Program 2014
Bachs Köthener Trauermusik
07.03.2013

Ensemble Pygmalion - Raphaël Pichon, Conductor 
 

Thursday 7 March, 19:30
Oslo Cathedral
NOK 400 / 300


Experience St Matthew Passion in brief


The Ensemble Pygmalion from France, one of Europe's leading early music ensembles, will perform an adapted short version of St Matthew Passion in Oslo Cathedral. The funeral cantata, Köthener Trauermusik, BWV 244a was written for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen's funeral in 1729. Bach had previously worked as court composer to Prince Leopold and wanted to honour his former employer with a cantata worthy of a prince. Bach chose to reuse and adapt music he had written earlier, rather than composing new music. Only fragments of the original score have survived, but music historians are quite certain that the music used in Köthener Trauermusik is taken from St Matthew Passion BWV 244 and Trauerode BWV 198. The text of the cantata was written by Bach's long-time partner Picander. The cantata has 24 movements in four parts and is written for choir, orchestra and soloists. Under the leadership of the young, rising conductor Raphaël Pichon, Ensemble Pygmalion, with some of Europe's leading young soloists, will offer the audience an epic and rarely performed work. 



Raphaël Pichon is a conductor and counter tenor. He studied singing, and violin and piano at the National Conservatory of Music in Versailles. Pichon has sung under conductors such as Ton Koopman, Jordi Savall and Vincent Dumestre. In 2005, Pichon founded Ensemble Pygmalion and made a recording of Bach's Missa Brevis, BWV 234 and Missa Brevis, BWV 235. This recording won the Diapason d'or de l'année 2008 and Orphée d'or for best recording of church music that year. Raphaël Pichon and Ensemble Pygmalion have been invited to perform by some of the most renowned festivals and concert venues in France and abroad.



Ensemble Pygmalion was founded in 2005 by conductor Raphaël Pichon out of a desire to bring together a choir and orchestra composed of professional and leading musicians from various European institutions. The musicians come from different countries and cultural backgrounds and have a common ambition to develop an ensemble with a unique sound. Ensemble Pygmalion aims to cover three centuries of music written for choir and orchestra, and to bring forward the tonal nuances of the past into today's musical expression. They have a busy touring schedule that has taken the ensemble to leading festivals throughout Europe.



Damien Guillon (counter tenor) started with music early in childhood, and he studied singing, music theory, ear training and organ. In 2004 he began his vocal studies at the Music Academy of Basel under Andreas Scholl. Guillon has sung under the world's leading conductors, including Paul McCreesh, Philippe Herreweghe and Christophe Rousset and is a popular soloist in France and elsewhere in Europe.



Eugénie Warnier (soprano) had obtained her doctorate in medicine, before she turned completely to music and started singing in 2000.Warnier quickly blossomed as a soloist, noticed by Christophe Rousset at the Académie d'Ambronay in 2004. As a soloist, she participated in many staged productions and also a soloist in several recordings.

   

Thomas Hobbs (tenor) studied at the Royal College of Music in London. He has collaborated with a number of leading ensembles, including The Tallis Scholars, I Fagiolini, The Sixteen and Collegium Vocale Gent. Hobbs is in demand both as a concert singer and an opera singer and performs on leading concert and opera stages throughout Europe.

 

Christian Immler (bass baritone) was a former boy soprano and soloist in the legendary Tölzer Knabenchor, where he sang under masters like James Levine, Herbert von Karajan and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. He has continued in the same style as an adult and now sings all over the world in collaboration with some of the foremost orchestras and conductors. Immler is a versatile singer and works with opera, lieder, early music and contemporary music.

/ Ensemble Pygmalion (foto: Etienne Gautier), Raphaël Pichon (foto: Bertrand Pichene), Damien Guillon (foto: Benjamin Diesbach), Eugénie Warnier (foto: Bertrand Servais), Christian Immler (foto: Marco Borggreve)   
 
 
 
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