Upcoming tours for 2016/2017:

Programme I Mass in B minor BWV 232 J.S.BACH

Programme II

Vespro della Beata Vergine H. I. BIBER

Programme III

Vespro della Beata Vergine J.ROSSENMÜLLER

Programme IV

Missae Breves & Cantatas J.S.BACH

Information

Cantus Cölln The soloist vocal ensemble was formed in 1987 by the renowned lutenist Konrad Junghänel. In just a few years it managed to become one of the best vocal ensembles in the world. The core of its musical efforts includes the German and Italian vocal literature of the Renaissance and the Baroque.

Cantus Cölln’s inclusion in its repertoire of pieces from the superb German tradition of these eras, musical traditions that have been rather neglected, has received wide acclaim from the public. The about 30 recorded CDs, which cover a repertory from Monteverdi madrigals, his Vespro della beata Vergine, Schütz’ Psalms of David up to motets and cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach have almost all been rewarded with international prizes. Next to numerous awards/ distinctions like such as the Edison Awards Classical, the Diapason d’Or, ffff du Télérama, 10 du Répertoire, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, the Grand Prix du Disque (Académie Charles Cros) and nominies for among others the Grammy and the Grammophone Award Cantus Cölln was awarded the Grammophone Award just as the Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik and the Caecilia Price for its singular recording of Monteverdi’s Selva morale e spirituale in 2002 and the ECHO Klassik for its recording of the complete Altbachisches Archiv in 2004. Critics continually emphasize the fact that the singers, of whom each has a successful solo career, impress the audience with their nearly flawless homogeneous ensemble sound, without however, losing their individual vocal timbre. From the very beginning on Cantus Cölln aimed to reach an increasing homogenity, a “blind” musical understanding through an hardly ever changing composition of the group. For an international string quartet this should be taken for granted but unfortunately it is very often missing in the generally fast changing music market. But at Cantus Cölln most of the today’s members are still the ones that founded the ensemble. The ensemble is occasionally augmented for the performance of sacred music calling for larger forces such as the cantatas and motets by Bach, Psalmen Davids by Schütz and the Vespers by Rosenmüller. During the years the repertory has spread from its early focal point “Madrigals and Motets” of the 17th century to the complete development of sacred concerts and the cantata up to high Baroque. Important criterion when choosing a programme is of course that the concerned piece of music must be suitable for the soloist way of performing – whether it gains more through it then it might lose. It is not about the “one and only” way of performing but about following a sound that fuses highest transparency possible with individual emotion and sensual sound. Among the outstanding highlights during the development of the years were the productions of the Vespro della beata Vergine of Claudio Monteverdi and the one of Johann Rosenmüller which marked the beginning of a small international Renaissance of this important “German-Italien” composer. Further the productions of motets, early cantatas and the Mass in b minor of Johann Sebastian Bach met with an enthousiastic international echo. Already now the early cantatas – awarded with many prestigious prizes – belong to one of the most successful Bach-cantatas-recordings ever. A new stage production is in preparation. The first staged production of Cantus Cölln – „Combattimenti“ with madrigals of Monteverdi – was a coproduction between the Nationale Reisopera in the Netherlands and the Théâtre Transparant in Belgium. After the big success of the production in 1998 Cantus Cölln did a second tour in January 2000. The well-known French CD-magazine “Diapason” characterised Cantus Cölln as “one of the revelations over the last few years in the domain of ancient music”. In the year 2000 Cantus Cölln was awarded the much sought after Buxtehude prize of Hanse town Lübeck for its extraordinary achievements on the field of sacred music. Last prize winner was Elliot Gardiner in 1994. Cantus Cölln achieved its reputation through numerous performances at international festivals in Europe (Herne, Stuttgart, Utrecht, Innsbruck, Schleswig-Holstein, Salzburg, Barcelona, Breslau, etc.), and invitations to perform in North and South America, Africa, Australia and Asia. Broadcast recordings and long term regular recording plans – first with Deutsche Harmonia Mundi-BMG, then with Harmonia Mundi France – help to confirm the international renommée of this ensemble. Currently, Cantus Cölln collaborates with the label Accent, Heidelberg.
Konrad Junghänel Konrad Junghänel is one of the leading conductors in the field of Early Music. He began his career as internationally renowned lutenist. Since the period of his studies in Cologne he has regularly collaborated as an instrumentalist with René Jacobs – for recitals and opera productions – and other well-known ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants, La Petite Bande or Musica Antiqua Köln, being praised for his extraordinary virtuosity.

Both as a soloist and a member of chamber music ensembles, Konrad Junghänel has appeared throughout Europe, in the USA, Japan, South America and Africa. For his recordings of the complete lute works by J.S. Bach as well as the works for lute solo by S.L.Weiss he was internationally awarded. Since 1994 Konrad Junghänel has a professorship at the state conservatory of music in Cologne. In 1987, his continuous work in the field of the baroque vocal music brought Konrad Junghänel to found the soloistic vocal ensemble Cantus Cölln, that nowadays is one of the most esteemed ensembles of its kind worldwide. For more than a decade, Konrad Junghänel is appearing as much requested guest conductor in Germany and abroad, for concerts and mainly for scenic productions of the baroque and early classical period. The result of his intense rehearsal work with specialized baroque ensemble as well as with modern orchestras is unanimously recognized. Critics outline the vibrating tempi, dramatic expressiveness of his interpretation and the sounds, both slim and rich of colour, of the ensembles he conducts. The production Combattimenti, with madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi (direction Geoffrey Layton), ran at the Internationale Reisopera of the Netherlands and Belgium for three years. This production was followed by Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto (direction Igor Folwill) in Cologne and Domenico Mazzocchi’s La Catena d’Adone (direction Jakob Peters-Messer) in Innsbruck and Antwerp. At the theater of Basel Konrad Junghänel conducted Was liegt die Stadt so wüste with music by Heinrich Schütz just as the Händel-Oratory Israel in Egypt, both directed by Herbert Wernicke, at the Staatsoper Hamburg Ein geistliches Bankett, a scenic production of Bach cantatas (direction Ingrid von Wantoch Rekowski). At the Theater Basel followed Händel’s Semele (direction Karin Beier), Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea (direction Nigel Lowery) and Rameau’s Les Paladins (direction Nigel Lowery). At the Handelfestspiele Göttingen 2006 he made his debut with Handel’s opera Poro (direction Igor Folwill). In autumne 2006 Konrad Junghänel conducted Mozart’s Così fan tutte in Potsdam (direction Uwe Eric Laufenberg), followed by the Florentiner Intermedien (direction Nigel Lowery) at the Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken in April 2007 as well as Mozart’s Lucio Silla at the Staatsoper Stuttgart (direction Olga Motta) in November. In April 2008 he has directed Händel’s Agrippina (direction: Peter Lund), again in Saarbrücken. After a further Mozart-Premiere in Potsdam in September 2008: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (direction Uwe Eric Laufenberg) he will be conducting Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Armida (direction: Calixto Bieito) at the Komische Oper Berlin in April 2009 as well as Händel’s Teseo (direction: Igor Bauersima) in Stuttgart in May. In November he debuted at Cologne Opera with a further Gluck-Premiere: Orfeo ed Euridice (direction: Johannes Erath). 2010 started by Rameau’s Les Paladins (direction: Arila Siegert) at Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf/Duisburg, followed by Purcell’s Dido und Aeneas at the Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken. In autumn, there will be the premieres of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea (october, direction: Dietrich Hilsdorf) and Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (november, direction: Uwe Eric Laufenberg), initializing an entire Monteverdi-cycle as well as aMozart-cycle under his musical direction at the Cologne Opera. Further productions among others in Berlin are being prepared. In autumn, the premieres of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea (october, direction: Dietrich Hilsdorf) and Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (november, direction: Uwe Eric Laufenberg), initialized an entire Monteverdi-cycle as well as aMozart-cycle under his musical direction at the Cologne Opera. His recent premiere was Rameau’s Platée (direction: Karoline Gruber) at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf/Duisburg (January 2011). Further productions, among others in Berlin, are being prepared. (www.cantuscoelln.com)

Repertoire

German

Johann Sebastian Bach

Jesu meine Freude Singet dem Herrn – Motetes y primeras Cantatas Cantates  & “Missae brevis Altbachisches Archiv A musical journey through Bach’s contemporaries

Dietrich Buxtehude

Membra Jesu Nostri* Italian

Claudio Monteverdi

Selva Morale e Spirituale Vespro della Beata Virgine (1610)

Virgilio Mazzocchi (1597-1646)

Vesperae by B. Maria and Sanctis (1648)

Music

Cum sancto spiritu, Mass in B minor, BACH

 

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