This weekend there are Tenso days in Berlin, which is a festival for contemporary chamber choir.
Tenso is a network of professional choirs which was founded in 2004 following an initiative of the french chamber choir Accentus under Laurence Equilbey, who is also known for her Jeune choer de Paris a choir for young singers covering a wide repertoire, which includes also contemporary music.
The word Tenso comes from the word Tenzone (see e.g. Dantes works), which is a disputation with the use of sonetts (where – strictly speaking – the rhyme of the previous sonett has to be taken on for the next sonett). The Tenso days were first held in Paris in 2005 in the Cite de la Musique.
The Tenso days include concerts, discussions and even a multimedia exhibition organized by Prof. Elena Ungeheuer of the department of music science at the TU Berlin, which covers a lot of questions about music, language and music perception, relating fields ranging from rap to mp3 encoding. And – yes – (:)) I wanted to discuss with them the findings of Diana Deutsch.
Yesterdays concert was given by the chamber choir of the latvian radio choir featuring this program, which included Ligeti’s great Lux Aeterna (also used in 2001 – A space odyssey) and many other partially very, very nice contemporary works. And having sung in various choirs myself I can only say that this choir was absolutely brilliant and so no wonder that the hall was full – despite the parallel ongoing Jazz festival featuring Jon Hassel at that evening.
Todays concert of Berlins RIAS chamber choir is unfortunately sold out but one can still go to the rehearsals, discussions and the exhibition. The Tenso days are taking place at an awesome new cultural venue called Radialsystem, about which I will may be write later.