javier Navarrete for giving us permission to rearrange and use his masterpiece “Mercedes’ Lullaby”. Guest musicians: Cello: Fidi Steinbeck, Soprano: Pia Davila Voice editing: studio_wort, Berlin product design: Cover artwork: ZERO Webeagentur, München, based on an idea and using an illustration by Sarah J. Coleman. Black and white illustrations: © Allen Williams.
Audio book design: Andrea Pieper
Information about this audio book
Authors: Cornelia Funke & Guillermo del Toro
Read by: Tom Vogt & Cornelia Funke
Unabridged Version: 423 minutes
Formats: available as 1 MP3 CD elaborately packaged in silver foil or as a download
The Hamburger Bachchor’s current CD is available in the Petri-Shop during the regular opening hours of the church.
German poetry read by Daniel Kaiser is interspersed with songs sung by Pia Salome Bohnert together with piano and organ improvisations. Evening songs, such as “Der Mond ist aufgegangen”, “Kein schöner Land in dieser Zeit” and “Nun ruhen alle Wälder” as well as motets by Reger, Rheinberger and Stanford, can be heard on this recording.
CD Release summer 2023
Joel Bons "Thirty Situations" with Ed Spanjaard and the Nieuw Ensemble Amsterdam
CD Release in spring 2023
Monika Mandelarzt, conductor
Anne Schneider, soprano
Florian Sievers, tenor
Stefan Scherpe, tenor
Sönke Tams Freier, bass
Release summer 2022
L'incoronazione di Poppea
conductor: Andreas Reize
Pia Davila, Poppea
Elvira Bill, Nerone
Geneviève Tschumi, Ottavia
Jan Börner, Ottone
Lisandro Abadie, Seneca
Kathrin Hottiger, Fortuna / Pallade / Damigella
Julia Sophie Wagner, Virtù / Drusilla
Marion Grange, Amore / Valletto
Sebastian Monti, Nutrice / Arnalta
Michael Feyfar, Soldato / Lucano / Console
Tobias Wicky, Mercurio / Littore
Hans Jörg Mammel, Soldato / Liberto / Console
Sabine Stoffer, Stephanie Erös, violins
Andreas Heiniger, viola
Kaspar Singer, cello
Elizabeth Rumsey, viol and lirone
Shuko Sugama, violone
Dominique Tinguely, Esther Fluor, recorders
Sam Chapman, Juan Sebastián Lima, lutes, guitar
Claire Piganiol, harp
Martin Müller, Thomas Leininger, harpsichords
Sebastian Flaig, percussion
Release in August 2022
Linda Leine, piano
Release in autumn 2022
Compositions of Tilo Weber
Tilo Weber, drums
Almut Kühne, Soprano