Boston Secession | Afterlife: German Choral Meditations on Mortality

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Afterlife: German Choral Meditations on Mortality

by Boston Secession

MYSTICAL MUSIC: The Boston Secession presents Hugo Distler's "Totentanz (Dance of Death)," a 14-movement work that gives human voice to the dying process. Also includes works by Bach, Brahms, and Ruth Lomon.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Chor der Waisen (Lomon)
3:56 album only
2. Missa Canonica: Kyrie (Brahms)
3:39 album only
3. Missa Canonica: Sanctus (Brahms)
2:42 album only
4. Missa Canonica: Benedictus (Brahms)
1:24 album only
5. Missa Canonica: Agnus Dei (Brahms)
3:59 album only
6. Totentanz I (Distler)
3:01 album only
7. Totentanz II (Distler)
2:29 album only
8. Totentanz III (Distler)
1:41 album only
9. Totentanz IV (Distler)
2:20 album only
10. Totentanz V (Distler)
2:04 album only
11. Totentanz VI (Distler)
1:34 album only
12. Totentanz VII (Distler)
2:05 album only
13. Totentanz VIII (Distler)
2:02 album only
14. Totentanz IX (Distler)
2:10 album only
15. Totentanz X (Distler)
1:58 album only
16. Totentanz XI (Distler)
1:52 album only
17. Totentanz XII (Distler)
1:59 album only
18. Totentanz XIII (Distler)
3:15 album only
19. Totentanz XIV (Distler)
2:26 album only
20. Bach Again (Bach/Christiansen/London)
4:55 album only


Album Notes
Boston Secession (Jane Ring Frank, Artistic Director) presents "Afterlife: German Choral Meditations on Mortality." At the centerpiece of the program is Hugo Distler's haunting yet redemptive "Totentanz (Dance of Death)," a 14-movement work that gives human voice to the dying process. The program also includes Brahms's little known "Missa Canonica," Ruth Lomon's "Chor der Waisen," and Edwin London's realization of J.S. Bach's "Komm, Susser Tod."

Conducted by Jane Ring Frank. With guest artists Edward Wu, violin; Jayne West, soprano; Frank Kelley, tenor; and James Demler as the voice of Death.

From the CD liner notes by Robert Fink, PhD (UCLA)

"...The Boston Secession explores real German music: the dark, baroque intensity of the German Protestant musical imagination. This is mystical music still stuck in the seventeenth century, still grappling with the legacy of the great composers of the Lutheran choirloft and their unworldly obsession with sin and death..."

About Boston Secession...

Boston Secession is a professional vocal ensemble dedicated to making music new. We present performances of surpassing excellence, forging connections between music and the wider sphere of cultural life: art, politics, philosophy, religion, sexuality.

"To every age its art, to every art its freedom."
-Vienna Secession

"The tuning and dynamics...were so precise that they made the ears ring."
--Richard Dyer, Boston Globe October 5, 2004, reviewing Boston Secession's performance in A Festival of Women Composers at Brandeis University



to write a review

Dr. Jonathan Talberg

This is a must-buy CD for choral musicians
Jane Ring Frank is to be congratulated for the gorgeous tone, beautiful line, and general perfection of singing on "Choral Meditations on Mortality." The Missa Canonica (an early contrapuntal study by Brahms) is beautiful, and the Distler is absolutely arresting. I highly recommend this cd to professional choral musicians and lovers of choral music alike.

Henry B. Hoover, Jr.

Hugo Distler's rare Totentanz makes stunning impact from Boston Secession
Hugo Distler's Totentanz is a rare and powerful work that receives its due in a stunning performance by the musically brilliant and enterprising Boston Secession. Scored for chorus, spoken text, and solo violin, Distler's work has a great potential for becoming tedious in performance. The Secession goes to the deeply personal core of this work and
brings it to shattering life for us. Loman's Chor der Waisen makes gripping listening as musical strands twist and turn back on themselves over a hypnotic drone. If the early Brahms Missa Canonica can be viewed as academic juvenilia, not so London's Bach Again, which is a neat piece of musical deconstruction and a splendid way to wrap up a stellar offering from Boston Secession.