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Helmuth Rilling

Biography

Born: May 29, 1933; Germany  
Over his career, Helmuth Rilling has become one of the most respected choral conductors in the world. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Rilling grew up in a musical family; his father was an organist and choir conductor, while his mother played violin. He himself took up piano and organ as a child, showing a fine talent for each. He later studied at the Hochschule für Musik in his home city, becoming a distinguished Kantor in Kornwestheim and Read more Stuttgart; he received his music diploma in 1954.
Rilling had already started down the path to a long and fruitful career when he founded the Gächinger Kantorei in December 1953. Gächinger is a small town in southwest Germany, but Rilling's Kantorei were well enough supported by the locals that their reputation soon spread as leaders in the performance of unaccompanied choral repertoire. The Gachinger Kantorei's singers came, and still come, mostly from southwest Germany; the group's success is due both to the dedication of its members and the amazing pedagogical skills of its leader.
Eventually, Rilling founded the Stuttgart Bach-Collegium orchestra to accompany the Kantorei, and the synthesis was an immediate success. Rilling and his ensembles recorded all the major works of Bach: the Passions of St. John and St. Matthew, the B Minor Mass, and eventually the complete cantatas, a series which was finished in time for the 300th anniversary of Bach's birth in 1985. The Kantorei, under Rilling's direction, has also made extensive appearances with foreign orchestras, including one particularly memorable occasion in Israel in 1976. It was the first time German and Israeli musicians had performed together since World War II, and Rilling conducted the Kantorei in the Israeli national anthem as a further gesture of reconciliation.
Outreach through music was nothing new to Rilling; the Kantorei had undertaken a tour of East Germany almost immediately after its founding, and in general Rilling always tried to bridge the gap between East and West with music before the Iron Curtain lifted. He also conducted the premier performance of the Requiem for Reconciliation, which combined movements written for the occasion by composers from all the nations involved in World War II.
Even though his activites have been centered in Germany, Rilling's activities have taken him all over the world; he founded the Oregon Bach Festival in 1970, and he has instructed choral groups all over the world. Rilling gained prominence in an era when period practices were becoming dominant in Bach performance, yet Rilling has never used period instruments and has always used a good-sized choir for his performances. He feels that it is impossible to know exactly how Bach's music sounded in his time, not just to the musicians but to Bach's audience. While period practices have their place, Rilling feels, they should be used as a guide and not a doctrine. In performance, Rilling does not strive for a blend of choral tone, but a sound that is both controlled and full of character. Rilling's performances have become more and more deeply felt and subtle over the years. All of his performances are deeply felt, scrupulously detailed, and outstandingly sung. Read less
Handel/Mozart: Messiah (In German) / Rilling, Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Hänssler Classic  
Catalog: 98022   Number of Discs: 2
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Bach: Christmas Oratorio Cantatas 1-3 / Rilling
Release Date: 11/18/2003   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 101171   Number of Discs: 1
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Handel: Messiah / Brown / Kallisch / Sacca / Rilling
Release Date: 10/19/2004   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 101175   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 276-282 of 282 Available Recordings
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  • 276.
    Bach: Sacred Cantatas II / Speiser, Prey
    Label: Intercord   Catalog: 830852 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Hermann Prey,  Elisabeth Speiser
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Helbich,  Helmut Winschermann,  Helmuth Rilling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alsfeld Vocal Ensemble,  German Bach Soloists
    CD: $15.99
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  • 277.
    Bach - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64051 Release Date: 08/09/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gottfried H. Stölzel
    Performer:  Igor Kipnis,  Nicholas Danby,  Alexander Schreiner,  Frank Asper  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Eugene Ormandy,  Richard P. Condie,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London String Players,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir  ... 
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  • 278.
    Bruckner: Messe F-moll;  Puccini: Motteto / Rilling, Et Al
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98983 Release Date: 01/04/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Anton Bruckner
    Performer:  Matthias Goerne,  Verena Schweizer,  Elisabeth Glauser,  Uwe Heilmann
    Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
    CD: $18.99
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  • 279.
    Haydn: Die Jahreszeiten / Helmuth Rilling, Et Al
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98982 Release Date: 01/04/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Annegeer Stumphius,  Alexander Stevenson,  Wolfgang Schöne
    Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart,  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
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  • 280.
    Bach: Magnificat; Vivaldi: Gloria, Beatus Vir / Rilling, Malgoire
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 48280 Release Date: 02/23/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Jocelyne Chamonin,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Mary Burgess,  Ann Murray  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-Claude Malgoire,  Helmuth Rilling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy,  Raphael Passaquet Vocal Ensemble,  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart  ... 
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  • 281.
    Bach: St Matthew Passion - Arias & Choruses / Rilling, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 46544 Release Date: 08/19/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Philippe Huttenlocher,  Julia Hamari,  Aldo Baldin,  Arleen Augér
    Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium,  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart
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  • 282.
    Bach: Mass In B Minor / Rilling, Auger, Hamari, Kraus
    Label: Cbs Odyssey   Catalog: 45615 Release Date: 01/14/1991   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Julia Hamari,  Adalbert Kraus,  Siegmund Nimsgern,  Arleen Augér
    Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium,  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart
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