This compilation of Rudolf Mauersberger’s work is just one selection of his compositions. Every publication consisting of the individual works of an artist presents him in a different light. The initiator of this edition was Gerhardt Uhle, with whom the president of the Kreuzchor society conducted the following interview:

How did you come up with the idea of publishing a collection of Rudolf Mauersberger’s works?

My commitment to Mauersberger has biographical roots. As a former member of the Kreuzchor I owe him, as the ‘boss’ of the time, a great deal personally. After my time in the Kreuzchor I was active in various choirs, where I always brought Mauersberger’s compositions into play. Every time, I noticed that his music made the performers happy, that it had a strong influence on the listeners. A defining experience for me was the performance of the ‘Lukaspassion’ with the choir “Thüringischer Akademischer Singkreis” (TASK) in 1977. This, along with other experiences, prompted me to work more actively to increase awareness of Mauersberger.

What is the aim of the collection?

That Mauersberger becomes better known as a composer. The recordings on these CDs aim to show a varied portrait of him as a composer and the different sides to his works. There are many which are little known, for different choirs and levels of difficulty, for simpler or higher requirements. I think that different ensembles can make use of his compositions in both concerts and church services.

Who is the collection for and how will it be popularised?

The CD should motivate active musicians to discover his compositions and to make music themselves. Many works are easy to sing and impressive, particularly his a cappella creations. It is really the music of a truly experienced ‘choir-pedagogue’… Sources refer to the musical department of the ‘Sächsische Landesbibliothek” (SLUB) where Mauersberger’s compositions are stored. This makes it easier to access his music.

What experiences did you have during the realisation of your project?

My idea was met with a great deal of sympathy. Most people I told about my plan were very encouraging. The difficulties were in actually carrying out the plan. I am grateful that the Kreuzchor society took on its publication. To my surprise, my idea was met with more interest outside Dresden than in Dresden itself. However, this changed from the moment when I began to ask different musicians to contribute to the project.

 What significance do these compositions have for the Kreuzchor, what role do they play there today?

 The majority and most significant of the compositions were written specifically for the Kreuzchor. Of course, these works had an important place in the choir’s repertoire during Mauersberger’s lifetime. Today Mauersberger’s works are mainly found in the liturgical sphere; in services, matins and especially in the Kreuzchor’s Christmas vesper service. Contributions from the Kreuzchor under the direction of all Mauersberger successors can be found on our CDs.

 Who supported the project? How was it financed? Who would you like to give particular thanks to?

We requested special donations for the project, mainly from alumni of the Kreuzchor, but also from other individuals. We secured financial support through the Saxony Culture Foundation and the Evangelic Lutheran Church of Saxony. Not to mention that most ensembles which produced new recordings did so free of charge. We give our sincere thanks to all those named above and many others for their contributions to the success of the project. Special thanks go to Professor Matthias Herrmann from the Dresden Hochschule für Musik (HfM) for his expert advice and support of our project. I would also like to mention the support of Dr. Vera Keller from the Kreuzchor and Professor Ekkehard Klemm (HfM).

How did you find the participants, on what criteria were they chosen?

First of all, I considered which extracts from existing Mauersberger CD productions were, to me, essential for a representative portrait of the composer. After that I used the catalogue of Mauersberger’s compositions (RMWV) to search for works which could complete and perfect his portrait. In order to find ensembles for new recordings of unpublished works, I researched who currently had Mauersberger in their repertoire, and then specifically asked these ensembles if they could learn a particular work and produce a recording.

According to which principles did you chose and compile works for the CD’s?

It was not easy for me. Eventually, I decided on a mixture of known and unknown, religious and secular, different choral and instrumental works. I hope that we’ve managed to create a varied and exciting collection to commemorate Rudolf Mauersberger’s 125th birthday!

 

Biographical note: Gerhardt Uhle was born in 1948 and was a member of the Kreuzchor under Rudolf Mauersberger. He studied Theology in Jena and Church Music in Halle/S. He was priest in Bitterfeld and Dresden, and a hospital chaplain in Kreischa (near Dresden). He retired in 2012 and now lives in Dresden.