Mizmorim Celebrates Anniversary with Psalms
There are many characteristics that distinguish the great religions from each other, but there are also some characteristics that unite them. The love of art, poetry, music and song, for example, which finds its expression in the Psalms, is one of these uniting characteristics. The biblical book of Tehillim (Book of Psalms) contains 150 individual Mizmorim (Psalms), and given the inexorable connection between poetry and music, the Mizmorim Chamber Music Festival strives to live up to its name - and to the Psalms themselves - with our 10th Anniversary Edition, “Tehillim”.
The anthology of 150 psalms, whose composition is attributed to King David and others, is a significant part of the Jewish liturgy. The poems include songs of praise to God, as well as accusations, gratitude in various life situations, and expressions of love, anger, despair, and hope - themes that are significant in all religions and cultures.
In its tenth edition, taking place January 24th–31st 2024, the Mizmorim Festival will be dedicated to the universal cosmos of the Psalms under the title “Tehillim”. To celebrate the festival’s tenth anniversary, it will for the first time last an entire week, and present no less than twelve concerts, a photo exhibition, museum tours, a lecture, and a late night program, all taking place at eight different venues throughout Basel.
The festival program includes well-known versions of Psalms by Orlando di Lasso, Salomone Rossi, Heinrich Schütz and Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as newer versions for chamber music ensembles by various composers including Peter Eötvös, Oliver Knussen, Darius Milhaud and Steve Reich. The program also includes purely instrumental musical reflections, confirming the inspiring power of these millennia-old texts.
The festival features nearly thirty first-class musicians, ten prestigious ensembles, two world premieres, and several Swiss premieres. As a special highlight, the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO), led by Swiss conductor Baldur Brönnimann, will perform Steve Reich's work Tehillim in the Musiksaal of the Stadtcasino Basel. Other highlights of the festival include concerts with the Leipzig vocal ensemble Amarcord in the Basel Synagogue, and the ensembles Hespèrion XXI, the Capella Reial de Catalunya and Jordi Savall in the Martinskirche of Basel.
Ephraim Moses Lilien On the Rivers of Babylon (1910)