for him St. Polten’s Cathedral Kapellmeister Valentine Kunert Church music is a kind of “spiritual mobilization station”. A year ago – on September 1, 2022 – Kuhnert took over office duties in St. Polten. The plans that the musician had drawn up for church music in the provincial capital of Lower Austria before taking office, Kuhnert summed up, “could have been very well executed in their entirety”. Conversation with St. Polten’s Church Newspaper “Kirche Bunt” (current issue). “We have been able to organize very beautiful concerts and masses. The intense musical work performed by the cathedral music immediately creates a very open personal relationship with each other,” says the musician.
Working together, we got to know each other really well. “So I can say that the stage of consolidation within the bands has come a long way in a short time. We are also seeing an increase in the number of singers. This is an important and positive sign,” said the 36-year-old singer. happily old. For a native German, music is by no means an end in itself, “it is always an ambassador with which we want to reach people and give thanks to God”.
The Musica Sacra, which was the country’s first festival in 50 years, is also special in Lower Austria and celebrates the anniversary this year. “A festival focusing on sacred music is a bit unusual, and it alone attracts attention,” Kunnert says. Today the concert series is known and recognized far beyond the borders of the diocese. For Kuhnert, the festival also has a pastoral mission: “In musical masterpieces, biblical themes are brought closer to the concert-goers in a very special way, which also serves personal spirituality.”
The festival will open this year with the movie “Creation” by Joseph Haydn. In terms of tonal language, Kunnert sees rhetoric as a “guideline for a new age”. Not only does Haydn masterfully fuse the sum of his lifelong creative work in the continuity of baroque counterpoint, the Italian vocal legacy and the instrumental setting of Viennese classicism, but he has already reached the realm of romantic music. In the end, it is “a musical reproduction of a creative marvel that we are allowed to live in,” says the church musician.
Kunnert, who will take over the artistic direction of the festival from 2024, is looking forward to implementing the programme, which is already very concrete for next year. The program includes the dramatic story on the life story of “King David” by the Franco-Swiss composer Arthur Honegger; “He worked in an entertaining tonal language, with oriental sounds, borrowings from Bach and even Impressionist onomatopoeia.” Kunnert says there will also be a program provision for families and children next year.
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