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Collegium Vocale zu Franziskanern

The Collegium Vocale was founded in 2005 by Ulrike Grosch. Originally made up of participants of a workshop led by Ton Koopman, the choir consists primarily of students and alumni of Swiss conservatories and music schools.

The ensemble’s home base is the Franciscan Church in Lucerne – an ideal space for choral music – but concertizes regularly in Basel and other cities. Programs drawn from the literature of a cappella choral music form the core of their musical endeavors. These programs are conceived along strict thematic lines, integrating contrasts and parallels between the works. Well-known works from the standard repertoire (Monteverdi, Schütz, Bach, Brahms, Schoenberg, Schnittke, Messiaen, Britten) are paired with less often preformed works. The choir and its director share an enthusiasm for the discovery of the new, combined with high vocal expertise and a particular passion for working on language, diction and sound.

Highlights include the programs “L’amour et la mort” (Olivier Messiaen, Claude Le Jeune), recorded and broadcast by Swiss National Radio; “Zwischenwelten” (Gustav Mahler, Alfred Schnittke, Richard Strauss), performed in the KKL concert hall of Lucerne, in which the choir was joined by the Lucerne choir Molto Cantabile; and participation in the International Choral Biennial in Aachen, Germany in 2011 featuring English choral music of the 20th century, which resulted in the recording of the present CD.