Overseas Artists

The Singphoniker

  • Vocal Ensemble
  • Germany
  • 2018.12/2016.9.4-10.2 / 2014.12

 

 

Ticket CD Concert Back Number OfficialWeb

 

The Singphoniker

25 years ago, when five singers and a vocally talented pianist came together as an ensemble, they had one goal in mind: the voices, each with its own individual artistic qualities, should come together to form a unique Ensemble, balancing the soloist voices in unified effort and presenting a wide variety of repertoire at the highest level.

Through the quality of the voices alone, the Singphoniker are able to evoke moods and emotions like no other vocal group.  With Gregorian Chorales they call up the mystery and spirituality of a medieval monastery.  Madrigals of the Renaissance are transformed into living pictures of 16th century life.  The internal emotional world of the Romantic era is brought to life through the songs of Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Robert Schumann.  The cheeky frivolity of the “Golden 20’s” comes to life in the hits of the Comedian Harmonists.  And the unique Flower Power spirit of the 60’s and 70’s is reborn in the gentle songs of Simon & Garfunkel.

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Their interpretation of contemporary folk music inspires through a fascinating and uniquely natural sound.  It therefore comes as no surprise that the Singphoniker inspire composers to write music for them time and time again.   Enjott Schneider’s “Variationen über die Liebe”, a series of portraits using texts from personal ads, brought the group success in 1984.  Another big success came in 2005 with the world premier of Wilfred Hillers church Opera “Augustinus”.

Over the past 25 years, the Singphoniker have regularly appeared in concert series and major music festivals in Germany, Europe, Asia and America.  Numerous award winning CD recordings of the ensemble are a testament to the quality of its artistic diversity and flexibility.

 

Johannes Euler

This phenomenal voice really blossoms at the top, where other voices wither away

Daniel Schreiber

This italianate tenor is equally brilliant as an Alto

Henning Jensen

Whether lyrical or dramatic, comical or jazzy, Schubert or Singphonic, this Tenor can do it all

Michael Mantaj

A Bass-Baritone with a golden sound, astounding breath control and flexibility

Christian Schmidt

His multifacetted Bass timbre gives the Singphonic sound its foundation

Berno Scharpf

His sensitive touch on the piano gives Schubert a magical sound; as a vocal percussionist he is indispensable

 

 

From the Middle Ages to contemporary music: in search of the homogeneous sound

As the name implies — whatever the “Singphoniker” sing, everything is approached with the same high standards. So as not to become too serious, however, they season their programmes with a pinch of masterly “singphonic” irony. This is made possible by the perfectly balanced subtlety of the male soloist voice ensemble, in which each individually characterized voice is assimilated in the homogeneity of a combined sound.

The model for this type of skilful ensemble singing was provided by the unforgettable Comedian Harmonists. It was their arrangements that — over twenty years ago— inspired six Munich conservatory students to sing together. In the current line-up of Markus Geitner, Daniel Schreiber, Christian Schmidt, Henning Jensen, Michael Mantaj and the pianist Berno Scharpf the ensemble with its unpretentious performances and cleverly selected programmes ranks among the leading specialists in vocal chamber music. This claim is emphatically proven by their presence in the concert hall and the internet (www.singphoniker.de) and their meanwhile over 30 CDs, mainly on their regular label cpo.

Despite this, it would certainly be misguided to see parody and mimicry as the sole features of the “singphonic” style. With the same precision the “Singphoniker” undertake expeditions into the sociable art of 19th century ensemble singing. In complete recordings or extensive selections they present vocal arrangements by Michael Haydn, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Konradin Kreutzer and brand-new, “Singphonic Grieg”. The prize-winning complete recording of all of Franz Schubert’s arrangements for vocal ensemble set standards in his bicentennial year 1997. Thematically oriented programmes such as a selection of drinking songs through the centuries, Christmas-time vocal music or spiritual literature also extend beyond a mere hit parade. Thanks to the flexibility of the vocal ensemble and the competent advice of Godehard Joppich, the expert on Gregorian chant, the “Singphoniker” are now also leaders where Gregorian chant is concerned.

 

Reviews

 

„A first class vocal ensemble“

FONOFORUM, Cologne

 

„Outstanding“

GRAMOPHONE, UK

 

„From pure intonation to humorous communication with the audience – everything is just a perfect match.“

FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG

 

„In their chosen field they are quite simply the best.”

FANFARE, USA

 

„Top class vocal sound“

NEUE KRONENZEITUNG, Vienna

 

„Wit, virtuosity and liveliness of their interpretation are completely convincing.“

FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG

 

„The Singphoniker have a perfect vocal technique, a warm and physical quality of sound.“

DE STANDAARD, Brussels

 

„Through the uniqueness of each the voices they form a perfect ensemble.“

LE MONDE DE LA MUSIQUE, Paris

 

„A unique homogeneity and expression of subtle nuances“

FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG

 

„A great vocal pleasure which stands out remarkably when compared to similar professional ensembles through its harmony of uniquely tempered voices and a wonderful dynamic interpretation.“

RHEIN-ZEITUNG, Koblenz

 

„Vocal elegance and flexibility, refined accentuation, rhythmic precision and a well-balanced sound“

DER BUND, Bern