Musical direction: Michael Vogel
Direction: Serge Honegger
Stage: Peter Nolle
Costumes: Marion Steiner
Lighting: Andreas Enzler

Choir of the Theatre St.Gallen Theatre

Tenor: Nik Kevin Koch
Baritone: Markus Beam
Piano: Roberto Forno

Premiere: Theater St.Gallen, Lokremise, 20 March 2012

Photos: © Theater St. Gallen / Toni Suter T+T Fotografie
Text: © Theater St. Gallen / Serge Honegger


Franz Schubert wrote a large number of choral works for very different instrumentations. In addition to a whole series of liturgical choral works, around one hundred and thirty compositions of a secular nature have survived, which are hardly known to the general public. A large proportion of the polyphonic songs consist of vocal music, which at the time served to cultivate friendship and a sense of togetherness. This results in a fascinating contrast to the themes of foreignness and homelessness that characterise many of Schubert's songs. In "Das Herz bebt im Stillen", a selection of these treasures was performed in a scenic form by the choir of the St.Gallen Theatre and two soloists.


What kind of world is this outside the windows? With their collars up, they sit in a cosy room and look out at the events unfolding outside. Are they part of it, or are they on the sidelines? Is the past catching up with them or are they able to break free once again? Do they even want to open the windows or are they not much more comfortable inside? If the sinew were strong enough, then ... - the tearing of ropes could not be completely avoided, but it would be easier for them to breathe. They love their injuries and illnesses! They create space for what is not and appear as black angels who protect them or avenge them if they dare to transform themselves.

Her gaze follows the pattern on the ground, where loops and tendrils, black shoals and fragile footbridges form a landscape that has tamed the wild growth into a solid form. Is there still a hint of pulsing and throbbing, heaving and swelling, tearing and shaking, or has too much dust already settled over it? - But something is still resonating! A remnant of victory songs is woven into it! - But they no longer remember exactly what they triumphed over or what they condemned to destruction. After looking for a while, they discover, as if through a crystal wall, the army of the fallen. Stunned, they realise that they look just like them. These were supposed to be their enemies? These pathetic creatures in the slightly shimmering shrouds?

When the silence of the night spreads, they hear the trembling particularly clearly. They then consist only of heartbeats that set a rhythm that inexorably aims for its own extinction. They must be saved! They insist on it! They find reassurance when snow falls, their rooms are enlivened by whispering voices or they dwell on the dark thoughts that keep haunting them like old friends. Then they are fine, they are where they know their way around and their language is spoken. What frightens them most is the thought that they could be released into freedom. Which stranger would their love then cling to? Would they still recognise themselves in the mirror? Would they find themselves wandering forever and ever, with strangers nestled in their room? Suddenly they become aware of a vastness that emerges from the sounds. Is it the land they have been searching for and sensing?