Ik gihorta dat seggen...

The Story of Storytelling

Alamanic lyre - Photo: André Wagenzik

In the Middle Ages stories were not read - they were told. Singers transmitted them from one generation to the next. It was when this tradition was just about to be lost, that people began to write them down.

This program tells the story of these singers and storytellers and brings their tales back to life.

Michael Dollendorf received his musical training at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has since performed with many well-known ensembles: Les Arts Florissants in Paris, the Smithsonian Chamber Players in Washington, D. C., and with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco.

At the University of Bonn, Germany, he read old languages at the German and the English department with Manfred Kaempfert, Christoph Cormeau, Monika Unzeitig and Karl Reichl. He has done extensive research on oral poetry and traditions of storytelling. His programs are in Old High German, Middle High German, Gothic, Old Saxon, Old English, Middle English and Provençal.

German heroic poems, songs of French Troubadours, and the German Minnesinger repertoire of Walther von der Vogelweide, Neidhart von Reuental and Oswald von Wolkenstein form the basis of his work.

He accompanies himself on harps, psaltery, lyre, fiddle and various types of hurdy-gurdy.