Passion () © Stiftsgymnasium Admont

World premiere of the oratorio "Marienleben"

The oratorio for soloists, choir, children's choir, orchestra and organ will be performed for the first time on Sunday, 23 June 2024 at 19:00 as the musical highlight of the "950 years of Admont Abbey" anniversary year.

World premiere of the oratorio "Marienleben" by Franz Zebinger in Admont Abbey Church

Performers: Barbara Fink, soprano; Klaudia Tandl, mezzo-soprano; Daniel Johannsen, tenor; Ewald Nagl, baritone; Gerd Kenda, bass; Nikolaus Lechthaler, speaker; choirs of the Stiftsgymnasium Admont, Kirchenchor Admont; ALEA Ensemble, Studio Percussion, Ensemble Admont 950; Miriam Zebinger and Thomas Zala, organ; conductor Albert Wonaschütz.

The Austrian composer Franz Zebinger (born 1946) has focussed on musical adaptations of medieval texts for many years. In 2016, he created the oratorio "Paradiesreise" to texts by the minned poet Hugo von Montfort (première in 2017 in Bruck/Mur) and in 2018 the oratorio "Die Katze" (première in 2019 in Wildon) as a setting of the verse novella "Von der katzen" by Herrand von Wildon.

The oratorio "Marienleben", a work commissioned by Admont Abbey, uses text passages from the work of the same name by the Carthusian monk Brother Philipp. This rhyming poem, written at the beginning of the 14th century in the Carthusian monastery of Seitz (today Žiče in Slovenian) in Lower Styria, became extremely popular and even proved to be a real medieval bestseller, as the numerous surviving manuscripts prove. The Admont Abbey Library also owns one of them.

From the extensive poem (more than 10,000 verses!), the composer primarily set sections in which the loving relationship between the mother Mary and her son Jesus is depicted. In a colourful arc, the events span the birth in Bethlehem, the twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple, the wedding at Cana, the mother's pain under the cross, the joy at the resurrection of her son, and finally Mary's assumption into heaven amid the rejoicing and singing of the angels.

All texts will be sung in the original Middle High German. However, comprehension will not suffer as the speaker Nikolaus Lechthaler will act as a kind of simultaneous interpreter with translations into modern German.

The orchestral line-up is expanded by instruments such as accordion, saxophone, hammered dulcimer and a rich percussion section.

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