30th June: Angela Hewitt honoured, Singing ban, Love project 2020, Choir perform without masks

Tuesday 30th June 2020

Angela Hewitt honoured by Wigmore Hall

The pianist Angela Hewitt has been awarded the Wigmore Medal on stage at Wigmore Hall after her all-Bach recital last Thursday, a concert broadcast live from an empty hall on BBC Radio 3 and streamed on the Wigmore Hall website. The Wigmore Medal was awarded in recognition of her international standing and contribution to the Hall, over the course of more than 80 performances since her Wigmore debut in 1985. (She had been due to receive the Medal from Wigmore Hall’s Royal Patron HRH The Duke of Kent at a public concert on June 2, before the Covid-19 pandemic required the Hall to close.)

The Wigmore Medal was inaugurated in 2007 and recognises major international artists and significant figures in the classical music world who have a strong association with the Hall. Past recipients include Iestyn Davies, Christian Gerhaher, Steven Isserlis, Dame Felicity Lott, Thomas Quasthoff, Menahem Pressler, Sir András Schiff and the Takács Quartet.

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Viel Kritik am gesangsverbot

Während in Bayern und anderen Bundesländern Chöre wieder proben dürfen, geht Berlin den entgegengesetzten Weg: Laut der neuen “SARS-CoV-2-Infektionsschutzverordnung” vom 23. Juni ist das Singen in geschlossenen Räumen in Berlin verboten. In Paragraph 5 Absatz 1 heißt es da: “In geschlossenen Räumen darf nicht gemeinsam gesungen werden.” Wer das doch tut, begeht eine Ordnungswidrigkeit, die mit bis zu 25.000 Euro Bußgeld bestraft wird.

Es macht für die Verordnung also keinen Unterschied, wie groß und wie gut ein Raum gelüftet ist. Das Verbot scheint auch in Schulen zu gelten – allerdings steht im erst am 24. Juni aktualisierten “Musterhygieneplan Corona für die Berliner Schulen”: “Chorproben können bis auf Weiteres stattfinden, sofern der Probenraum so groß ist, dass zwischen allen Sängerinnen und Sängern ein Mindestabstand von 2 Metern eingehalten werden kann.” Seit dem 25. Juni sind in Berlin aber sowieso Sommerferien

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Much criticism of the singing ban

While choirs are allowed to rehearse again in Bavaria and other federal states, Berlin is taking the opposite path: According to the new “SARS-CoV-2 infection protection ordinance” of 23 June, singing in closed rooms is prohibited in Berlin. Paragraph 5, section 1 states: “Singing together in closed rooms is not allowed.” Whoever does so, commits an offence, which is punishable by a fine of up to 25,000 Euros.

So it makes no difference to the regulation how large and how well a room is ventilated. The ban also seems to apply in schools – however, the “Model Hygiene Plan Corona for Berlin Schools”, which was only updated on 24 June, states: “Choir rehearsals may take place until further notice, provided that the rehearsal room is large enough so that a minimum distance of 2 metres can be maintained between all singers”. But since 25 June, summer holidays have been in Berlin anyway.

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Love project 2020 : 1000 musiciens réunis pour l’ouverture de La Flûte enchantée

On en a vus des concerts virtuels, enregistrés à distance pendant le confinement. Certains ont rassemblé des dizaines de grands musiciens mais celui qui est en train d’être réalisé dans le cadre du « Love project 2020 » s’annonce hors-norme puisqu’il va rassembler les contributions « délinéarisées » de 1000 musiciens à travers le monde. C’est l’altiste italien Lorenzo Ravazzani-Manusardi qui a eu l’idée folle, au début du confinement, de faire enregistrer à 1000 musiciens la partition de leur instrument de l’ouverture de La Flûte enchantée de Mozart. Devant l’ampleur du défi il s’est adjoint les services de deux de ses amis, le chef d’orchestre milanais Alessandro Crudele (UniMi Orchestra) et l’ingénieur du son Fabiano Stefanini, qui l’ont aidé à mettre en place un dispositif d’une ampleur inédite afin d’obtenir les 1000 enregistrements promis avant le 6 juillet

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Love project 2020: 1000 musicians gathered for the opening of The Magic Flute

We’ve seen virtual concerts of them, recorded remotely during lockdown. Some have brought together dozens of great musicians, but the one that is currently being produced as part of the “Love project 2020” promises to be extraordinary as it will gather the “delinearised” contributions of 1000 musicians from around the world. It was the Italian violist Lorenzo Ravazzani-Manusardi who had the crazy idea, at the beginning of the confinement, to have 1000 musicians record the piece of their instrument from the opening of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Faced with the magnitude of the challenge, he enlisted the services of two of his friends, the Milanese conductor Alessandro Crudele (UniMi Orchestra) and the sound engineer Fabiano Stefanini, who helped him set up a system of unprecedented scope in order to obtain the 1,000 recordings promised before July 6.

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Choir of more than 100 people perform without masks at Pence event

A choir of more than 100 people performed without masks at a robustly attended event in Texas at the First Baptist Church in Dallas on Sunday that featured a speech by Vice President Mike Pence. Nearly 2,200 people attended the “Celebrate Freedom Rally,” in the Lone Star State, according to rally organizers, which has seen a severe surge in coronavirus cases since easing restrictions. The venue capacity for the indoor event was close to 3,000 attendees, organizers say. Throughout the service, the members of the choir sang at full volume, behind an orchestra. Between songs, the choir members put their masks back on when they sat down, according to pool reports from the event. The members of the choir had space between them, but it was not clear if it was the recommended six feet. Face masks at the event were “strongly encouraged,” with signs posted around the venue signaling the suggestion.

According to pool reports from the event, at least half of the crowd was wearing a face covering, an act which experts say can reduce the transmission of Covid-19 by as much as 50%. Choir rehearsals and performances became a focal point early in the course of the coronavirus pandemic, with an outbreak within a 122-member choir in Washington state becoming the subject of a in-depth report out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the report, 87% of singers that attended rehearsal contracted the deadly virus.

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