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Hannes Pohlit

Sacred Concerto for Violin and Organ
on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation 1517/2017


- dedicated to Róbert Wittinger -

I    Wachet auf
II   Ein neues Lied wir heben an
III  Komm Gott, Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist

Violin (Soloist)
Large romantic Organ with at least three manuals (optimally with two Swells)
ad libitum: Deep Bells or Large Tamtam and Triangle (in the 3rd movement)

World Premiere: 4. 8. 2018, St Nikolai Leipzig (Germany), Opening Concert 
of the "OrganAutumn Leipzig"
Stefan Arzberger - violin
Simon Reichert - organ (register asssistant: Dr. Dieter Wadewitz)
Hannes Pohlit - bells and tamtam

The French word Humanité implies "mankind", in a general, and "humanitarianism" in a 
more specific sense. In my opinion, the major achievement of Protestant Reformation has
been the invention of humanity - the return to the awareness that God lives in every 
human being and that, consequently, every human being is able and allowed to communicate
with the Divine. I believe that the true history of mankind is determined by simple human
beings, their way of life, their ways to love and to shape their world. My violin concerto 
"Humanité" deals with such thoughts and feelings. Each of the three movements is 
concerned with the text of a hymn from the age of Reformation. The first movement
likens Reformation to the dawn of a new life, based on the call: "Wachet auf" ("Awake!"), 
an imperative which in German bears the plural form. The violin represents the human
soul as it awakes from its (medieval) slumber, bringing - with its chant - the world to sing 
and to resonate, and exploring this new world filled with love and joy with open senses. 
The second movement is a Capriccio on Martin Luther's earliest transmitted hymn. "Ein
neues Lied wir heben an" ("A New Song Here Shall Be Begun") tells about the martyrdom
of two monks who were burnt at the stakes in Brussels because they had confessed to 
Luther's Reformation. The violin turns into the voice of protest and denouncement of 
in humanness and abuse of power. Finally, the contemplative third movement reflects
on the search for peace and for the unification with God as well as on the issue of God's

The Reformation is not only a great story of humanism, but also one of the origins of 
European music history, ecclesiastical chant. The solo violin "recites" the underlying 
plainchants; comparable to a singing voice, its part is composed with the texts of the
hymns in mind. The organ is assigned to describe the world in complex, colourful 
dimensions, but also the enemy who opposes the soul with crude force. 

Tradition is what remains of great, often passionate emotions and visionary ideas; 
sometimes, after centuries, only an outer shell is preserved. In this sense, at the end of
the violin concerto, the "original" hymn - "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme" ("Wake,
Awake, for Night is Flying") reappears in the organ pedal keyboard in its tonally 
transmitted form while the violin part rises into a dramatic climax, accompanied by 
the ominous call of distand fanfares and storms, until it is suppressed by the thunder
of the organ Plenum and the ringing bells, bringing its chant to end.
(Hannes Pohlit)

Publisher (for all countries):
Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag 
(Leipzig, Germany)


Ordering Number: FH 3429
ISMN 979-0-2034-3429-0


04. 08. 2018, St. Nikolai Leipzig (Nikolaikirche Leipzig)
16. 06. 2019, Collegiate Church (Stiftskirche) Landau
14. 06. 2020, Memorial Church (Gedaechtniskirche) Speyer

© 2009-2020 by Hannes Pohlit