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I live my life

Motet after Rainer Maria Rilke

written in 2015 by Martin Wettstein

for the Vocalino Choir conducted by Felix Schudel


I live my life in growing circles

who pull themselves over things.

I may not complete the last one

but i want to try it.  


I circle around God, around the ancient tower,

and I circle for millennia;

and I don't know yet: am I a hawk, a storm

or a great song.  


Rainer Maria Rilke



I already have a fruitful working relationship with Felix Schudel. For example, I wrote the cantata mass missa empathica for the 125th anniversary of the Wädenswil Church and Oratorio Choir and the Glarner Musikkollegium, which was brilliantly performed by the choir, the orchestra, the soloists and the conductor in autumn 2013.

So I was happy to be able to write another work for the 25th anniversary of the Vocalino Choir. Rilke's poem I live my life in growing circles has accompanied my wife Brigitte for many years. She alerted me to the possibility of putting it to music.


Rilke's poetry is music that has become language. As I read, sounds and vibrations arose in me almost instantly, and I was able to write this composition down in no time, as if this singing inside me had been waiting to get onto paper.

Another important source of inspiration is the sound and flow of time of a good a cappella choir like the Vocalino Choir. Our Western European music rests on the foundation of choral singing, and over the millennia the backbone of our music has developed in this way. I am happy to be able to contribute a small part to this evolution.

Martin Wettstein, April 2016

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