OPENING CONCERT ‘Songs of Nature’

8.15 p.m. Sint-Barbarachurch, Kastanjelaan, 3630 Maasmechelen


Octopus is a versatile ensemble presenting itself as the Octopus Chamber choir or as the Octopus Symphonic choir in variable occupations of 24 up to 100 singers.
Since the foundation by its conductor Bart Van Reyn Octopus works on a project base and manages to secure a priviliged position in Flanders. The ensemble joins passionate professional and semi-professional singers. Students of music academies can start a  professional career this way.
Their repertoire covers works from  the late-baroque period on to the 21st century.
Besides numerous a capella programmes they also perform oratoria and symphonic choir works varying from Bach to MacMillan.
Moreover Octopus performs concerts with “Le Concert d’Anvers” on historical instruments again conducted by Bart Van Reyn.
They have worked together with well-known orchestras such as Brussels Philharmonic, de Filharmonie, Musica Viva Moskou, het Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, het Orkest van de Vlaamse Opera, het Nationaal Orkest van België, het Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège and baroque orchestra B’Rock.
Several radio recordings have been made for the Flemish classical music channel Klara and Radio France.

Conductor Bart Van Reyn

One of Belgium’s most sought-after conductors of the new generation, Bart Van Reyn is passionate about opera, symphonic repertoire and oratorio.
From 2016 he is the conductor of the Danish Radio Choir.
He has been invited with a number of top vocal ensembles: the Nederlands Kamerkoor, the Flemish Radio Choir, the MDR Rundfunkchor Leipzig, the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, the NDR Chor Hamburg, Collegium Vocale Ghent, BBC Singers and the Rundfunkchor Berlin.

He studied conducting at the Royal Conservatories of Antwerp and Brussels, and went on to specialise in Early Music performance practice at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague.
He studied orchestral conducting at the Wiener Meisterkurze and at the Academia Chighiana Siena. Musical encounters and collaborations with Philippe Herreweghe, Ivan Fischer and Sir John Eliot Gardiner were decisive for him.

In the year 2000 Bart founded his own group Octopus.
In 2012 he founded Le Concert d’Anvers, a period instrument orchestra based in Antwerp, with a focus on 18th and early 19th century repertoire.
He is co-founder of the touring opera company The Ministry of Operatic Affairs. In 2013 they launched the project with Don Giovanni with great acclaim of press and audiences.


Nature has always been one of  the favourite issues among poets and composers around the world.

Human nature instantly is reflected by the elements of nature.
The Octopus Chamber Choir is taking you on a musical journey starting innocently in radiant springtime sailing on into summertime. However ……when the first autumn leave starts falling melancholy makes its  appearance  as well and the story ends in the stillness and tranquility of nature, far away from the crowd with Mahler’s magnificent ‘Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen’.

Les fleurs et les arbres, Op. 68/2 Camille Saint-Saëns
Des pas dans l’allée, Op. 141/1 Camille Saint-Saëns
Trois chansons de Charles D’Orléans (1898 – 1908) – Claude Debussy

  • Dieu! Qu’il la fait bon regarder
  • Qyant j’ai ouy le tabourin
  • Yver, vous n’estes qu’un villain

Uit / From ‘Four unaccompanied Part-songs’ Op. 53 – Edward Elgar

  • O wild west wind Op. 53/3                        
  • The owls Op. 53/4                                       

From ‘Sechs Lieder im Freien zu singen’ Op. 41 – Felix Mendelssohn-Bartoldy

  • Mailied opus 41/5                                     
  • Auf dem See opus 41/6                           

Uit / From ‘Liederkreis’ Op. 39 – Robert Schumann

  • Mondnacht, Op. 39/4   Arr. van Clytus Gottwald (1925)

Drei Gesänge, Op. 42 – Johannes Brahms

  • Abendständchen
  • Vineta
  • Darthula’s Grabgesang

Fünf Gesänge, Op. 104 – Johannes Brahms

  • Nachtwache I
  • Nachtwache II
  • Letztes Glück
  • Verlorene Jugend
  • Im Herbst

Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen – Gustav Mahler  / Arr. Clytus Gottwald

International Choir Contest of Flanders