Covid silences Bach in Leipzig over Christmas

Covid silences Bach in Leipzig over Christmas


norman lebrecht

December 12, 2020

The Leipzig Thomanerchor has called off all performances during Advent and Christmas after singers tested positive for Covid.

‘Christmas without the Thomaner, that’s actually inconceivable,’ said the city’s culture mayor, Skadi Jennicke.

Dresden has also stopped singing.



  • Peter says:

    Germans. Either the biggest heroes or the biggest cowards. During corona: The biggest cowards.


    • MacroV says:

      Did you miss the part about singers having tested positive for COVID?

      • Peter says:

        Indeed. Covid is not dangerous for young people. Flu is more dangerous, and you would never call of a concert because of flu.

    • fflambeau says:

      You don’t get it, Peter.
      1) some young people have died from Covid and it appears it has long term effects in the body;
      2) who do yu think is going to be in the audience, all teenagers?

      • Peter says:

        Young people die of flu and long diseases each year and some of them also get long term injuries, but society functions as normal.

        The singers are on the gallery in the Thomaskirche, ranging between 10 and 50 meters away from the audience. You believe this is dangerous?

        • fflambeau says:

          I’ve actually attended concerts given by them. They file in past the audience and come very close to it; I doubt they are more than 15 meters from the audience when singing. It’s a church setting. Plus, the singers were not in the gallery when I was there, they sang from the floor.

      • Anthony Sayer says:

        Newsflash: People die all over the world from something at the rate of 50,000,000 a year. Covid is not dangerous for the vast majority of people. This hysteria is virtue-signalling under a different name.

    • jaypee says:

      How are things in Trumplandia?

    • William Safford says:

      This is false.

      Children can be sickened, injured, and killed by COVID-19. The elderly are more susceptible, but children can be adversely affected by it.

      Children can be carriers. They can be infected, then they can spread infection wherever they go, including to elderly relatives.

      Choirs have been documented as being superspreader events.

      • Tamino says:

        Not really. Just look at the numbers. Children are less at risk from Covid than from some “normal” flu strains.
        Based on the new paradigm of infectious diseases that could kill anyone being generally not acceptable, all society will have to close down for the future, and should have been closed down since the beginning of mankind. Do you see the problem?

        Yes, choirs are at higher risk of transmitting respiratory virus.
        But had we done PCR tests in past flu seasons, same results would have occurred.
        Covid has a higher risk for the very old. Not for everybody else.

        • William Safford says:

          You, and others, ignore facts surrounding this pandemic, and you use other facts to rationalize not caring about the dead and sickened.

          Yes, let’s look at the numbers.

          In the United States, more people died of COVID-19 last Thursday (over 3,000), than died in 9/11. Or in the WWII Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

          That’s just one day.

          You may be technically correct that children are less likely to die than older people. However, you ignore the fact that children can spread the infection to older people. And they do, due to no fault of their own.

          Do I see the problem that we have done a poor job of dealing with this pandemic? I sure do.

          Attitudes like yours, when enacted into behavior, make it worse.

        • William Safford says:

          Yes really.

          You seem rather cavalier about all of this sickness and death.

          We are over 300,000 dead in the U.S. from COVID-19, with about 15 million infected.

          It’s long since too late to stop the infection here.

          Since we in the U.S. have done in general a terrible job at slowing the spread of infection, we were looking at the possibility of millions dying in the U.S.

          Assuming that the new vaccines are effective, they will stop the pandemic before it kills that many people–if we can do a better job of vaccine distribution than we have handing this pandemic up to this point. I hope we will.

          Children can and do get sick. A few even die.

          Children can and do spread the virus, thus exposing the more susceptible to COVID.

          As for the future, this is a test of our system.

          Thus far, the United States and several other countries get a failing grade. Only a few get high honors.

          We have faced several possible pandemics in recent years.

          We dodged a bullet with MRSA and SARS a decade ago.

          Several years ago, we faced Ebola in Africa. It is incredibly deadly but not as readily transmissible.

          Now we are dealing with COVID-19, which is incredibly transmissible but not as profoundly deadly as Ebola.

          We are going to face other pandemics in the future, as you correctly suggest.

          What happens when a future infectious agent is transmissible like COVID and deadly like Ebola?

          If we do not learn from this experience, and put better protocols into place, we may very well have to do even more draconian shutdowns than what we did this year.

          Or, we may have to suffer the consequences of a pandemic that kills the way that used to happen before the invention of modern medicine.

    • Couperin says:

      And then let them come home to their parents and grandparents who can catch it from them and die alone with a plastic tube down their throat because #freedom!!!

    • Marfisa says:

      Covid-19 is dangerous, not only because it can be a very serious illness and can be fatal (especially but not exclusively for the vulnerable), but also because it is extremely infectious and health services do not have the facilities, in equipment, beds, or staff, to deal with a significantly increased number of seriously ill patients. Controlling the rate at which the virus spreads is therefore vital; we have to limit the number of people who are sick and need treatment at any one time. Otherwise if your healthy beautiful 7-year old is hit by a car and needs emergency treatment, you might find yourself waiting in line outside a hospital with your child dying in your arms.

      Scientists and health experts researching the best ways to control the pandemic seem now to agree that social distancing, masks, personal hygiene, and restricting large gatherings, especially indoors, are crucial. Singing increases the risk of aerosol transmission. At present, erring on the side of safety is responsible and sensible.

      All this is so obvious and so well-known I am shocked that it still needs to be said.

      We should enjoy choral music this Christmas at home from recordings; if people behave sensibly, and if the vaccines work, next Christmas we will be able to hear it live, in church, with safety.

    • Marfisa says:

      P.S. Listen to Erlkönig.

  • Gulliver says:

    I am listening to the choristers, lay vicars choral and choral scholars of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin sing the service for Advent on their new CD, heaven.

  • fflambeau says:

    It’sa wonderful group that has public performances almost daily. In Bach’s town and church. They are amazing so this is sad. Fortunately, I have some of their CD’s.

  • Marfisa says:

    Let us give a lot of sympathy to those boy choristers whose voices will have broken before next Christmas.