Gabrieli Consort and Players
Biography / Orchestra
Gabrieli are world-renowned interpreters of great vocal and instrumental repertoire spanning from the renaissance to the present day. Formed as an early music ensemble by Paul McCreesh in 1982, they have both outgrown and remained true to their original identity. Over thirty years, their repertoire has expanded beyond any expectation, but McCreesh’s ever-questioning spirit and […]
Gabrieli Consort and Players
Gabrieli are world-renowned interpreters of great vocal and instrumental repertoire spanning from the renaissance to the present day. Formed as an early music ensemble by Paul McCreesh in 1982, they have both outgrown and remained true to their original identity. Over thirty years, their repertoire has expanded beyond any expectation, but McCreesh’s ever-questioning spirit and expressive musicianship, together with a healthy degree of iconoclasm, remain constant features and are continually reflected in their dynamic performances. Their repertoire includes major works of the oratorio tradition, virtuosic a cappella programmes of music from many centuries and mould-breaking reconstructions of music for historical events.
Gabrieli are acclaimed interpreters of Handel oratorios and Bach Passions and their recordings have garnered numerous international awards, including Gramophone Awards for recordings of Haydn The Creation (2008 Choral Award) and A New Venetian Coronation (2012 Early Music Award), BBC Music Magazine Awards for Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts and Britten War Requiem, and a Grammy nomination in 2010 for the a cappella disc A Spotless Rose.
A number of strong relationships have defined their international profile over many years and such partnerships remain at the heart of their activities. For nearly 15 years, in conjunction with Martin Randall Travel, they have pioneered new areas of ‘cultural tourism’ in creating festivals of music in European historic centres, developing new programmes specifically inspired by the exquisite buildings and cities in which they are performed. They were resident artists at Brinkburn Music in Northumberland, with whom they developed some of their most exciting projects, for 17 years. From 2006 to 2012 they were associate artists of the Wratislavia Cantans Festival, and embarked on an exciting partnership with the Wrocław Philharmonic Choir. 2014 saw the inception of a new partnership with Historic Royal Palaces, with further performances at Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace taking place throughout the current and forthcoming seasons.
Gabrieli’s 2014-15 season included return invitations to the Bath Bachfest (Handel Dixit Dominus) and Oslo Church Music Festival, a collaboration with the Folger Consort of Washington DC for The Globe Theatre, London and performances of the Bach Passions in Leipzig and Weimar for Martin Randall Travel as well as at the Aix-en-Provence Festival on Good Friday. At the heart of the season was a Purcell focus which included performances of the Birthday Odes for Queen Mary across two evenings at Wigmore Hall, performances at Hampton Court Palace, and Purcell King Arthur at St John’s Smith Square, London, for Festival de Beaune France and Herrenchiemsee Festival, Germany.
In 2015-16 Gabrieli’s plans include Bach Passion performances in the UK and USA (in collaboration with St Paul Chamber Orchestra), a Christmas tour of Handel’s Messiah which takes us to Lucerne, Versailles, Zaragoza, San Sebastian and Pamplona and performances of Handel’s Dixit Dominus at Handelfestspiele Halle and, again, Chateau de Versailles. Their UK appearances include Gabrieli Roar at Southwark Cathedral in February, a performance of Haydn The Seasons at St John’s Smith Square, a new a cappella programme performed at Lichfield and Oundle festivals, and a continuation of 2015’s Purcell focus as part of their partnership with Hampton Court Palace.
With Paul McCreesh, they aim to create inspirational and thought-provoking performances that stand out from the crowd. In 2010, Paul McCreesh established his own record label Winged Lion which, in its first year alone, released four extremely diverse recordings, underlining Gabrieli’s versatility and McCreesh’s breadth of vision. The focal point of Winged Lion’s output is the Wratislavia Cantans Oratorio Series, spectacular large-scale oratorio recordings made in conjunction with the Wrocław Philharmonic Choir with the kind support of the National Forum of Music, Wroclaw. There are now three recordings in this series: Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts, Mendelssohn Elijah and Britten War Requiem. The Winged Lion catalogue also includes two of Gabrieli’s renowned a cappella programmes, A Song of Farewell (English choral repertoire from Morley and Sheppard to Howells and MacMillan), Incarnation (an inspiring sequence of less well-known Christmas repertoire), and A New Venetian Coronation 1595, a much-anticipated re-recording of the ensemble’s famed 1990 reconstruction featuring music by Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli.
Gabrieli’s most recent release on Winged Lion is Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato with a cast of soloists led by Gillian Webster and Jeremy Ovenden. Future recordings include Haydn’s The Seasons, in collaboration with the National Forum of Music, Wroclaw and the renowned Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra, and a new, secular a cappella programme of British repertoire.
Gabrieli’s reputation for award-winning recordings was established during a fifteen year association with Deutsche Grammophon. Our current Winged Lion releases are equally regarded as benchmark recordings, receiving accolades that include BBC Music Magazine Awards (Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts, Britten War Requiem), Gramophone Award (A New Venetian Coronation 1595) and a Diapason d’Or de l’Année (Mendelssohn Elijah).
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