Press

Album: Bach Memories (Bodenschätze)

[…] The album »Bodenschatze«, sung by the excellent Chorwerk Ruhr conducted by Florian Helgath, embarks on unheard-of discoveries from this collection in the truest sense of the word. What reverberates here is representative, sacred music of the finest [...] The subtle instrumental accompaniment on historical instruments by the wind ensemble »Capella de la Torre« also enriches the album and underlines the solemnity of the music. Sometimes the instruments are coupled with the appropriate voices, sometimes smaller preludes and interludes are switched on. And so this wonderful album, performed at the highest level, proves to be a treasure trove of vocal music treasures from around 1600.

Chorzeit, Arne Sonntag, January 2022

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Album: Bach Memories (Bodenschätze)

 

The Chorwerk Ruhr under the direction of Florian Helgath has developped into one of the leading German chamber choirs over the past 20 years and stands for an extremely broad repertoire from early music to world premieres. The choir's latest project is devoted to a "bestseller" of the 17th century - the Florilegium Portense motet collection, with the Capella de la Torre as an instrumental partner. With the highest vocal sound quality, a broad, colorful spectrum of expression and above all with varied and intelligent arrangements, the two ensembles succeed in getting these pieces, which were very popular 400 years ago, back on track for today's ears.

 

rbbKultur, Bernhard Schrammek, 11.11.2021

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Album: Bach Memories (Bodenschätze)

Festive double choirs from Giovanni Gabrieli, rhetorical vitality from Orlando di Lasso, elegiac tones from Jacobus Gallus and approaches to solo monody: Florian Helgath designed a clever, exciting selection that also takes completely unknown composers into account [...].
If the selection of works is impressive, the singing culture of the Chorwerk Ruhr cannot be praised highly enough. With the choir, perfectly prepared in terms of phrasing, articulation and intelligibility of the text, Florian Helgath unfolds a maximum of sound beauty and filigree stylistic precision work. Quality with which the choir holds an international top position. [...]

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Pedro Obiera, 05.11.2021

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Florian Helgath: Carmina Burana in Stavanger

With three top-class vocal soloists, mixed choir and children's choir, full orchestra and one of the most sought-after choir conductors of the time, the stage was set for a feast in the packed concert hall. [...]
What a blessing to have Florian Helgath here! He has this music in his DNA. [...] All in all, an uplifting and heartwarming concert experience!

Stavanger Aftenbladet, 22.10.2021

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An evening of superlatives: Chorwerk Ruhr & Concerto Köln

The performance of Mendelssohn's Elias reveals Florian Helgath not only as an excellent choir director, but also as a sovereign conductor of complex productions: accurate tempos, fine dynamic gradations, a beautiful tone formation and lively phrasing, a perfectly controlled balance between orchestra and choir, a defatted overall sound without historicizing exaggerations, a confident sense for the dramatic, spiritual essence of the work and a brilliant preparation of the choir and the orchestra. […] A coherent interpretation of the work which has granted the Ruhrtriennale a great moment.

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Pedro Obiera, 11.09.2021

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Album: Praetorius & Italy with RIAS Kammerchor & Capella de la Torre

 

Michael Praetorius, whose 400th anniversary of death is being celebrated this year, is one of the great shortfalls in music history. "You need real early baroque specialists for him," says Helgath to explain this deficit. [...] "His recognition prevented the need of very old instruments such as shawms, dulcian, pommer and cornetts for him - and not just a simple baroque oboe." But then this music unfolds an unexpected and incomparable suggestive and suction power. You step into another world.
"The difference between Praetorius and the Italians that he admired and that we have gathered on this album is his much greater relation to words."[...] Praetorius' point, however, is precisely "to leave this ridge of word primacy ’ (measured against contemporaries such as Schein, Schütz and Scheidt). Praetorius, that's the joke about him, is getting more Italian. […] With the new CD, the RIAS Chamber Choir sets a monument of absolute superiority.

 

Rondo Magazin, Robert Fraunholzer, 1/2021

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Chorwerk Ruhr and Florian Helgath impress with pure sound beauty

The delicate, finest weaves of sound in the piano were sensational, making Gloria and Sanctus of the Frank Martin's Mass for Double Choir shine mildly.

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Klaus Albrecht, 13.01.2020

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart "Requiem" (supplemented by Michael Ostrzyga, 2019)
Chorwerk Ruhr / concerto Cologne under the direction of Florian Helgath (grade 1)
corviello classics 2020


The event of the new recording is anyway the interpretation by Chorwerk Ruhr and Concerto Köln under the direction of Florian Helgath, who sets new records with his equally inspired, slim, energetic and expressive design. The choir is brilliant, always sounding transparent, dynamic, wide, but without extravagance, and making the melodic progress crystal clear.

Florian Helgath sets strong accents, but always keeps his measure, does not derail in exaggerations like celebrated stars à la Currentzis & Co. Together with the no less excellent Concerto Köln and a balanced soloist quartet, the recording deserves a top place in every discotheque.

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Pedro Obiera, June 26, 2020

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Album: Brahms A German Requiem with Chorwerk Ruhr

[...] Working with a small group of singers, Florian Helgath finds the forward momentum that keeps Brahms' phrases alive even when the tempo is leisurely. Particularly attractive is the lilt he finds in the fourth movement, and the drama in the depiction of the Last Judgment in movement 6. [...] Of all the accounts of the piano (4 hands) versions I've heard, this is now top of my list.

www.choirandorgan.com, Philip Reed, November 2019

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Florian Helgath, Chorwerk Ruhr & Duisburg Philharmonic at Ruhrtriennale

At the Ruhrtriennale, Berio's "Coro" was heard with the great Chorwerk Ruhr which had joined forces with the Duisburg Philharmonic under the direction of Florian Helgath. [...] Helgath had positioned five groups of singers and instrumentalists in the hall: two at the back, with an almost bodiless sound, one in the gallery, one on the left, one in the middle. This resulted in a finely balanced sound mixture, which could increase into a luxurious mix. The sound was to be experienced as a fine cocoon: finely graduated, with room for carefully balanced individual voices. [...] A special experience was the "Agnus dei", in which the singers were split into 60 voices, as if the room were full of fine sound lines, performed with passion. [...] Chorwerk Ruhr, Florian Helgath and the Duisburg Philharmonic have once again ensured a highlight in the Ruhrtriennale programme.

Westfälischer Anzeiger, Edda Breski, 03.09.2019

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Florian Helgath, Chorwerk Ruhr & Concerto Köln

Mozart Requiem/Michael Ostrzyga at Rheingau Musik Festival

High-precision cues, precise intonation, the rigorous renouncement of romanticizing blending of tones, monolithic clarity and a structuring phrasing are hallmarks of this magnificent formation.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Christian Rupp, 19.08.2019

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Florian Helgath and Chorwerk Ruhr: J.S.Bach & Mauricio Kagel

 

When Chorwerk Ruhr and Florian Helgath perform at the Ruhrtriennale, musical enjoyment at the highest level is guaranteed and when the ensemble recites the original chorales of J.S. Bach in perfect, vocal balance with perfect articulation and phrasing in almost dancelike floating elegance, the rugged contrasts and fractures of Kagel's comments enter all the more blatant in the ear (...). Equipped with whispering bags, the choir hisses, sibilates and calls out parts of the chorale segments as virtuously as it presents Bach in impeccable beauty (...). The audience was thrilled at Zeche Zollverein in Essen.

Allgemeiner Anzeiger, Pedro Obiera, 22.09.2018

 

The avant-garde varieties of Mauricio Kagel's Chorbuch are brilliantly expressed by Florian Helgath and Chorwerk Ruhr, with their superior expressiveness and powerful presence (...). "Singet dem Herrn " by J.S. Bach presents the choir highly virtuoso and with striking lightness.

Online Musik Magazin, Stefan Schmöe, 22.09.2018

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Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle with Chorwerk Ruhr

The 33 professional singers of the Chorwerk Ruhr bring a breathtaking experience of the highest choral culture: moving expression, perfect homogeneity of the voices and articulation, rich dynamics from multiple piano to fortissimo. The virtuoso fugues as in the "Cum Sancto Spiritu" they sing "con spirito", swinging-fast and yet soulful, never sticky, phenomenal the Durchhörbarkeit (...). Florian Helgath is a master of the art of choral conducting. With relaxed concentration he calls the results of the rehearsal work, inspires, inspires his fellow musicians, conveys the message to the head and heart of the listener. Applause in earthquake strength.

onetz (online), Peter K. Donhauser, 04.02.2018

 

Consolidated in all epochs up to the new music Chorwerk Ruhr confirmed under the direction of Florian Helgath also with Rossini its reputation as top choir nationwide. The 30-member ensemble captivates in all its expressive facets with its absolutely purified sound: the piano floats in the "Christe eleison", softly lit the "Sanctus", wiry and tightly standing in the room, the "Gloria". It is not just the joyfully prancing Fugato that shows how closed this ensemble is formed of potential soloists and how it translates every nuance of the conductor. [...]

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Klaus Albrecht, 12.02.2018

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When early music and new music meet at same level: "Memoria" in Dortmund

This requires such an excellent ensemble as the Chorwerk Ruhr, which has given us, under Florian Helgath's prudent management in this concert as part of the Ruhrtriennale, very unusual, exciting and beguiling listening experiences. This is in the machine hall of the coal mine Zollern in Dortmund, where the sound unfolds freely in the room, always remaining tangible despite the enormous dimensions of the building. (…) A fascinating evening.

 

Westdeutsche Zeitung, Martin Schrahn, 29.08.2017

Philip Glass: Opera “Einstein on the beach“: Rich in imagery and powerful time travel in Dortmund

In Dortmund, Chorwerk Ruhr - a choir of young professional singers who have achieved the international top level within in the last years also through their productions for the Ruhrtriennale - was phenomenally secure in intonation and rhythm, and also playful up to audacity. The founder and musical director Florian Helgath also had the musical overall direction and also conducted the small ensemble of wind instruments and keyboards on which Philipp Glass has built his monumental work.

 

Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Ulrike Gondorf, 23.04.2017

Chorwerk Ruhr sang Mendelssohn‘s „Paulus“ intimately and grippingly

With only 36 singers and 46 musicians, Helgath succeeded not only in a romantic, but also a dramatically gripping interpretation of the story of Paulus.(…) Chorwerk Ruhr convinced with a phased staggered sound: soft and homogenously in the choir "Siehe! Wir preisen selig", dancing and swinging and radiant in the fugue "Der Erdkreis ist nun des Herrn".

 

Ruhr Nachrichten, Klaus Stübler, 06.03.2017

The accomplished falling silent of Mozart at the Ruhrtriennale

With his excellent ensemble Chorwerk Ruhr and eight singers of each section,  Florian Helgath has realised Mozart’s Requiem & Georg Friedrich Haas‘ Sieben Klangräume exquisitely. J.S. Bach’s motet Komm, Jesu, komm with an almost weightless choral sound has been interpreted extremely precise (…) Also Ligeti‘s Lux aeterna with its floating, complex areas of sound has been sung admirably clear. Helgath and Chorwerk Ruhr have captivated once again with its supernatural, beautiful pianissimo in Mozart’s Ave verum corpus and the strings of the Bochum Symphony accompanied delicately: Great highlight of an extraordinarily gripping concert.

 

 

Online Musik Magazin, Stefan Schmöe, 05.09.2015

"The magic of unearthly vocals" for the 15th anniversary of Chorwerk Ruhr

The top ensemble combines a special ardency with its already highly acclaimed artistic director Florian Helgath, who developed the voices to a maximum in Mendelssohn’s Psalms scorings. (…) Literally surrounded by four choral groups, the audience could dive into tone spheres with Hans Schanderl’s Gitanjali no. 100 which seemed to have fallen out of the world (...). After 90 minutes of high intensity this concert has truly deserved the title of “finest hour of choral singing”.

 

 

Rhein-Zeitung, Julia Hilgeroth-Buchner, 09.02.2015

 

Bach's "B minor Mass" brilliantly interpretated in Kempen

Florian Helgath, the young chief conductor of Chorwerk Ruhr holds the strings of energy to conduct this special, impressive concert [...] Rarely one has seen such a clearly articulated, so musically phrased polyphony, rarely one witnessed singers that listen to each other that well [...] The incredibly serious nature Helgath is working with, reveals parts of the piece which are usually reserved to musicologists.

 

Rheinische Post, Armin Kaumanns, 05.11.2013

"Memoria" with Florian Helgath and ChorWerk Ruhr at Ruhrtriennale

Florian Helgath's plan to prepare de Victoria's vocal polyphony for the search for the sound of New York's school is astounding.(…) Helgath works in the "Offertorium" at the polyphony of Tomas Luis de Victoria and lets the choir of six voices sound wonderfully changeable. In "Hosianna", quite audible and clear, the moving chant of ChorWerk Ruhr in the motet resumed with the moment of personal grief. In the venue of a factory a reverberation is felt, and in "Absolutio", the choir has a multi-voice ending, which allows the spectrum of the fading sound to swell to a volume which is unimagined. (...)

 

John Cage has named different tones for soprano, alto, tenor and bass without determining the duration in Four 2 (1990). In certain periods of time the singers have to sing as well as to end their sound chord differently. Helgath has placed couples of singers among the audience. Their entries trains the feeling for the spatial feeling of the illusion of the origin of the sound. (…)

 

In Morton Feldman's "Rothko Chapel" (1971), one experiences moments as if the sound is released into the world for the first time. (...) The choir holds a tone which is becoming more and more comprehensive, indeed appears absolute. There is a fine concentration, an expectation.

 

Westfälischer Anzeiger, Achim Lettmann, 27.08.2017

Excellent „Paulus“ with Chorwerk Ruhr and Florian Helgath in Essen

The 36 choristers left nothing to be desired with its powerful and crystalline sound: neither in the clear lines, nor in the differentiated choral expression or the dramatic emphasis “Steinigt ihn!”. Huge accolades in the Philharmonie.

 

ikz-online.de 07.03.2017

Bach/Reger CD with MDR Leipzig Radio Choir: Sonorous on highest level

 

All motets of this CD sound true to the original style and well-balanced. You can almost hear how the tone interplays in every moment with the individual voices. The biggest of our radio choir (with 73 chorists) is surprisingly streamlined. Just as the tone is one of the strengh of the choir: clear, easy, overtone-rich. [...]
There is no need to mention that everything is just right here: the intonation, the phrasing, the breath, the diction, the homogeneity  ... It is a very successful CD, a recommendation for all friends of choir music!


Kulturradio, Astrid Belschner, 27.09.2016

© ChorWerk Ruhr / Pedro Malinowski
© ChorWerk Ruhr / Pedro Malinowski

First performance of 'Earth Diver' at Ruhrtriennale in Essen

Chorwerk Ruhr sang under the direction of Florian Helgath very well and delicately, and disarmingly clear – while walking around in the hall.

 

Westfalenpost online, 22.09.2016

"The Chirping of the Nightinghale" at Festival Wege durch das Land

An excellent vocal ensemble and a world class recorder player of world class were part of the musical part of the event series "Wege durch das Land". […] How professional and flexible the big choir acted under the direction of Florian Helgath became already obvious in the five romantic songs by Mendelssohn.

 

Neue Westfälische, 08.07.2014