Concerto Melante (photo: Alessandro Cappone)

Chamber Music

Concerto Melante: Music of the Reformation

Concerto Melante, which consists of members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, dedicates this concert to the great reformer Martin Luther. His Protestant ideas changed not only theology, but also sacred music. The simple chorale, sung in German, became at once the focus of worship and served composers of the time as a musical basis for great sacred concertos and cantatas.

Concerto Melante playing historical instruments

Raimar Orlovsky Violine und Leitung

Philipp Bohnen violin

Marie Radauer-Plank violin

Julia Rebekka Adler Viola

Ulrich Wolff viola da gamba

Lea Rahel Bader viola da gamba

Kristin von der Goltz cello

Martin Heinze violone

Andreas Arend Theorbe

Léon Berben organ

Wolfram Arndt Posaune

Gerlinde Sämann soprano

Alex Potter Countertenor

David Munderloh tenor

Dominik Wörner bass baritone

Members of the Vocalconsort Berlin

Christoph Wolff presentation

500 Years of Reformation

Franz Tunder

Sinfonia for Strings à 5 in c

Johann Walter

Chorale Erhalt uns, Herr, bei Deinem Wort

Dieterich Buxtehude

Cantata Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort, BuxWV 27

Dieterich Buxtehude

Cantata All solch dein Güt’ wir preisen, BuxWV 3

Johann Walter

Chorale Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott

Franz Tunder

Sacred Concerto Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott

Georg Philipp Telemann

Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, Motet TWV 8:7

Dietrich Becker

Sonata for Strings à 4 in d

Johann Walter

Chorale Christ lag in Todesbanden

Johann Pachelbel

Cantata Christ lag in Todesbanden

Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 4

Dates and Tickets

Sun, 22 Oct 2017, 20:00

Chamber Music Hall | Introduction: 19:00

Serie R


It was the love of music and an extraordinary talent for languages that led Martin Luther to become the founder of the German Evangelical hymn. Unlike Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin, he praised the beauty of “Frau Musika”: “Because it is a gift of God and not of man, because it delights the soul, because it drives the devil away, because it awakens innocent joy. Fits of anger, evil desires, and pride vanish before it. I place music next to theology. This is well known from the example of David and all the prophets who all produced music and songs. Because it reigns in times of peace. It will be difficult to keep these delightful skills after us for they are of peace” (Über die Musik, 1530).

One of Luther’s most famous hymns is the chorale “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God), first published in 1529, and which quickly became a musical symbol of the church’s renewal. Even Heinrich Heine described the piece in his History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany, written in 1833/1834, as the “Marseillaise of the Reformation”. The year 2017 sees the 500th anniversary of the day Martin Luther is said to have nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Schlosskirche in Wittenberg on 31 October 1517 – the door was more or less the “bulletin board” of the university. The Concerto Melante ensemble dedicate this concert to this special jubilee.

The programme includes cantatas, hymns, motets and instrumental works by Dieterich Buxtehude, Dietrich Becker, Georg Philipp Telemann, Franz Tunder, Johann Pachelbel, Johann Sebastian Bach and Johann Walter. The concert, conducted by Raimar Orlovsky, is presented by Christoph Wolff, professor emeritus of musicology at Harvard University in Cambridge (Massachusetts) and former director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig, whose books, including publications about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Sebastian Bach, are among the standard works of music literature.

Concerto Melante (photo: Alessandro Cappone)