15. Oktober 2008

Karl Richter in Munich 1951 - 1981 | Book and Video-Documentation [English]

Karl Richter Video Documentation on DVD

Johannes Martin, an Ex-Bach-chorister from 1965 to 1970, together with many friends, former colleagues, artists as well as ardent admirers of Karl Richter’s music have worked intensively for the last three and a half years to produce this outstanding documentary. He collected, sorted out, amended and arranged numerous photos, film documents from private Standard 8 and Super8 films, film documents from the German public service broadcaster ZDF, audio clips from live concerts as well as clippings from more than thirty life-interviews with contemporary witnesses to portrait the life and work of Karl Richter and his outstanding position in Munich musical life and concert halls around the world, during his 30 years era from 1951 – 1981.

The film trilogy on DVD consists of three parts

Part 1 of Karl Richter in Munich ‘Soloists Concerts Tours’ comes on two DVD's (running time: 135 minutes; bilingually German / English). It recognizes the outstanding life and work of Karl Richter, the esteemed organist, harpsichordists and conductors, in Munich and the new Bach tradition created by him with the Munich Bach-Choir and Bach-Orchestra, which has inspired and fascinated so many music-lover and connoisseur around the world and still does today.

The film stretches a far bow from the first sensational concerts of the young Thomas-Organist at his new place of activity at St. Markus in Munich, to rapidly increasing engagements for concerts and tours with the Munich Bach-Choir and Bach-Orchestra and up to the numerous recordings, foremost the works of Bach and Handel.

Many clips and numerous photos document Karl Richter’s growing success around the world.
His concert tours with the Bach-Choir and Orchestra, but also as a soloist on organ and cembalo led him into many European states, repeatedly into the (former) Soviet Union, to the USA, to Japan as well as regular to Brazil and Argentina.

Annual concerts at the Ansbach Bachwoche (until 1964)), the pre-Christmas concert in the Salzburg Festspielhaus as well as 25 years in the Stiftsbasilika Ottobeuren, were fixed obligations. His unexpected death on February 15th, 1981 shook the world of music. Karl Richter is buried at the cemetery Enzenbühl in Zurich (Switzerland).

In part 2 of the Karl Richter documentation ‚Bach-Choir und Bach-Orchestra’ (1 DVD, running time: 92 minutes; bilingually German / English) former members of the Bach-Choir and Bach-Orchestra and vocal soloists of the Karl Richter Era remember and tell about Karl Richter’s work with choir and orchestra. Thanks to a license from the ZDF it includes some footage (about 15 minutes) from the ZDF Documentation "Karl Richter and his Munich Bach-Choir" produced in 1967/68 and numerous clippings from live concerts.

The focuses of the first two chapters are: the Munich Bach-Choir, admission in the choir, choir tone, rehearsals and readiness. The third chapter deals with the Bach-Orchestra, soloist and the dress rehearsals. The fourth and final chapter brings back valuable memories from some of the numerous concert tours.

In part 3 of Karl Richter in Munich 'Fascination and Interpretation' (1 DVD, running time: 92 minutes; bilingually German / English) contains numerous excerpts from interviews made with contemporary witnesses of Karl Richter’s era, with former members of the Munich Bach-Choir and the Bach-Orchestra as well as "his" soloist singers (et al. Hertha Töpper, Edda Moser, Julia Hamari, Kieth Engen, Christian Kabitz and Paul Meisen), and presents an exceptionally vibrant picture of how Richter’s unique interpretations and the resulting music evoked the fascination of his listeners. Over 26 musical quotes (from live recordings), which help explain the interpretation and the fascination, that Karl Richter wielded over both musicians and audience and which has kept music lovers all over the world aroused and fascinated, even to this day.

Quite touching, that each of the questioned artists emphasizes the exceptional on Karl Richter, but everyone has seen or felt something else in it: charisma, suggestive strength, aura and intellectual energy which touches directly the heart and evokes deep emotion.

Where and how to buy the Karl-Richter-Trilogy

DVD Karl Richter in Munich - Soloists-Concerts-Tours
Part 1: Double-DVD, running time 135 minutes (German/English)
ISBN 978-3-00-019277-7
First released September 2006

DVD Karl Richter in Munich – Munich Bach-Choir and Bach Orchestra
Part 2: DVD, running time 92 minutes (German/English)
ISBN 978-3-00-020726-6
First released March 2007

DVD Karl Richter in Munich - Fascination and Interpretation
Part 3: DVD, running time 92 minutes (German/English)
ISBN 978-3-00-022647-2
First released November 2007

You can order this DVD by eMail. International Payment by PayPal is available.

Book documentation (German language)

Karl Richter in Muenchen (1951 - 1981)
- Zeitzeugen erinnern sich [contemporary witnesses remember]
Size 20 x 20 cm, 276 pages, 370 pictures (b/w)
ISBN 978-3-00-016864-8

The book has been published in autumn 2005. In two-year effortful work, Johannes Martin searched and finally tracked down almost all contemporary witnesses of the Munich era of Karl Richter’s still living (at this time) and interviewed many of them on tape about there memories of their encounter and time with Karl Richter.

The book (in German language) in the format 20 x 20 cm and 276 pages, contains about 370 photos (black and white) from the archives of the contemporary witnesses, the interviews and contributions of 36 contemporary witnesses (among them, Ursula Buckel, Ernst Haefliger, Hertha Töpper, Peter Schreier, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Kieth Engen, Julia Hamari, Edda Moser, Aurèle Nicolet, Paul Meisen, Kurt Hausmann), a detailed appreciation of lives and work of Karl Richter’s as well as a chronicle of important data of the Munich Bach choir of the years 1951-1981.