Album: Mozart Requiem
The event of the new recording is anyway the interpretation by Chorwerk Ruhr and Concerto Köln under the direction of Florian Helgath, who sets new records with his equally inspired, slim, energetic and expressive design. The choir is brilliant, always sounding transparent, dynamic, wide, but without extravagance, and making the melodic progress crystal clear. Florian Helgath sets strong accents, but always keeps his measure, does not derail in exaggerations like celebrated stars à la Currentzis & Co. Together with the no less excellent Concerto Köln and a balanced soloist quartet, the recording deserves a top place in every discotheque.
Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Pedro Obiera, 26.06.2020
Album: Brahms A German Requiem with Chorwerk Ruhr
[…] Working with a small group of singers, Florian Helgath finds the forward momentum that keeps Brahms’s phrases alive even when the tempo is leisurely. Particularly attractive is the lilt he finds in the fourth movement, and the drama in the depiction of the Last Judgment in movement 6.[…] Of all the accounts of the piano (4 hands) versions I’ve heard, this is now top of my list.
www.choirandorgan.com, Philip Reed, November 2019
Berio & Striggio with Chorwerk Ruhr at Ruhrtriennale
At the Ruhrtriennale, Berio's "Coro" was heard with the great Chorwerk Ruhr which had joined forces with the Duisburg Philharmonic under the direction of Florian Helgath. [...] Helgath had positioned five groups of singers and instrumentalists in the hall: two at the back, with an almost bodiless sound, one in the gallery, one on the left, one in the middle. This resulted in a finely balanced sound mixture, which could increase into a luxurious mix. The sound was to be experienced as a fine cocoon: finely graduated, with room for carefully balanced individual voices. [...] A special experience was the "Agnus dei", in which the singers were split into 60 voices, as if the room were full of fine sound lines, performed with passion. [...] Chorwerk Ruhr, Florian Helgath and the Duisburg Philharmonic have once again ensured a highlight in the Ruhrtriennale programme.
Westfälischer Anzeiger, Edda Breski, 03.09.2019
Mozart Requiem/Michael Ostrzyga with Florian Helgath and Concerto Köln at Rheingau Musik Festival
High-precision cues, precise intonation, the rigorous renouncement of romanticizing blending of tones, monolithic clarity and a structuring phrasing are hallmarks of this magnificent formation.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Christian Rupp, 19.08.2019
J.S. Bach: St. John Passion with Florian Helgath
The 25 members of the exceptional vocal ensemble Chorwerk Ruhr are all soloists, but nevertheless they sing in one flow - even though they were positioned not within their voices but mixed. This resulted in a particularly lively and refreshing rendition. A flawless intonation, richly graded development of sound and the clearest diction were self-evident.
Rheinische Post, Heide Oehmen, 05.04.2019
J.S. Bach & Mauricio Kagel at Ruhrtriennale
When Chorwerk Ruhr and Florian Helgath perform at the Ruhrtriennale, musical enjoyment at the highest level is guaranteed and when the ensemble recites the original chorales of J.S. Bach in perfect, vocal balance with perfect articulation and phrasing in almost dancelike floating elegance, the rugged contrasts and fractures of Kagel's comments enter all the more blatant in the ear (...). Equipped with whispering bags, the choir hisses, sibilates and calls out parts of the chorale segments as virtuously as it presents Bach in impeccable beauty (...). The audience was thrilled at Zeche Zollverein in Essen.
Allgemeiner Anzeiger, Pedro Obiera, 22.09.2018
The avant-garde varieties of Mauricio Kagel's Chorbuch are brilliantly expressed by Florian Helgath and Chorwerk Ruhr, with their superior expressiveness and powerful presence (...). "Singet dem Herrn " by J.S. Bach presents the choir highly virtuoso and with striking lightness.
Online Musik Magazin, Stefan Schmöe, 22.09.2018
Brahms Requiem in version for piano duo and choir
The ChorWerk Ruhr and Florian Helgath performed in the well-filled Philharmonie Mercatorhalle Duisburg the two most important sacred works of Johannes Brahms, the German Requiem and Why is the light given to the weary with only 29 voices in exemplary concise manner. This was not only extremely transparent and lively, more than ever before, especially in the sixth movement "Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt ", which also gave the goosebumps quality due to the overwhelming euphony. Even for the always first-class iconic ensemble, this was a great moment of choral music.
Rheinische Post, Ingo Hoddick, 28.11.2017
When early music and new music meet at same level: "Memoria" in Dortmund
This requires such an excellent ensemble as the ChorWerk Ruhr, which has given us, under Florian Helgath's prudent management in this concert as part of the Ruhrtriennale, very unusual, exciting and beguiling listening experiences. This is in the machine hall of the coal mine Zollern in Dortmund, where the sound unfolds freely in the room, always remaining tangible despite the enormous dimensions of the building.(…) A fascinating evening.
Westdeutsche Zeitung, Martin Schrahn, 29.08.2017
"Memoria" with Florian Helgath and ChorWerk Ruhr at Ruhrtriennale
Florian Helgath's plan to prepare de Victoria's vocal polyphony for the search for the sound of New York's school is astounding.(…) Helgath works in the "Offertorium" at the polyphony of Tomas Luis de Victoria and lets the choir of six voices sound wonderfully changeable. In "Hosianna", quite audible and clear, the moving chant of ChorWerk Ruhr in the motet resumed with the moment of personal grief. In the venue of a factory a reverberation is felt, and in "Absolutio", the choir has a multi-voice ending, which allows the spectrum of the fading sound to swell to a volume which is unimagined. (...)
John Cage has named different tones for soprano, alto, tenor and bass without determining the duration in Four 2 (1990). In certain periods of time the singers have to sing as well as to end their sound chord differently. Helgath has placed couples of singers among the audience. Their entries trains the feeling for the spatial feeling of the illusion of the origin of the sound.(…)
In Morton Feldman's "Rothko Chapel" (1971), one experiences moments as if the sound is released into the world for the first time. (...)The choir holds a tone which is becoming more and more comprehensive, indeed appears absolute. There is a fine concentration, an expectation.
Westfälischer Anzeiger, Achim Lettmann, 27.08.2017
Philipp Glass: Oper Einstein on the Beach
In Dortmund, ChorWerk Ruhr - a choir of young professional singers who have achieved the international top level within in the last years also through their productions for the Ruhrtriennale - was phenomenally secure in intonation and rhythm, and also playful up to audacity. The founder and musical director Florian Helgath also had the musical overall direction and also conducted the small ensemble of wind instruments and keyboards on which Philipp Glass has built his monumental work.
Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Ulrike Gondorf, 23.04.2017
Florian Helgath and “ChorWerk Ruhr”, the excellent soloist- and adequate nine-headed instrumental ensemble easily mastered the technical requirements. (…) Florian Helgath and the fabulous “ChorWerk Ruhr” achieved essential sound impacts, especially in the few sequences, where the music dissolved from prepunched patterns. (…) The premiere audience was overwhelmed by the wall of pictures and sounds, and reacted accordingly thrilled.
Westfälische Rundschau, Pedro Obiera, 24.04.2017
Excellent „Paulus“ with ChorWerk Ruhr, Concerto Köln and Florian Helgath in Essen
The 36 choristers left nothing to be desired with its powerful and crystalline sound: neither in the clear lines, nor in the differentiated choral expression or the dramatic emphasis “Steinigt ihn!”. Huge accolades in the Philharmonie.
ChorWerk Ruhr sang Mendelssohns „Paulus" intimately and grippingly
With only 36 singers and 46 musicians, Helgath succeeded not only in a romantic, but also a dramatically gripping interpretation of the story of Paulus.(…) ChorWerk Ruhr convinced with a phased staggered sound: soft and homogenously in the choir "Siehe! Wir preisen selig", dancing and swinging and radiant in the fugue "Der Erdkreis ist nun des Herrn".
Ruhr Nachrichten, Klaus Stübler, 06.03.2017
First performance of 'Earth Diver' at Ruhrtriennale in Essen
ChorWerk Ruhr sang under the direction of Florian Helgath very well and delicately, and disarmingly clear – while walking around in the hall.
Westfalenpost online, 22.09.2016
Then ChorWerk Ruhr begins to sing the music of Heinrich Schütz, an early baroque cry from God from the anguish of the Thirty Years' War, and you feel, to borrow a cliché, as though you have died and gone to heaven.
Financial Times, Shirley Apthorp, 24.09.2016
As if time seems to stand still
If there were a god, he would be pleased with such an evening. Not because the motet by Bach "Come, Jesus, come" convinced him of deep faith and the requiem fragments of Mozart anyway got under the skin. [...]
The ChorWerk Ruhr and the Ensemble Resonanz directed by Florian Helgath get a grip on the overdimensioned hall of the Cathedral in Speyer - ecpecially those slow-moving works, which turn out well with the slight soprano-alto-dominance.
Mannheimer Morgen, Stefan M. Dettlinger, 23.07.2016
Chant of Nightingale at its best
A listening pleasure of the extra class follows: A multi-faceted, expressive singing with perfect fine-tuning in literally all pitches, a virtuoso, sensitive flute playing and a captivating, charming story.
Westdeutsche Zeitung, Gabriele M. Knoll, 21.06.2016
The accomplished falling silent of Mozart at the Ruhrtriennale
With his excellent ensemble ChorWerk Ruhr and eight singers of each section, Florian Helgath has realised Mozart’s Requiem & Georg Friedrich Haas‘ Sieben Klangräume exquisitely. J.S. Bach’s motet Komm, Jesu, komm with an almost weightless choral sound has been interpreted extremely precise(…) Also Ligeti‘s Lux aeterna with its floating, complex areas of sound has been sung admirably clear. Helgath and ChorWerk Ruhr have captivated once again with its supernatural, beautiful pianissimo in Mozart’s Ave verum corpus and the strings of the Bochum Symphony accompanied delicately: Great highlight of an extraordinarily gripping concert.
Online Musik Magazin, Stefan Schmöe, 05.09.2015
First-class singing on the world heritage site Zeche Zollverein Essen
What ChorWerk Ruhr offers in terms of purity of intonation , subtle articulation and culture of phrasing, understanding of the text, fine dynamic work as well as perfect balance of male and female voices, was already demonstrated with the six dark tuned motets by Hubert Parry from his final years 1916-18. Pretty simple songs, closer oriented to ancient than romantic or even modern prototypes, where ChorWerk Ruhr was able to present fully its top class singing culture.
Der Westen, Pedro Obiera, 23.02.2015
"The magic of unearthly vocals" for the 15th anniversary of ChorWerk Ruhr
Charles Hubert Parry’s Songs of Farewell could have been no better reference for the extraordinary art of the singers of the ChorWerk Ruhr as the six settings by this contemporary of Brahms. (…) An intonation beyond all doubt demonstrated a comforting awe of the breezing, sparkling treble of the sopranos and the velvety warm depth of the bass singers. (…) The top ensemble combines a special ardency with its already highly acclaimed artistic director Florian Helgath, who developed the voices to a maximum in Mendelssohn’s Psalms scorings. (…) After 90 minutes of high intensity this concert has truly deserved the title of “finest hour of choral singing”.
Rhein-Zeitung, Julia Hilgeroth-Buchner, 09.02.2015
"The Chirping of the Nightingale" at German festivals
The highlight of the evening: Uģis Prauliņš The Nightingale. An incredibly challenging programme, that can be performed only by the best. The audience is cheering.
An excellent vocal ensemble and a world class recorder player of world class were part of the musical part of the event series "Wege durch das Land". […] How professional and flexible the big choir acted under the direction of Florian Helgath became already obvious in the five romantic songs by Mendelssohn Bartholdy.
Neue Westfälische, 08.07.2014
Heinrich Schütz and Giacinto Scelsi at Musica Viva in Munich
Incomparable Musikalische Exequien (1635/36) by incomparable composer Heinrich Schütz incomparably celebrated by the truly incomparable ensemble ChorWerk Ruhr - that was beyond any quotidianity.
Neue musikzeitung, Wolf Loeckle, 03/2014
Bach's "B minor Mass" brilliantly interpretated in Kempen
Florian Helgath, the young chief conductor of ChorWerk Ruhr holds the strings of energy to conduct this special, impressive concert[...] Rarely one has seen such a clearly articulated, so musically phrased polyphony, rarely one witnessed singers that listen to each other that well [...] The incredibly serious nature Helgath is working with, reveals parts of the piece which are usually reserved to musicologists.
Rheinische Post, Armin Kaumanns, 05.11.2013
Helmut Lachenmann: The Little Match Girl
It was the Frankfurt Radio Symphony under Emilio Pomàrico and the singers of ChorWerk Ruhr who ultimately provided the evening’s most engrossing content last weekend, with a musical account of the piece that was every bit as aurally beguiling and intellectually provocative as Lachenmann could possibly have wanted
Financial Times, Shirley Apthorp, 23.09.2013
"A Summer Night's Dream" in Essen
With Benjamin Britten's "Five Flower Songs" (op. 47) [...] the singers not only have proven their individual talent, but also their perfectly matching coherent chorus sound that is acentuated even more when they sing a cappella.
Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Anna Ernst, 29.07.2013