Friday, September 10, 2010

Chapman University Choir sings at the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedaechtniskirche on May 27, 2011

 The Chapman University Choir will celebrate the evening service as the featured guest choir for the Choral Vespers at Berlin's Gedaechtniskirche on Friday, May 27, 2011. 
The Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Gedaechtniskirche stands on the Kurfuerstendamm in the center of Breitscheidplatz in Berlin. The original church was built in the 1890s but suffered terrible damage in a 1943 bombing raid. The spire of the original church has been retained and the ground floor converted into a memorial hall. The present building, consisting of a church with attached foyer and separate belfry with attached chapel, was completed in 1963. The distinctive appearance of the new buildings makes the Gedaechtniskirche one of the most famously recognizable landmarks in Berlin.
The new church, designed by Egon Eiermann, consists of four buildings grouped around the remaining ruins of the original church. A unique concrete honeycomb design, with 21,292, stained glass inlays form the walls of the new church. The vast cathedral houses a 5,000 pipe Schuke organ. Special Plexiglass panels were installed over the organ gallery to improve acoustics. The mass church displays numerous beautiful works of art including a mosaic of the Archangel Gabriel fighting the dragon, a gilt silver altar cross adorned with 37 rock crystals, and the charcoal drawing Stalingrad Madonna—a symbol of hope and reconciliation drawn by Kurt Reuber during the Christmas of 1942 he spent trapped at Stalingrad.

“The Gedaechtniskirche offers a radiant live sound, a true acoustic---not much reverb, but a nice concert hall sound-and a lovely balcony for double choir repertoire.”
-Dr. Jonathan Talberg
Director of Choral, Vocal and Opera Studies
Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, CSULB

Church photo courtesy of German Tourism Board; organ photo borrowed from

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