Composer Helge Burggrabe presents his release entitled "Hagios" as an album for reverie and reflection.
The musical spectrum of this collection of songs ranges from devout silence to powerful songs of jubilation. Memories of Romantic songs are often recalled when the Elbcanto vocal ensemble and the pianist Christof Fankhauser sensitively immerse themselves in the compositions, some of which are in canon form.
With a lightness that summons the music of the spheres, the musicians open up an imaginary space, a sonorous prayer that encourages pause for thought, reflection and participation.
"My personal memories all lead back to the voice of my mother. The songs she sang me in the evenings when I went to bed, and as I fell asleep, gave me comfort and a sense of audible security," recalls Burggrabe.
His "Hagios" song collection is meant to convey precisely that "audible security"; moments of personal devotion that are perceived as sacred and curative. With those childhood memories in mind, Burggrabe went in search of the secret power of song for his "Hagios" album.
What he has found are melodies that in some cases are centuries old: monks of all faiths have always cloaked themselves in song in order to find peace and quiet. Consequently, for "Hagios" Burggrabe has arranged Gregorian chant alongside Taizé hymns, as well as the eponymous Hagios ho Theos (Holy is God) from the Orthodox liturgy.
Helge Burggrabe was born in Magstadt in 1973 and sang to his heart's content as a child. After studying in Hamburg, he quickly established himself throughout Europe as a composer of contemporary church music. He achieved his career breakthrough in 2006 with the oratorio to the Virgin Mary Stella Maris to mark the millennium celebrations for the cathedral at Chartres. His work Lux in Tenebris, a commissioned work to mark the 1200th anniversary of the diocese of Hildesheim, was premiered very recently.