h. johannes wallmann

Premiere by "BELLS REQUIEM 2005" shifted because of illness.

stereophonic composition for 129 church bells of Dresden and three choirs separated by distance

for texts in german/hebrew/high-arabic

Information about the world premiere of Bell Requiem 1995 in Dresden

(Premiere 1995)

Concept | Press text | Organizer | Contact


To peace and a world that points to the future

In memory of the bombing of Dresden on the night of 13.2.1945.

In memory of the holocaust and the dead of World War II.

In memory of the continued killing through canons and bombs all over the world.

Dedicated to all children as the champions of our future.


Even in light of the terrible natural catastrophe in Southeast Asia we must not forget that man (as for example during World War II) may cause catastrophes a hundredfold more tragic. With a view to this the BELL REQUIEM 2005 reflects in a new and different way on the central thoughts of death and dying as well as the meaning of life. The composition begins and ends in Hebrew/German/High-Arabic with a text which the 15 year old Anne Frank wrote in 1944 before her deportation to Auschwitz:

“As long as mankind, without exception, does not undergo a metamorphosis, war will ravage the earth and all that has been built and nurtured and all that has grown will be destroyed . . .”

It is this metamorphosis which must occur.

World Pemiere

of the concert version of the BELL REQUIEM 2005 on 12.2.05, 22:30 hrs. in the Kulturpalast Dresden / Stereophonic Concert with the concert choir Darmstadt, Director: Wolfgang Seeliger

The “BELL REQUIEM 2005 - for 129 church bells of Dresden and three choirs separated by distance” by H. Johannes Wallmann will be world premiered as a stereophonic concert on 12 February 2005, 22:30 hrs. in the great hall of the Kulturpalast Dresden. In this exclusive world premiere concert the three choirs (which originally were supposed to be heard from the synagogue, the Frauenkirche and the Islamic Centre Dresden) will be strategically placed at various points around the hall and the audience. They will fuse with the bell sounds from the CD BELL REQUIEM DRESDEN (the requiem was world premiered on 12.2.1995 in the presence of thousands of listeners. The loudspeakers will also be positioned around the audience.

This world premiere will launch a series of performances of the BELL REQUIEM 2005 in numerous cities by the concert choir Darmstadt The world premiere will be recorded and broadcast on the MDR-Figaro on 13.2.05 and it will be available on CD (limited subscriptions).

Tickets for 8,-/12,-/15,-/18,-/21,-€

(Discounts: 50% for students, the disabled and people on income support) available at the ticket counter in the Kulturpalast Dresden telephone +49 (351) 4866 - 666 and through the internet at www.ticketcentrale.de.

Exclusive VIP-Arrangements for business and private donors (please book directly via the organizer - project office):

Fon: 0351 / 207 89 - 38
Fax: 0351 / 207 89 - 20
Mobil: 0170 / 11 30 20 5
Mail: martincstang@web.de

Arr.1: Price 75,- €

1 ticket first category
+ a page of the score signed by the composer, as donation certificate (donation 50,- €)

Arr.2: Price 150,- €

2 tickets first category
+ 1 subscription CD (limited edition of the recording of the world premiere on 12.2.05)
+ a page of the score signed by the composer, as donation certificate (donation 100,- €)

Thank you very much. You will be supporting this project in a major way if you opt for one of these arrangements. All donors will receive tax-deductible receipts from the organizer.


First broadcast through MDR-Figaro on 13.2.05 at 21:25 hrs.

Concert broadcast in the evening program of MDR-Figaro with the recording of the world premiere.

Introductory broadcasts on MDR-Figaro and DeutschlandRadio Berlin:

DeutschlandRadio: on 12.2.05 from ca. 21:30 hrs.
MDR-Figaro: on 13.2.05 at 21:00 hrs.

City sound

Listening situations in the public city- and landscape of Dresden:

On 13.2.05 from 21:25 onwards it is intended to let the BELL REQUIEM 2005 ring out in the centre of Dresden through the public broadcast of the recording.

Simultaneous nature of events:

As the broadcast will overlap with the traditional churchbell ringing of Dresden (from 21:45 - 22:00 hrs.) interesting and moving listening situations will occur as we hear the broadcast of the BELL REQUIEM 2005 and the live bells of Dresden together.

The composer recommends for the 13.2.05 from 21:25 hrs. onwards the following listening situations:
  • from individually selected elevations and places in the city (the sound of the city in interplay with the broadcast)
  • through the city with a walkman
  • complete broadcast experience / possibly listening spaces in the city centre
  • listening on the car radio
  • from an open window (to compare with the radio)

Concept and composition

Explanation of the project

Even though bells are not an invention of the European and Christian tradition they have acoustically strongly influenced it. Originally bells were meant to bring luck and prevent evil. Next to theological implications this aspect is critical for the BELL REQUIEM as time and again bells have been turned into canons and bombs including World War II. Then the majority of Dresden's bells ended up on the bell cemetery of Hamburg.

Peace means today: communication between different cultures and religions. Particularly with a view towards globalisation different traditions are now more than at any previous time required to transcend their boundaries and assert their kinship even as they are aware of their distinctiveness.

These thoughts as well as the great success of the BELL REQUIEM DRESDEN (1995) led to an appropriate expansion of the piece. The composer developed the BELL REQUIEM 2005 to commemorate the 60th birthday of the destruction of Dresden and presented the idea to the churches and the city of Dresden.

The original version 2005

The idea is to add the bells of the Frauenkirche and three choirs to the original 1994/95 composition for 129 church bells. Whereas the bells ring again live according to the score of 1994/95, the three choirs which sing in German, Hebrew, High-Arabic and in vowels are broadcast live from the Frauenkirche, the Synagogue and the Islamic Centre Dresden. Between the requiem parts which contain the sounds of bells listening windows open where the composition is accompanied by texts from the Jewish and Islamic cultures. In this way these traditions receive a voice in the BELL REQUIEM 2005 as ‘siblings' of Christian culture. With this expansion of the project by ca. 220 pages of choir score for 36 voices and in light of current world politics the composer deliberately picks up on the theme of G. E. Lessing's Parable of the Rings. According to it Judaism, Christanity and Islam (and by extension all cultures and religions) can be considered siblings. They should continuously strive to make significant contributions towards real peace and a world that points to a tolerant and better future.

Unfortunately this idea was not approved by the church authorities so that the original version 2005 cannot be performed.

The concert version 2005

The composition has been conceived so as to allow the performance of different versions. In addition to the original version it is therefore possible to present the composition as a stereophonic concert performed in one indoor space the way it will be done on 12.2.05 in the great hall of the Kulturpalast Dresden.

As city sound experience

In order to preserve at least some of the original idea of the city sound composition, the radio broadcast on 13.2.05 (MDR-Figaro from 21:25 hrs. onwards) will be heard between 21.45 and 22.00 hrs. together with the traditional ringing of all of Dresden's bells. (During these 15 minutes no Hebrew or High-Arabic texts will be sung.) During this simultaneous event (radio broadcast and live bells) the area between Frauenkirche, Hofkirche and Kreuzkirche should offer an extraordinary listening experience (the people of Dresden could develop their own initiatives for this!) because the mighty bells of these three churches as well as those of other churches in the city centre will ring out live parallel with the radio broadcast. The composition is further conceived in a way which would allow all bells of Dresden to be rung according to the score of the BELL REQUIEM of 1995 and together with the radio broadcast (a new time track was developed for this purpose).

The composition 2005

The composition consists of 7 main parts which are divided into a total of 17 movements. The sounds will alternate between the three choirs which will be positioned around the room and which will form a harmonious whole with the bell sounds and possibly the city sound composition. In “Introitus” (1st part) and in the “Sequence” (5th part) the above mentioned listening windows will be opened during which texts from the Jewish and Islamic religions will be sung (in Hebrew and High-Arabic and without bells). At the very beginning (“Introitus”), in the middle (“Tractus”) and at the end (“Sanctus”) the texts of Anne Frank (Amsterdam) as well as Karolina (former Yugoslavia) will be sung in three languages. They are texts by children who formulate mature thoughts about peace and war. All texts deal with questions about the meaning of life and the relationship of man with death and the future. These texts taken together illustrate the possibility for each individual human life to contribute to the “eternal” cycle of life. The musical structures of the BELL REQUIEM 2005 also prompt these and similar questions.

The texts 2005

The composition of 2005 picks up on the texts of the BELL REQUIEM (1995) but extends these by further texts from the three cultures/ religions.


Even though the BELL REQUIEM 2005 points to the common roots of the three monotheistic religions and cultures it clearly has it origin in the Christian tradition.

Donations though CD sales

From the sales of the CD BELL REQUIEM DRESDEN (1995) the international children's charity “terre des homes - children in need” has to date received over 15.000 €.

The history of the composition

( no brief yet )

Organizers / Partners / Sponsors

Organizer: Konzertchor Darmstadt e.V. Mauerstraße 17, 64289 Darmstadt

in cooperation with: Kulturpalast Dresden, MDR-Figaro, TÜV|Dekra arge tp 21

Artistic director: H. Johannes Wallmann

Musical director: Wolfgang Seeliger

Project supervision and overall organization: Martin C. Stang

Project office Dresden:

Wintergartenstraße 4
(EG at TÜV|DEKRA arge tp 21)
01307 Dresden
Fon: 0351 / 207 89 - 38
Fax: 0351 / 207 89 - 20
Mobil: 0170 / 11 30 20 5
Mail: martincstang@web.de
Mail: info@glockenrequiem.de

Project account:

Ostsaechsische Sparkasse Dresden
Sort code: 850 50 300
Account No.: 32 00 00 71 91

Biography H. Johannes Wallmann:

*1952 Leipzig; Study of Music at Weimar; "artphilosophical" training with the painter K.W. Streubel; `80/81 master-class student for composition with F.Goldmann; `82-88 Development of INTEGRAL-ART; `86 application to emigrate for politico-cultural reasons; `90-93 initiator and director of the BAUHTTE KLANGZEIT Wuppertal. Chamber music, orchestral and landscape sound compositions; Radio recordings and radio live broadcasts (e.g. BELL REQUIEM DRESDEN, SOUND ROCK HELGOLAND, InnerSound- OuterSound ) e.g. via DeutschlandRadio, MDR, NDR, BBC, WDR, HR, SR, BR and others. 2003/04: world premiere "intars 2138" (Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra), light sound landscape “ the green sound”, MAN-DO (Concert hall of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra), THE BLUE SOUND - landscape sound composition for vocal and orchestral groups separated by distance (UNESCO Cultural Heritage “Wörlitzer Anlagen”). Lecture contracts in architecture at various universities.


The concert choir Darmstadt

As a successful project choir the concert choir Darmstadt has achieved a reputation far beyond its region and has become one of the best known and most sought after choirs in Germany.

Particularly the ability to realize very demanding projects with varied casts in a short period of time are a trademark of the concert choir Darmstadt and its artistic director Wolfgang Seeliger, as numerous inquiries from internationally renown organizers continuously prove.

Therefore the choir has had guest performances in many important European concert halls and has been invited to Israel, Japan, the United States, Korea and numerous European countries.

Since 1977 many different projects have been realized, from classical concerts, musicals and chanson or pop performances to numerous premieres and world premieres of contemporary pieces with the most varied casts.

National contracts, invitations to festivals and competitions as well as a large number of television, radio and CD recordings compliment its repertoire.

In July 2004 the concert choir Darmstadt joined the Anhaltische Theater Dessau in the „Wörlitzer Anlagen“ for the highly acclaimed world premiere “THE BLUE SOUND - landscape sound composition for vocal and orchestral groups separated by distance” by H. Johannes Wallmann.


Press text

World Premiere of the BELL REQUIEM 2005 by H. Johannes Wallmann

The “BELL REQUIEM 2005 - for 137 church bells of Dresden and three choirs separated by distance” of the composer H. Johannes Wallmann will be world premiered as stereophonic concert on 12 February 2005, 22:30 hrs. in the great hall of the Kulturpalast Dresden by the concert choir Darmstadt (director: Wolfgang Seeliger).

The original proposal intended to realize the composition as a city sound project which included all of Dresden's church bells as well as the live broadcast of the three choirs for twelve voices from the Frauenkirche, the Synagogue and the Islamic Centre Dresden. But this proposal, which was in part inspired by G. E. Lessing's Parable of Rings, could not be supported by the Evangelic-Lutheran Church of Saxony nor the diocese of Dresden-Meißen. Therefore the choirs (which will sing German, Hebrew and High-Arabic texts from the Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions) will perform together in the concert hall of the Kulturpalast. The careful positioning of each individual choir around the audience and the strategic placing of the loudspeakers in the hall which will contribute parts of the bell composition from a CD will produce an unforgettable spatial sound experience.

This world premiere, a cooperation between the Kulturpalast Dresden and the concert choir Darmstadt, will be recorded and broadcast on 13 February 2005 from 21:25 hrs. onward in the evening program of the MDR-Figaro (beginning of the introductory program: 21 hrs.). Further information about the broadcast will be available in a leaflet in mid-January at the Kulturpalast and other places.

Tickets for the world premiere are on sale now at the ticket counter in the Kulturpalast Dresden (telephone 0351 - 4866 666 or internet www.ticketcentrale.de) for 8,- / 12,- / 15,- / 18,- / 21,- € (Discounts: 50% for students, the disabled and people on income support).

Organizer :

Konzertchor Darmstadt e.V. in cooperation with the Kulturpalast Dresden
Project supervision and overall organization: Martin C. Stang (martincstang@web.de)
Musical director: Wolfgang Seeliger (www.konzertchor-darmstadt.de)
Artistic director: H. Johannes Wallmann (info@glockenrequiem.de)

Public Relations:

Andrea Rook
Tel.: 0351-2167109
Mail: andrearook@aol.com