50 YEARS CHOIR COMPETITION IN SPITTAL !
DID YOU KNOW ?
505 choirs from 42 nations have participated at the competition in Spittal since 1964.
Only one choir each has come from Australia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and (People’s Republic of) China, two choirs each have participated from Namibia and Belarus.
The much appreciated audience award has been given to choirs in Spittal since 1988.
In 2005, the Latvian youth choir “Kamer…“, which won in both categories, showed a lot of courage and impressed the jury and audience with a pure Latvian programme in both categories. In the ten-
There is a real boom of choral music written by still living composers. Their share has doubled from 24 % (1964 – 1969) to 48% (2000 – 2012).
Only 15 choirs have succeeded in winning both categories (folk songs and classical and modern choral works) in the same year.
Choral works from 645 different composers have been sung in the classical and modern choral works category since 1964.
Othmar Costa was a member of the jury for 20 times (19 times he chaired the jury); Herwig Reiter (18/8) and Nikolaus Fheodoroff (13/10) came closest to him.
Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania form a cultural region, which has been strongly represented in the classical and modern choral works category since the beginning of the millennium.
The 18 compositions of Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Urmas Sisask, Peteris Vasks, Vytautas Miškinis and Vytautas Barkauskas have been performed 26 times since 2000.
Additionally to the regular awards, special awards were given to the winners of a composition competition from 1986 to 1992. The winning choral pieces had their premieres at the final concert.
Among the many composers Claudio Monteverdi is the absolute leader with 23 different choral pieces and altogether 53 performances since 1964.
Most choirs have come from Germany and Austria, 54 from each country, followed by Hungary (42) and the USA ( 34).
The ultimate “hit“ of the past years has come from the Hungarian composer György Orbán. His choral piece “Daemon irrepit callidus” has been performed 9 times since 1999 and each single year since 2008.
The highest score in category A (classical and modern choral works) was given in 2001. The “Kammerchor der Universität Pretoria”; Chamber Choir of the University of Pretoria) got 98 points. The choir was conducted by Johann van der Sandt, who has also been a juror at the competition in Spittal for three times.
Zoltán Kodály – still present in the folk song category – managed to have 13 titles in 28 performances in the classical and modern choral works category. None of his works have been performed in category A though since 1997.
57 distinguished choir experts have taken part in the jury of the International Competition of Choral Singing in Spittal since 1964.
Some composers have not been able to maintain their respectable position of the early years, at least in the classical and modern choral works category. There has been no more performance in Spittal of Johann Nepomuk David (10 titles / 15 times performed) in category A since 1996.
The two choral works of Claude Debussy, “Dieu! Qu’il la fait bon regarder” (18 times) and “Yver, vous n’estes qu’un villain” (17 times) lead the charts of category A. Third in this “long-
Johannes Brahms (until 1970 never performed in category A) and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (until 1980 only two performances in category A) have become real favourites in the following years. 18 choral pieces of Brahms have been performed 30 times and 14 pieces of Mendelssohn have been performed 28 times.
Since 2001 works from Eric Whitacre have been part of the programme. Seven of his compositions have already been presented and choirs have chosen one of his pieces for 15 times. This newcomer from the USA (* 1970) was not even born when the first International Competition of Choral Singing took place in 1964.