Excerpts from reviews
Final concert of the masterclass choir conducting and choir singing, August 28th 2016
(Bernd Guido Weber, Schwäbische Zeitung)A marvelous ending of the masterclass
“[…] Scheerer brings energetically the audacious jumps in the melody, the polyphone refinements. Almost modern, except for the theatrical overdramatizing elements.
[…] Conclusion and climax is the motet „Warum ist uns das Licht gegeben“ (Why is the light given) by Johannes Brahms. Why, why, again and agian the question, until the redee,omg „Lasset uns unser Herz aufheben zu Gott im Himmel.“ (Let us lift our heart to God in heaven) Scheerer leads the choir to the highest performance, directs the soft passages that search for answer with tenseion, clean, articulated. Soft is difficult - and here so good. Much applause.”
Concert with chamber choir “con anima”, August 31st 2014
(Eva Eismann, Hessisch-/Niedersächsischer Anzeiger)
“The singers brought out the suffering, even self-pity in Johannes Brahms' “Ich aber bin elend und mir ist wehe” just like the shimmering sounds of Lasse Thoresen's “Mon Dieu, mon adoré”. The conductor Jan Scheerer had compared this praise song on the God of Babism with a soap bubble. Born by the interaction of meditative tones like from a didgeridoo and from floating high notes, this bubble almost seemed to drift through the room.”
Concert with chamber choir “con anima”, August 30th 2014
(Udo Hinz, Göttinger Tageblatt)
“Already with this work [Bach BWV 226] the well-balanced yet rich of colours sound of the choir attracts attention. […]
The choir convinces by his dynamic range between gentle and strong registers. […]
This moving and outstandingly interpreted work [Lasse Thoresen: Mon Dieu, mon adoré] opens doors to the soul. […]
The Shakespeare setting of the Swiss Frank Martin get mystic, menacing and agitating. […]
Here [Nils Lindberg: from O mistress mine] the choir demonstrates how tender and ethereal the choir can sound. […]
The choir lives up to its name “con anima” (“with soul”). It earned the enthusiastic applause not only by its inspired sound, but also for its stylistic openness.”
Concert with chamber choir con anima, March 23rd 2014
(Jens Wortmann, Kulturbüro Göttingen)
“Scheerer conjured a warm, round choir sound in the church's nave with manifold dynamics.”
Concert with Landesjugendchor Baden-Württemberg, November 6th Juni 2013
(Claus-Dieter Hanauer, Badische Neuste Nachrichten)“In all these choir pieces the Landesjugendchor proved to be a vocal ensemble that was very reliable in intonation and vocally exceptionally well trained. The ensemble penetrated to the core of the project's pieces with a big dynamic bandwidth.
Masterfully lead, but also passionately driven by Jan Scheerer, the young singers proved themselves even in so dynamically and rhythmically challenginge pieces as Johannes Brahms’ „Schaffe in mir Gott” or in the Anderson settings by Per Nørgård."
Concert with chamber choir con anima, October 22nd 2013
(Jens Wortmann, Kulturbüro Göttingen)“These wonderful songs, in the tradition of minstrelsy and with a duly portion of self irony, were simply delightful. Especially when they are performed so skillfully and with joy.
[…] The talented conductor Jan Scheerer had not just prepared his ensemble well, but could in this last part thrill his attentive singers."
Concert with chamber choir “con anima”, June 12th 2012
(Michael Schäfer, Göttinger Tageblatt)“In all choir pieces, “Con anima” proved to be a vocally very well trained ensemble with an admirable secure intonation that sang dynamically flexible, almost througout without a sign of strain and with the most subtle nuances of expression. Scheerer’s short, informative introduction to the music enriched the aften.”
Concert with Landesjugendchor Baden-Württemberg, November 4th 2012
(Markus Mertens, Badische Neueste Nachrichten)“after a concert that was in every aspect unconventional, the rejoicing is entirely justified. And not only, because the ensemble performed magnificently under Jan Scheerer. […] Instantaneously, one is seized by this striking intensity of the feeling. Not the slightest chance to ward off the bitterness, that gripes the room in seconds. […] Here nothing is missing. Not the trace of missing maturity, when it comes to Hugo Distler and his mourning music “Fürwahr, er trug unsere Krankheit”. […] Because by shaping such charmingly beautiful music out of the most sorrowful music with so much energy, even the most pessimistic song would not have made the audience go home in a sad mood.”
Concert with Copenhagen Bach Choir, Sankt Pauls Chamber Choir, SymfUni (Copenhagen University Symphony Orchestra), November 5th 2011
(Ole Josephson, Helsingør Dagblad)
“The big choir offered a compact and full sound, that formed a coherent sound body and spread itself in all registers. The pianissimo places were very clear and present, and under the lovely forte passages the church room trembled with euphony. The sopranos sounded secure and free in the high register, and the altos were strong in the important medium register. The male voices kept well up in the four part passages, but lacked a little power when they had solo entries.”
“[…] the young musicians followed the careful conducting of the conductor and did a good job. Jan Scheerer conducted by heart - and without baton - and had control. In the movements “Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras” and “Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit” he had chosen slower tempi than one is used to hear, but this worked well for the melodious lines.
All in all it can be noted that Brahms’ monumental masterwork received a impressively lovely performance, and the audience thanked for one and a quarter hour great choir music on a high level with standing ovations.”
Concert with chamber choir con anima, September 22th 2008
(Rhea Maria Richter, Göttinger Tagblatt)
“The experienced choristers were convincing under the direction of Jan Scheerer both by means of precision and expressivity as well as by a musical intention that rendered the sung music an intensive experience.”
“The works received intensive expression through the accurate, well-balanced voice-leading.”
“Jan Scheerer provided sound balance and led the individual parts together in a way that created a rousing atmosphere.”
Concert with chamber choir con anima, May 11th 2009
(Karl Friedrich Ulrichs, Göttinger Tagblatt)
“The voices well balanced, […] homogenous within the parts. Brahms’ “Abendständchen” was sung with wonderful tenderness, with soft, yet unflappable singing presence. Scheerer, conducting by heart with verve, attached audibly great importance on the grand arches. The choir was led line by line to a full sound (“der Töne Licht/the light of the tones”), that once more returned to a fine piano.”
“The opening prayer sounded repentant, God’s grandeur was celebrated with strong declamation, the contemplation of the “Rosa mystica” was tenderly absorbed; in sharp contrast thereto, a bitter-ironic antimilitaristic march was powerfully and mightily offered by the choir while avoiding the cheap effect of droning. Even details were shaped with great care. It was moving, how - not without dissonant passing notes - an “Amen” was, as it were, thrown into the sky. There is no doubt: “con anima” and Scheerer are a great enrichment to the choir scene in south Lower Saxony – on the highest level.”
Concert with chamber choir con anima, November 17th 2009
(Claudia Oelze, Göttinger Tagblatt)
“With a fine sense for agogics, Jan Scheerer led the singers through the emotional heights and depths of the music and, by adjusting his interpretation closely to the text, let the words assume an experienceable form. The importance the relationship between sound and words holds for him was demonstrated by his own composition, based on a Swedish poem, in which he communicated the loneliness, the threatening yearning desire and the hopeful search of the text via stylistic devices that included unisono, sudden dynamic changes and harmonic transformations.
On top of that, Scheerer’s refined artistic work with the choir was revealed in every piece by an extremely homogenous vocal sound, also within the parts, and by a sensitive treatment and good comprehensibility of the text as well as by a pure intonation. Also impressive was the dynamic range, which ranged from very soft and barely audible as in "Leise Töne der Brust" in "Nachtwache I" to the excited emotional eruption in "Brausten alle Berge" from Brahms' "Verlorener Jugend"."
Concert with Sjølund Kammerkor, Königslutter, May 25th 2010
(Rainer Sliepen, Braunschweiger Zeitung)
“Sjölund chamber choir from Copenhagen is based on a sonorous fundament of strong male voices. The Danes were convincing with six settings of the text by Luther “Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist” (“Now pray we all God, the Comforter”). Also here, the cathedral supported the various styles, the terraced dynamics text interpretation of Mattheus le Maistre (1505-1577) as well as Hugo Distler’s (1908-1942) version. There, the soft intonating lady voices contrasted effectively with the mighty tutti of the men.
In between Grieg with an effectively employed tenor as soloist in the choir setting “In Heaven” and Brahms with the motet “Schaffe in mir, Gott, ein reines Herz” (“Create in me a clean heart, O God”). There, the Danes developed a heart-moving unpretentious piety.”
Concert with Holte Kammerkor, May 30th 2010, Sorgenfri Kirke, theme: “Unhappy love”
(Carl Otto Dethlefsen, Det Grønne Område)
“The choir was evidently in a good mood and precise. […] The two German performances by Dvorák and Brahms each captured exactly the tone of unlucky love, that one expects, when the texts correspond to the well-known “heart-pain-tradition”. […] The conductor had put himself as a soloist [between the choir pieces] with several piano pieces by Debussy and Haydn. These solo pieces revealed Jan Scheerer to be a more than proficient pianist.”
Concert with chamber choir con anima, June 21st 2010
(Maike Schmuck, Hessisch-/Niedersächsicher Anzeiger)
“It was a first-rate sound experience to listen to the chamber choir “con anima” from Göttingen.”
Concert with chamber choir con anima, November 6th 2010
”The choir made an impression by its precision, voice volume and a multitude of sound colours.
[…] The choristers surprised by big variations in the loudness and sung with utmost concentration.”
Concert with chamber choir con anima, November 7th 2010
(Michael Schäfer, Göttiner Tageblatt)
“The encounter with the very emotional nordic music was very exciting. Scheerer showed fondness of long fermatas and the softest pianissimo-sounds. […] The chorister followed their conductor concentrated, willingly, clean in intonation and with a deep sense for homogenous sound.”
Concert with Copenhagen Bach choir, December 6th 2010
(Søren Schauser, Berlingske Tidende)
“Jan Scheerer on the podium has his own ideas:
He sustains a few chords longer than usual, he lets the choir sit while singing the intimate choral “How shall I meet my Saviour”, he has on the other hand fast ambitions with “Glory to God in the Highest”. Well done. These may sound as trifles, but they can be heard in such a classic piece.”