This only exists in Nuremberg: a midday concert with Jewish organ music and synagogue singing in the Frauenkirche on the main market, which was built on the foundations of the synagogue destroyed in 1394.

The church is full and the need to talk is huge.

So they move from the Frauenkirche to the nearby rectory of Sankt Sebald, where Assaf Levitin, cantor in Hamburg, and Stephan Lutermann, church musician in Melle, take up questions from the audience.

The fact that there is Jewish organ music goes back to the inventor of Reform Judaism, Israel Jacobsen, who had an organ installed in the Jakob Temple in Seesen in the Harz Mountains for the first time in 1810 - as a sign of Jewish-Christian rapprochement.

The parsonage with the adjoining café is itself a landmark of German-Jewish history: during the renovation that was completed last October, a walled-in Jewish tombstone was uncovered again and the Jewish protective slogan was discovered on a wooden door from 1500: "No grief should come through this gate."

set impulses

Pastor Martin Brons, art historian, city guide and comrade-in-arms of Moritz Puschke, has now made this his task.

Puschke has been in charge of the International Organ Week Nuremberg since 2019 and gave it a complete makeover as an International Festival for Sacred Music.

The midday concert with Jewish organ music from the edition of the German-American musicologist Tina Frühauf - the only collection of original Jewish organ works - was the start of the theme day "Jewish Music Culture in Europe", conceived in 2021 for the event series "1700 years of Jewish life in Germany": a dense program with so many suggestions that it would have lasted for a week, especially since against the background of the discussions in Kassel on the Documenta and the BGH judgment on the Wittenberg "Judensau" (also St.

But this is exactly what Puschke intends to do: set impulses, provide answers to "crisis potential", experience the festival as a forum and platform.

However, without any missionary zeal, as a pastor's son he was warned against that.

Rather, together with his dramaturge Oliver Geisler, he feels called to be the first listener to "what needs there are in the city" and concludes: "get into the scenes!" there is no semi-professional choir in the churches that dominate the city, and develops its program in dialogue with the city.

The success confirms it - the number of visitors has increased by twenty-five percent this year compared to 2019.

Bringing people together and thus creating multipliers is the primary goal of the unpretentious communicator Puschke.

With his dramaturgy, he wants to appeal to both a specialist audience and a festival audience.

The intensive course for working on Brahms' "German Requiem" and the master class for improvisation on keyboard instruments are aimed at music students, a workshop serves to get amateur choirs back into the everyday rehearsals after the Corona break, a workshop concert presents the work of the ecumenical children's and youth choir with the English flagship ensemble "Voces8", which was invited to a solo performance of Handel's "Messiah".

The idea of ​​turning children into stage artists at the beginning of the festival - this year with over 200 Nuremberg schoolchildren at Sing Beethoven -,

Star cult is a term that Moritz Puschke does not know at all, although he brings the best performers in their field to Nuremberg, such as the RIAS Chamber Choir, conducted by Peter Dijkstra, with an Eastern European program and a sensational performance by Alfred Schnittke, which lasts around fifty minutes "Concerto for Choir" in front of the oversized crucifix in the Egidius Church - an eloquent epic about the lack of words to describe God's glory and a visible idea of ​​the smallness of poor people and sinners compared to God.

Or, on the following evening, the five-piece, dreamily intoning Calmus Ensemble with songs by Paul Gerhardt, the madrigal-like Hebrew psalm settings by Salomone Rossi and songs by Leonard Cohen in the artificial,

Small casts

This is about the thing, that is conveyed without words.

But the matter is deadly serious.

Puschke is not only concerned about the decline in the choirs during and after Corona, but rather he sees our entire basic musical supply from the churches in danger, and he would prefer to revitalize church music across the board.

But he suspects that the churches themselves are not yet aware of the necessity.

Initiating this with his festival is perhaps Moritz Puschke's idealistic long-term goal.

His supporting program on the weekends with large works in small ensembles, including the Brahms Requiem, the Mozart Requiem or Bach's Mass in B minor in greatly reduced versions, is also an offer to think about your own performance options.

As a motto for this wide-ranging festival, Moritz Puschke had chosen “all you need is .

.

.” issued.

What others need besides love, he knows.

But what does he need himself?

"The sparkle in people's eyes."

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