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Rolf Schweizer
1936 - 2016
R. Schweizer
Rolf Schweizer (14/03/1936 - 06/06/2016), a German conductor and organist, born in Emmendingen. He studied among others church music in Heidelberg with Meinrad Poppen, Hans Werner Zimmermann and Wolfgang Dallmann. For ten years he operated as Kantor and organist at the Johanniskirche in Mannheim. In 1966 he moved to Pforzheim and served at the Evangelische Stadtkirche (Evangelist Town Church). Beside the Motettenchor Pforzheim he also took care there for the Jugenkantorei, Jugenkantorei, the Bachorchester, the Bläserensemble und whole line of the Evangelische Singschule (Evangeslist Singing School). At the same time Rolf Schweizer - since 1969 with the title director of church music - is Bezirk’s Kantor and since 1976 also State Kantor for the Bezirk Mittelbaden. From the beginning of his Pforzheim activity he directs also the Oratorio choir.
Requiem 23.02.1945 Für Tote und Lebende
Composed in:1995
Musical form:free
Text/libretto:German and Latin
In memory of:the victims of World War II
Label(s):Cadenza CAD 800 871/2
This large and powerful work functions as a war requiem, as opposed to a liturgical one, though unlike the Britten requiem, it is the Second World War that provides the textual inspiration. The underlying message is similar - a lamentation and deploration of the waste of life and destruction implicit in war. The interjection of massive blocks of tonal material into an overall rather free vocabulary anchors the work in the tradition of the early 20th-century, and provides an unshakable structure, like the columns and arches of a great cathedral. The use of sprechstimme narration of the non-liturgical texts, contrasting with the massed choral texture creates a powerful contrast of attention, and in general the work is one of strong contrasts and seriousness of purpose. Sometimes the abruptness of presentation of deliberately clashing ideas is oddly reminiscent of Havergal Brian. A very striking work, brooding and magnificent,and most recommmendable.