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Sirventes CDs


sirventes berlin – Stefan Schuck

Joseph Dorfmann … that they live

Cantate, 2005

Cantata on biblical texts

and Yitzhak Katzenelson’s “Lied fumn ojsgehargeten yidschn Folk” for tenor, baritone and
mixed choir a cappella
Performance duration: approx. 60 minutes

The work has been released on CD by Cantate. You can order the CD here and listen to it on itunes

“Approaching one another” – this is the guiding principle of the work “…that they may live”.

More information

The a cappella cantata (1999) was the result of an encounter between the Jewish composer Joseph Dorfman (Tel Aviv), the Protestant visual artist Gero Hellmuth (Singen) and the Catholic conductor Stefan Schuck (Berlin).
Hellmuth’s Auschwitz cycle brings together paintings, assemblages and sculptures. At the center is the number …19… – as part of a concentration camp prisoner number and as a symbol of the human being degraded to a number. Dorfman was inspired to compose his cantata by these works of art. Schuck premiered the composition in May 2003 as part of the ecumenical church congress in Berlin – together with the vocal ensemble sirventes berlin (then: soloist ensemble of the church Am Hohenzollernplatz) and the soloists Yossi Aridán (tenor) and Motti Kastón (baritone). Hellmuth’s Auschwitz cycle was also exhibited.

The seven-movement cantata composed by Joseph Dorfman is a setting of Old Testament texts from the books of Job, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, the Psalms and excerpts from the Yiddish “Lied fumn ojsgehargeten jidschn Folk”. This “Great Song of the Exterminated Jewish People” was buried in bottles under a tree by the great poet of the Lodz ghetto, Yitzhak Katzenelson (1886 – 1944); a copy was smuggled into Israel – sewn into a suitcase handle. Katzenelson himself was murdered in Auschwitz in May 1944. Miraculously, both copies of his poetry have survived.
“…that they may live” builds a bridge between Judaism and Christianity: the focus is on shaping a peaceful coexistence after the Holocaust. The work is available in German, Hebrew, Yiddish and Russian and is aimed at all those for whom a remembrance of the Shoah directed towards the past is not enough and who are ready for an active mutual rapprochement. The common theme of Hellmuth’s artworks and Dorfman’s composition allows for a separate historical and religious-cultural examination.

Interreligious dialog and intercultural work appear to be more necessary than ever, especially in view of the current religious and cultural conflicts. Reflecting on common roots and values, making clear what unites us and what divides us, looking beyond the past into the future – these are the ideals to which “…that they live” is committed.
In October 2004, the project was awarded the Singen-Hegau Cultural Promotion Association’s recognition prize for this commitment


sirventes berlin – Stefan Schuck

Berlin a capella Christmas

Carus, 2018

sirventes berlin and Stefan Schuck present a real Berlin Christmas CD: Berlin composers from the 19th to 21st century are gathered here on one CD, from Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy to Carl Thiel, Albert Becker, Peter Cornelius and Heinrich von Herzogenberg to the contemporary composer Frank Schwemmer.

In addition to such famous works as Frohlocket, ihr Völker by Mendelssohn, numerous unknown treasures were also unearthed.


… Precision and dynamic plurality as well as subtle coordination between choir and soloists dominate the sound experience. … A festive and joyful listening experience for the big holidays in December!
Musica Sacra, 05/2020

… The range of concerts and CD recordings is immense, but fortunately there are still new things to discover. This is impressively demonstrated by the Berlin vocal ensemble sirventes under the direction of Stefan Schuck. With a genuine Berlin Christmas CD, the 20 or so professional singers set a special, local accent.
Choir time, 12/2018

With the convincing CD “Berliner Weihnacht a cappella”, “sirventes berlin” has at least done everything to make an emphatic sonic plea for the genre. The ensemble of twelve professional singers sings homogeneously and beautifully and delivers harmonies that linger in the ear.
Rainer Baumgärtner, kulturradio, 17.12.2018

The melodies sung by the “Sirventes Berlin” choir under the direction of Stefan Schuck sound almost soulful. In perfect harmony …
Choral pieces from the 19th,
20th and
21st century …
Axel Hill, Kölnische Rundschau, 17.12.2018

Music to listen to closely in the run-up to Christmas.
APA, 12.12.2018

These three recordings of Christmas music also satisfy all tastes…
Guy Engels, Pizzicato, 08.12.2018

The intonation is flawless … Dynamically, the performers exploit all the possibilities of their slender instrumentation almost with relish. Lyrical brilliance is masterfully combined with appealing text sensitivity.
Dr. Matthias Lange, klassik.com, 06.12.2018

Stefan Schuck’s ensemble sirventes berlin with its professional singers proves to be first class. A real CD insider tip for the festive season!
Johannes Adam, Badische Zeitung, 03.12.2018

… All exciting a cappella movements by masters great and small, sung in exemplary fashion. Especially.
AZ, 30.11.2018

Het Berlijns vocaal a cappella ensemble “Sirventes Berlin” en haar dirigent Stefan Schuck, stellen een oorspronkelijke, Berlijnse kerst-cd voor die de gepaste sfeer van het mysterie oproept. … Heel, heel bijzonder.
Michel Dutrieue, Stretto, 26.11.2018

Everything resounds in a perfect, crystal-clear and linear choral sound … This CD brings the previously unknown into the bright light and proves to be a truly tasteful Christmas present.
Jan-Geert Wolff, pizzicato, 11/21/2018


sirventes berlin – Stefan Schuck

Gottfried August Homilius – Have your delight in the Lord – Motets II

Carus, 2014

Gottfried August Homilius left behind an extensive oeuvre. It includes numerous motets, cantatas and oratorios. Homilius’ compositions were extremely popular and widespread in their day. On the occasion of his 300th birthday On the occasion of his 100th birthday, Carus released several CDs with works by this “best church composer[en]” (J. F. Reichardt) of his time. Homilius’ motets are among the most demanding and interesting works in the choral literature. In these pieces, the composer, who was born over 300 years ago, achieves a captivating combination of contrapuntal writing and the new, sensitive style of his time. After the sensational first series with Frieder Bernius and the Kammerchor Stuttgart, the vocal ensemble sirventes Berlin under Stefan Schuck delivers another selection from Homilius’ more than 60 motets.



[The motets] are beautifully sung by Sirventes Berlin under their director Stefan Schuck who has the knack of always finding the right-sounding tempo, and of cultivating the right weight of expression throughout. Jonathan Woolf, www.musicweb-international.com, March 19, 2015

Maestro Schuck and forces give their all in this music with a fierce dedication to the composer, and Carus sets them down brilliantly in digital splendor. Give it a try. Steven Ritter, audaud.com, July 08, 2014

[…] sparkles with enthusiasm and glorious late high baroque gorgeousness […] ionarts.blogspot.com, best recordings of 2014, December 28, 2014

The performers […] are stylistically adept, sing and make music cleanly and animatedly; again […] examples of the fact that not only the very well-known ensembles and names guarantee quality! Gustav Danzinger, Choir News, June 2014

[…] one of the high points in my listening year so far. Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone, June 2014

With ‘Habe deine Lust an dem Herrn’, a second recording of motets is now available, which the Sirventes ensemble dresses in a pure and slender choral sound. Conductor Stefan Schuck relies on brisk tempi that still leave plenty of scope for accurate declamation, giving the music a lively, light character overall. Guy Engels, pizzicato.lu, May 20, 2014

The group sirventes berlin […] brings the agility that this music requires. Reinhard Kriechbaum, Concerto, May/June 2014

The ensemble impresses with its agile, homogeneous and transparent choral sound and excellent declamation. crescendo, 2/2014 (March-May 2014)

[…] a very clean, transparent preparation of the musical text, […] a good feel for Homilius’ simple but not artless style […] Matthias Hengelbrock, Musik & Kirche, March/April 2014 (No. 2)

Voici donc un bien beau disque pour faire connaissance avec l’univers de Homilius qui complète parfaitement la première anthologie de motets dirigée par Frieder Bernius parue chez le même éditeur en 2004. Si vous avez, comme moi, des affinités avec ce répertoire, je vous recommande de ne pas le manquer.
(This beautiful CD is a good way to get to know the world of Homilius. It perfectly complements the first collection of motets conducted by Frieder Bernius, which was released by the same label in 2004. If, like me, you feel drawn to this repertoire, I recommend that you don’t miss this recording). Jean-Christophe Pucek, www.passee-des-arts.com, March 27, 2014

Homilius is worth it. Many a Carus production has already demonstrated this, and the vocalists of sirventes berlin with Stefan Schuck are currently underlining this. Dr. Matthias Lange, klassik.com, March 9, 2014

The liveliest polyphony is juxtaposed with brilliant double-choir effects. “sirventes berlin” […] brings the agility that this music requires. Reinhard Kriechbaum, www.drehpunktkultur.at, February 24, 2014

The Ensemble Sirventes Berlin under the direction of Stefan Schuck can be observed at [höchste Sangeskunst] […].
Die Rheinpfalz, February 15, 2014

[…] worth discovering.
Südwestpresse, February 1, 2014

It has become a very successful CD, a recommendation for all friends of a cappella literature! Astrid Belschner, rbb kulturradio, January 27, 2014


Sirventes YouTube channel

Experience us live as well as older recordings

Here was a-cappella music that was outstanding in precision, in stylistic accuracy, in its scope of vocal color and, above all, in the blending of the eight voices.

Pamela Hickman 2013

...the best singers in Berlin...

Berliner Tagesspiegel

Homogeneous and individual