Sunday, 2.2.2025
5.00 pm

Hanneli Musig


Hanneli Musig

Dani Häusler, clarinet & saxophone
Fränggi Gehrig, accordion
Ueli Mooser, various instruments
Peter Gisler, double bass & schwyzerörgeli accordion
Fabian Müller, cello & viola
Johannes Schmid-Kunz, violin, recorder & double bass

“Hanneli Musig”, a colourful bunch of well-known greats from the Swiss folk-music scene, here brings to life the dance music of our great-grandparents’ time: exhilarating, cheerful and fresh.

Prices: CHF 85 / 70 / 50 / 35


About the programme

Until the 1990s, Swiss folk music was primarily associated with what is called “Ländler music”, often from central Switzerland or Canton Graubünden – a genre that had essentially become the primary form of folksy, popular music in Switzerland in the 1920s and ’30s. The advent of the radio enabled Ländler music to spread far and wide, gaining such great popularity in the process that it became the defining example of what people considered Swiss folk music. Highly varied forms of folk music had actually existed here long before that, though for many years they were largely forgotten. It was only thanks to a remarkable collection built up by one Hanny Christen (1899–1976), born in Liestal in Canton Baselland, that this music was finally rediscovered. Her interest in the Swiss folk music of the late 18th and 19th centuries took her all over Switzerland, visiting old musicians, hunting out forgotten songbooks, and collecting a total of more than 12,000 melodies from almost every rural region in the country. The result of her life’s work was the biggest collection of instrumental folk music anywhere in Switzerland. This collection subsequently lay untouched in boxes in the Basel University Library for decades – though this was probably the fault of Hanny Christen’s own outmoded, arguably naïve worldview. She saw herself as “preserving” old traditions that ought never to be allowed to change or to develop in any way. She was convinced that only the “original” was authentic and was perfect in its imperfection. Her unusual notions of what constituted the “right” type of folk music – free from all musical innovations and foreign influences – ironically proved the biggest hurdle to getting her collection better known.

Nevertheless, when it was finally published in 2002, the folk music collection of Hanny Christen proved a milestone in the history of Swiss folk music. Leafing through this collection is like a sheer endless treasure hunt in music history. Ueli Mooser, the éminence grise of the local folk music scene and former folk music editor of Swiss Radio DRS, wanted to prevent this great work from eking out a shadowy existence in the archives, so together with his wife Chatrina and friends he founded “Hanneli Musig”, an ensemble dedicated exclusively to Hanny Christen’s collection. Our concert features popular hits from the folk music collection of “Musig Hanneli”, as she called herself. And in order to avoid a marathon performance of all its 12,000 melodies, our audience can instead make requests from volumes VIII and IX of her collection, which feature dances from Canton Uri.


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