Rock and pop for the Reformation

Thousands of people to sing along with 'Luther' pop oratorio. - Pop-Oratorium Luther

Germany. Martin Luther loved music. The reformer called it a "godsend, a glorious and divine gift" that "makes people cheerful." As a schoolboy he sang in the choir; he later studied not only theology but also music and wrote his own songs and lyrics. Since Luther's times, church congregations have also sung hymns in German, not only in Latin – 'folk music' in the best sense of the word.

Tour through Germany

So it's perhaps only logical that the 500th anniversary year of the Reformation also features a pop oratorio entitled 'Luther'. Thousands of people all over Germany are singing along. New choirs with numerous amateur singers are being formed in every city for the tour through Germany – they numbered 3,000 at the première in Dortmund. Entire choirs are taking part, as well as individual people who simply like to sing. The amateur singers will rehearse together with professionals for several months before performing the work for large audiences.

The oratorio was written by producer Dieter Falk and Michael Kunze, one of Germany's most successful stage writers. In 20 songs, it tells of Martin Luther's protest against the Church, his courage and his doubts. The songs include gospel and rock music, but also classical chorales. "The Reformation is one of the great turning points in the history of the Western world; it has influenced the emergence of modern society right up to our times," says Dieter Falk on the importance of Martin Luther for culture. "The Reformation not only revolutionized spiritual life, it also initiated changes in society: in marriage and the family, in education, science, art – and music."