CD Recordings & Reviews



Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Wind Overtures Vol. 1

L’Orfeo Bläserensemble
Carin van Heerden, direction

Overtures F major TWV 44:16, F major TWV 44:8, F major TWV 44:10, D major TWV 44:14; Concerto a 5 D major TWV 44:2

(cpo 2018)



Supersonic Pizzicato kulturradio rbb
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Harpsichord Concertos BWV 1052, 1061, 1062 & 1065

arranged for 2-8 marimbas and orchestera by Bogdan Bacanu

The Wave Quartet
(Christoph Sietzen, Bogdan Bacanu, Emiko Uchiyama, Vladimir Petrov)
L’Orfeo Barockorchester
Michi Gaigg, direction

Concerto in d for harpsichord BWV 1052, arr. for 2 marimbas & orchestra
Concerto in C for 2 harpsichords BWV 1061, arr. for 4 marimbas & orch.
Concerto in c for 2 harpsichords BWV 1062, arr. for 4 marimbas & orch.
Concerto in a for 4 harpsichords BWV 1065, arr. for 8 marimbas & orch.

(Sony Classical 2017)

The Making-of

Virtuosic and captivating, a subtle and passionate relishing of all colours, a challenging adventure.
(SWR2, CD-Tipp, Martin Falk, 24 October 2017)

This CD leads to a complete rediscovery of Johann Sebastian Bach’s harpsichord concertos on marimba. Especially in the slow movements the music breathes a wondrously meditative vein.
(Kulturradio rbb, CD of the week, Hans Ackermann, 25 September 2017)
 
Of course I wouldn’t dare questioning the use of harpsichords for these concertos. But I have to admit that I don’t miss anything.[…] To my mind the concertos presented here reach a new dimension especially through the huge dynamic range. The playing is captivatingly virtuosic, the sound quality excellent. This is a CD which will definitely not gather dust…
(WDR 3, TonArt, CD of the week, Andreas Nachtsheim, 26 September 2017)
 
An unusual sound and yet somehow familiar …
(Radio Klassik, CD of the day, 18 October 2017)



Forbes CD of the Week MDR Kultur empfiehlt
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847)
String Symphonies Vol. 2

L’Orfeo Barockorchester
conducted by: Michi Gaigg

Sinfonia VII “Minerva”
(incl. the 4th movement’s fragmentarily extant 1st version),
Sinfonia X, Symphonic movemenmt in C minor, Sinfonia XII

using the copy of a fortepiano by Nannette Streicher (Vienna, c. 1819) as a thoroughbass

(cpo 2017)

Rocking The Mendelssohn String Symphonies. […] Here comes a recording that’s not content with just playing the music beautifully. Instead, it jumpstarts these works and makes them transcend themselves. You don’t have to concentrate on the music, it grabs you by the lapel.
(Forbes.com, Classical CD of the Week & The 10 Best Classical Recordings Of 2017, Jens F. Laurson, 3 November 2017)

[…] a crisp and lively rendering.
(Radio Klassik, CD of the day, 27 October 2017)

This recording continues to fathom the turbulent emotional world of the young composer and pleases with youthful spunky playing.
(Pizzicato, Remy Franck, 8 October 2017)





BBC Music 5 Stars Supersonic Pizzicato

kulturradio rbb

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Arias, Romances & Overtures

Daniel Behle, Tenor
L’Orfeo Barockorchester
conducted by: Michi Gaigg

from: Die Zauberharfe D 644, Claudine von Villa Bella D 239,
Die Freunde von Salamanka D 326, Adrast D 137,
Lazarus D 689, Alfonso und Estrella D 732,
Fierrabras D 796, Das Zauberglöckchen D 723

(deutsche harmonia mundi / Sony Music 2017)

If anybody is capable of convincingly retrieving Schubert’s honour as an opera composer then it is these artists!
(Bayern Klassik, CD-Tipp, Ursula Adamski-Störmer, 2 June 2017)

[…] Daniel Behle is a thoughtful interpreter, too, with a Lieder singer’s care for words, and finds as much individual character as the music allows, including a twinkling sense of humour in a cynical buffo aria from Die Freunde von Salamanka. Under Michi Gaigg’s lively direction, the Orfeo Baroque Orchestra are responsive accompanists (plaudits to the first oboe and first clarinet in their many carolling dialogues with the singer), and on their own give vigorous and colourful performances of the splendid overtures to Die Zauberharfe and Alfonso.
(Gramophone, Richard Wigmor, November 2017)

This is Behle’s most important – and most beautiful – CD to date […] Also the L’Orfeo Barockorchester […] performs superbly.
(Kulturradio rbb, Highest score: 5/5, Kai Luehrs-Kaiser, 6 June 2017)

Landmark
No one has played Schubert like this since Harnoncourt: defiant, with accented rhythms, and yet with a warm and soft sound, even beguiling if need be. The excellent woodwind section underlines these striking sound mixtures […] Yet it isn’t only the sound of this new Schubert CD which makes you sit up: the repertoire […] and then also a certain voice […]: Daniel Behle
(Musik & Theater, Reinmar Wagner, July 2017)

Its performance instantly announces the superior period-instrument playing of L’Orfeo Barockorchester under Michi Gaigg, with characterful string tone and a wide range of dynamics and colour all finely captured in this recording: wind, brass and timpani, too, are interpretatively and sonically vivid.
(BBC Music Magazine, 5 stars, George Hall, October 2017)

With this recently released CD of arias Schubert’s unmistakable ingenuity as a stage composer is proven, especially when a singer like Daniel Behle applies such impeccable tact and taste. His light and beautifully agile voice perfectly suits the musical diction […] Added to this voice is a congenial orchestra with vibrant drive. The L’Orfeo Barockorchester directed by Michi Gaigg easily holds its stand among the very best. Fabulous.
(Salzburger Nachrichten, Karl Harb, 4 July 2017)

[…] And then Michi Gaigg and the brilliantly qualified L’Orfeo Barockorchester appear on the scene: the succinct timbres of the period instruments breathe life into a true paradise of colours. Their approach in the Overtures to „Zauberharfe“ and „Alfonso und Estrella“ is slightly firmer and underlines the symphonic quality between Classical tradition and Romantic innovation. All in all a magnificent introduction to a hitherto underestimated part of Schubert’s oeuvre.
(RONDO – Das Klassik & Jazz Magazin, Michael Wersin, 10 June 2017)

A strong plea for Schubert’s operatic oeuvre.
(Abendzeitung, 1 July 2017)

The quality of these works by Schubert is undeniable. Daniel Behle proves this with a CD in which this level is brilliantly codetermined by the L’Orfeo Barockorchester directed by Michi Gaigg.
(Orpheus, 1 July 2017)

With some premiere recordings of Schubert arias this CD provides great musical pleasure. Even though these pieces do not belong to Schubert’s best and most famous, the excellent performances guarantee an unforgettable listening experience.
(Pizzicato, Highest score: Supersonic, Alain Steffen, 10 July 2017)



forbes_classical-cd-of-the-week brklassikcd-tipp

fono-forum-sternfono-forum-sternfono-forum-sternfono-forum-sternfono-forum-stern
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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Cantatas for Soprano solo

Dorothee Mields
L’Orfeo Barockorchester
Michi Gaigg, direction

Cantata “Ich bin in mir vergnügt” BWV 204
Cantata “Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut” BWV 199 (Weimar 1714)
Aria “Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn’ ihn” BWV 1127 (Strophen 1, 4, 8 & 12)

(Carus/SWR2 2015)

The beauty of sighs and laments.
Gripping […], expressive […], moving.
(Crescendo, February/March 2016)

The wonderful Dorothee Mields: […] she controls her voice perfectly in all registers, shining brightly, slim, with warmth and declamatory strength, with moving restraint. This is charismatic singing. And this is delicate playing: the L’Orfeo Barockorchester proves itself receptive and unfolds Bach’s sensual score in all its fine nuances. The spoken and unspoken texts relate a longing which is deeper and more universal than words can express. Only one person was able to do this. Bach forever.
(Bayern Klassik, CD Tipp, Andreas Grabner, 23 February 2016)

Or put is as an understatement, Dorothee Mields and the L’Orfeo Barockorchester, directed by Michi Gaigg, simply make good music.
(Fono Forum, Star of the month, Matthias Hengelbrock, March 2016)

The lightness and fluidity of these performances, technically impeccable without revealing any of the considerable effort behind that perfection, make one hope that more Bach sacred works will be on the group’s studio docket.
(The Washington Post, Charles T. Downey, 6 May 2016)

High-quality.
(klassik.com, 15 January 2016)

The oboes have ample opportunity to excel in this recording, so do the solo flute and the viola obligato; the continuo breathes solid serenity […].
(Musik und Theater, Reinmar Wagner, January/February 2016)



klassik-heute-empfehlung1
note4 radiostephansdom
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847)
String Symphonies Vol. 1

L’Orfeo Barockorchester
conducted by: Michi Gaigg

Sinfonie I-VI
using a fortepiano of Viennese design ca. 1815 as a thoroughbass

(cpo 2015)

Buy this and start saving for the next installment!
(Early Music Review, 1 November 2015)

The L’Orfeo Barockorchester does everything differently
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s String Symphonies have been recorded umpteen times. But never have they sounded like this. […]
Fresh and original
[…] When an ensemble and its leader grow together like this then the result is flawless. The orchestra is often praised for its fresh, lively and original approach. With this recording of the Mendelssohn String Symphonies it has once again proved its high position in the current Early Music scene. The fortepiano is truely the icing on the cake.
(Hessischer Rundfunk, CD Tip, 7 October 2015)

A recording which will no doubt find its way to the radio archive. Regardless of the good work done by Thomas Fey or Roy Goodman the intensity of this recording is unmatched. Mendelssohn’s coming of age.
(radio klassik Stephansdom, CD Tip, 30 October 2015)

Full of youthful drive, Orfeo’s performances show young Mendelssohn’s effusive emotions as well.
(Pizzicato, 19 October 2015)

Recommended by ORF Ö1 (CD of the week – Klassik-Treffpunkt), WDR3 and Kleine Zeitung.




George Frederic Handel (1685-1759)
Joshua

Oratoro in three acts HWV 64 (1747)
Libretto by Thomas Morell

Gerlinde Sämann, Achsah (soprano)
Martina Daxböck, Angel (soprano)
Wiebke Lehmkuhl, Othniel (mezzo soprano)
Daniel Johannsen, Joshua (tenor)
Josef Wagner, Caleb (bass)

Domkantorei St. Pölten
cappella nova graz
L’Orfeo Barockorchester
directed by: Otto Kargl

live recording of Festival Musica Sacra’s opening concert
on 7 September 2014

(ORF Radio Österreich 1 2014 ∙ 2 CDs)




bbc_radio_3
Jean-Féry Rebel (1666-1747)
Les Élémens, Simphonie nouvelle (1737/38)
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)
Suite from Castor et Pollux (1737)

(new edition ∙ cpo 2014)

(reviews of the 1st edition:)
“The Orfeo Baroque Orchestra give a vibrant performance of the Rameau. Gaigg is a decisive leader who encourages her colleagues to brandish their bows and clip the dotted notes with breathtaking panache […] percussionist Rogerio Gonçalves provides wonderful rhythmic counterpoint. […] strikingly idiosyncratic performances.”
(Gramophone Magazine, February 2009)

“Numerous recordings of Rebel’s „Les Élémens“ have been made: the earliest was by the Orchestra of the ORTF directed by André Jarve in 1973, followed by Christopher Hogwood (1980), Marc Minkowski (1993), Reinhard Goebel (1995) […] Michi Gaigg and her L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra join the ranks of these with determination and animated tempos, revelling in the score’s harshness and sound metamorphoses. She puts clear accents, enjoys rests to the full, little by little creating an evolving universe from the chaos. Rebel’s highly differentiated instrumentation in the dance suite finds an ideal interpretation here: the well-balanced polarity of heaviness and lightness is very convincing in the first Loure, „La Terre et l’Eau“. A special feature of the orchestra is the surprising energy and a generous sound. Michi Gaigg nevertheless knows the art of extreme subtleties and the magic of colour. The orchestral excerpts from Rameau’s opera „Castor et Pollux“ (composed at the same time as Rebel’s work) thankfully prove to be of the same calibre.”
(Diapason, Catherine Cessac, Sep/Oct 2008 – 5 de Diapason)

“Beware when you expect to hear some harmless Baroque music when listening to this CD the first time! Jean-Féry Rebel starts his ballet music with a diatonic cluster containing every single note of a d minor harmonic scale. And the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra is not ashamed to let us hear its full impact. Rebel’s version of the creation of the elements originated 60 years before Haydn’s „Schöpfung“ and commences with „Le Cahos“[sic!]. The following movements of the Suite remain colourful und musically highly effective. Also in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux the young Austrian ensemble exudes enthusiasm and finesse“.
(Partituren, Wolfgang Fuhrmann, September/October 2008)






Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Miriways

Singspiel in 3 acts, after a libretto by
Johann Samuel Müller

Markus Volpert, Miriways ∙ Ulrike Hofbauer, Sophi
Julie Martin du Theil, Bemira ∙ Gabriele Hierdeis, Nisibis
Stefan Zenkl, Murzah ∙ Ida Aldrian, Samischa
Susanne Drexl, Zemir ∙ Ilja Werger, An envoy & Scandor

L’Orfeo Barockorchester
conducted by: Michi Gaigg

LIVE recording
(cpo 2014 ∙ 2 CDs)

Miriways is a lucky strike: the contents are relevant, the music colourful and exciting. With virtuoso horn parts, a dense and inventive composition, this music seems to be on a par with the “Brandenburg concertos”. […]  Michi Gaigg’s lively approach and the scintillating sound of the L’Orfeo Barockorchester make this live recording from the Telemann Festtage 2012 very enjoyable. A special ovation to the horn players Olivier Picon and Sebastian Fischer.
(Opernwelt, Boris Kehrmann, May 2014)

Michi Gaigg posseses an intuitive talent, with brilliant intelligence she senses and presents the structure of the scenes und coordinates the trickiest (of which there are numerous) parts in the score. The leader of the L’Orfeo Barockorchester has very convincingly become the authority when it comes to rediscovering and re-evaluating Telemann’s works.
(Sonograma Magazine, Carme Miró, 29 April 2014)

Musically impressing revival of a beautiful Telemann score, with good singers and, above all, a magnificent orchestral ensemble.
(Pizzicato, Remy Franck, 25 February 2014)

An unknown masterpiece
[…] It is truly inconceivable that of all pieces this work remained unknown, especially since it is truly exceptional and highly inventive. The breathtaking coloraturas for the Corno da caccia in the Overture alone create a whirl of excitement, preparing the prevailing mood for the whole story […]
The bottom line: more than worth hearing!
[…] Michi Gaigg collected a fine vocal ensemble. The female voices are style-defining […]. In a word: this recording is a shining gem, finely polished by Michi Gaigg and her L’Orfeo Barockorchester!
(hr2 kultur, CD-Tipp, Natascha Pflaumbaum, 5 February 2014)

[…] Once again Michi Gaigg, with the L’Orfeo Barockorchester, confirms her pioneering role as a music discoverer.
(Wiener Zeitung, Daniel Wagner, 18 March 2014)

[…] The L’Orfeo Barockorchester, performing here with 21 musicians, and conducted by Michi Gaigg presents a brilliant start, proving Telemann’s hitherto unknown opera to be a masterpiece. During two and a half hours the listener is spellbound by sparkles and glitters and vibrations.
(Klassik-Heute.de, Ekkehard Pluta, 26 March 2014)


ORF/Ö1 CD des Tages

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Betulia liberata

Azione sacra in two parts K 118 (74c)
Libretto by Pietro Metastasio

Margot Oitzinger, Giuditta ∙ Christian Zenker, Ozìa
Markus Volpert, Achior ∙ Marelize Gerber, Amital
Ulrike Hofbauer, Cabri ∙ Barbara Kraus, Carmi

L’Orfeo Barockorchester
conducted by: Michi Gaigg

(Challenge Classics 2013 ∙ 2 SACDs)

Gaigg resurrects the young Mozart’s Metastasio project
[…] L’Orfeo Barockorchester play with an attractive thrust and graininess, with solos well taken and horns ringing out gloriously […] a vivid and dramatic snapshot of this stage in the wunderkind’s astonishing development.
(Gramophone, David Threasher, December 2013)

Michi Gaigg has long outgrown being one of Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s best students. In profile with her L’Orfeo Barockorchester she has emerged as a congenial successor of the Concentus Musicus master. She has walked her own way as can readily be heard on this new release. […] This recording of Mozart’s oratorio is an experience: drama is united with noblesse and perfection. […] The recording adds to Mozart’s repertoire.
(Das Orchester, Iris Hildegard Winkler, 01/2014)

The orchestra plunges ravenously into every dissonance, each staccato, every concitato passage. […] When last did one hear such an exciting vibrant general rest as in the Overture?
(Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Felix Michel, 8 October 2013)

Anyone who has experienced Michi Gaigg and the L’Orfeo Barockorchester at the Telemann Festival Magdeburg knows the drive and enthusiasm that permeate eighteenth century music when performed with this vitality. And here again: the ternary overture depicting the besiegement of Bethulia keeps the listener at the edge of his chair. Michi Gaigg’s sensitive direction allows the singers ample space for intense expression. The setting of this largely undramatic text by the youthful and unencumbered Mozart tells its own wondrous tale.
(Opernglas, J. Gahre, July 2013)

Michi Gaigg manages to strike theatrical sparks in this challenging yet static oratorio with the brilliant L’Orfeo Barockorchester.
(Opernwelt, Ekkehard Pluta, November 2013)

It’s [Gaigg’s] guiding hand that ultimately makes this recording well worth considering. […] well worthwhile for confirmed Mozartians.
(Musicweb International, 12 November 2013)

[…] Michi Gaigg and her L’Orfeo Barockorchester deserve great credit for reviving Mozart’s early work. Instead of confirming the general opinion of a boring and rather conventional work Bethulia is uncovered as a composition with promising boldness and hidden treasures. A new release which will not leave the listener indifferent.
(ResMusica, Pierre Degott, 29 January 2014)




Gramophone Editor's Choice choix-de-france-musique
radiostephansdom
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
“Hoffnung des Wiedersehens” –
Arias, Opera insertions, Secular Cantatas

Dorothee Mields, Soprano
Martin Jopp, Violin
Carin van Heerden, Oboe d’amore
L’Orfeo Barockorchester
Michi Gaigg, direction

(deutsche harmonia mundi / Sony Music 2012)

BBC Music Magazine – Choral & Song Choice for “Hoffnung des Wiedersehens”
Telemann touches the sublime
The crystal clear quality of Dorothee Mields’s singing has already graced many albums of German mid- to late-Baroque music. Her vocal quality, secure intonation and tasteful use of ornamentation characterise performances that are further enhanced by her sensibility to music and text like.
This attractive disc is no mere litany of arias extracted from larger works, but a thoughtfully constructed programme in which two instrumental concertos and a secular cantata are interspersed with shorter vocal items. The concertos are for violin and oboe d’amore respectively, and appeal for their rhythmic vitality and idiomatic writing. Telemann was a competent performer on both instruments and he knew very well how to draw on their strengths. Soloists Martin Jopp (violin) and Carin van Heerden (oboe d’amore) are fluent advocates for infrequently encountered pieces and they are given lively support by L’Orfeo Barockorchester under Michi Gaigg’s direction. […] A delight from start to finish.
(BBC Music Magazine, Nicholas Anderson, August 2013)

Telemann with sensitivity
Linz-based L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra and soprano Dorothee Mields joint Telemann Album is Editor’s Choice:
[…] an intelligently planned programme that flows ideally between contrasting musical moods, textures, keys and genres, all sensitively played by L’Orfeo (expertly directed by violinist Michi Gaigg) … It is hard to think of a better specialist German Baroque soprano than Mields at the moment; her flawless tone, awareness of instrumental interplay, delivery of poetry and shapely phrasing provide nothing but undiluted pleasure.
(Gramophone: The Classical Music Magazine, David Vickers, June 2013)

Dorothee Mields […] fait merveille dans l’aria “Mein Vergnügen wird sich fügen” en dialogue avec la flûte. Sa candeur mutine, qu’un soupçon de lumière – ou de fragilité sublime – hisserait au niveau d’illustres devancières comme Barbara Schlick ou Agnès Mellon, s’allie idéalement au phrasé inspiré de Michi Gaigg et ses musiciens. Ils cisèlent des miniatures affûtées, déliées, couleurs tendres et discours ferme. Seuls, ils offrent aussi deux concertos gouleyants, joyeusement millimétrés.
(Diapason, Sophie Roughol, Mars 2013, 5 de Diapason)

Seductive
[…] The CD reminds one of a colourful flower bouquet. The interpretation is in exceptionally good style and presents grand art in less than 70 charming minutes. Careful, you might become addicted!
(Concerto – Das Magazin für Alte Musik, Olaf Krone, July/August 2013)

Music to revel in.
(Thüringische Landeszeitung, Wolfgang Hirsch, 12 January 2013)

What a treat for the ears when Dorothee Mields sings!
(SWR2 Alte Musik, Doris Blaich, 8 November 2012)

Dorothee Mields’ uniquely flexible and smooth soprano mixes perfectly with the different instruments. In spite of this versatility she never looses sight of her own individual vocal characteristics. This is apparent for example in her precise dealings with language. Especially in a time, “post Emma Kirkby” so to speak, in which Baroque singing seems to wander off into an undifferentiated narcissistic “Bartolism” personalities like Dorothee Mields once again honour and bring to life earlier achievements with responsible integrity – a new release that will undoubtedly contribute to add to Georg Phiipp Telemann’s reputation.
(Rondo Magazine, Michael Wersin, 10 November 2012)

Clear as a bell and inspired
[…] I find the naturalness of the singer especially impressive. Dorothee Mields can afford not to be forceful or to be operatic since she has it all: a brilliant technique, flawless placement of the voice, moving between registers with such ease that she reminds the listnener of a boy soprano, with little vibrato but light, not tight, and very virtuosic. Her voice is clear as a bell but also intimate. She enchants the listener and makes the music sound even more precious with her enriching interpretation.
Splendid orchestra
The orchestra, directed by Michi Gaigg, melts splendidly with her sound. It plays as clear and light-footed and as inspired.
(kulturradio rbb, Astrid Belschner, 19 November 2012 –
highest score: kkkkk)

[…] A CD release which shows that, as far as Telemann is concerned, not all has been said and done yet.
(MDR Figaro, das Kulturradio, Recommendations by André Sittner,
26 November 2012)

[…] Dorothee Mields is brilliantly accompanied by the L’Orfeo Braockorchester directed by the violinist Michi Gaigg…. This Austrian orchestra has gained a remarkable reputation during the last 15 years. The ensemble from Linz counts among the leading period instrument orchestras. It hasn’t lost any of its enthusiasm over the years, on the contrary […]
(Bayerischer Rundfunk, Leporello, Dirk Kruse, 28 November 2012)



dradiokultur
CD der Woche

ndr-kultur-cd-tipp
CD der Woche
ORF/Ö1 CD des Tages
empfohlen von:drs2
kulturradio rbb
radiostephansdom
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Concert Overtures D 470, 556, 590, 591, 648
Symphony No. 5 D 485

L’Orfeo Barockorchester
conducted by: Michi Gaigg

(deutsche harmonia mundi / Sony Music 2012)

Schubert’s works on period instruments […]. A unique project
[…] Michi Gaigg and her orchestra never choose the easy way out. They search for a challenge. The Schubert CD is a step along a new path, not only concerning the unfamiliar repertoire but also as far as matters of performance are concerned. But it is so much worth the while. How much irony, tongue in the cheek antics and true drama are discovered in the overtures when performed on period instruments.
Surely, after this CD one hears Schubert slightly different.
(Deutschlandradio Kultur, CD of the week, Haino Rindler, 18 June 2012)

An excursion to the Early Romantics
[…] This has never been heard before: First of all the B-flat major Overture has never been recorded on period instruments and furthermore it has probably never been performed this eloquently. […]
An absolute must!
(NDR kultur, CD of the week, Jan Ritterstaedt, 20 June 2012)

Sharp accents and thundering tuttis
[…] With this album Michi Gaigg presents a crystal clear perspective on the young Schubert.
(Kulturradio rbb, CD der Woche, Ulrike Klobes, 9 July 2012)

Original charm
[…] No random phrase, each punchline well put, vibrancy in every single musical colour. Everything is alive, direct and yet elegant.
(ORF Ö1 Pasticcio-Preis, in co-operation with the Standard)

[…] four of Schubert’s five concert ouvertures are presented here in „historical sound“ […] one wonders why these precious works were neglected so long. Such innovative ideas in the two Ouvertures in D major (D 556) or e minor (D 648). The fifth symphony originated during the same time and is Schubert’s hommage to Mozart, the musical highlight of this extravagant programme.
(Crescendo, Musik & Theater, Attila Csampai)

Roots and paths
[…] All in all a refreshing new Schubert experience that one wouldn’t want to miss.
(www.musikansich.de, Sven Kerkhoff)

[…] a firm grip, an impulsive and dramatic interpretation of Schubert’s fifth symphony […] the orchestra small yet breathtakingly played!
(Ö1 – Apropos Musik, Renate Burtscher, 10 October 2012)

Wonderfully lithe, laid-back and transparent […]. This orchestra has acquired a position of authority over the last 15 years in which they retained their enthusiasm yet still grow in expressiveness.
(DRS2, CD Tip, Florian Hauser, 8 October 2012)

Those who still doubt the efficacy of playing this repertoire on period instru­ments should hear the mellifluous wind playing on this disc, at once full of colour and character. Rarely, for example, have the exchanges between flute and oboe at the opening of the development of the Allegro of the B flat symphony conveyed such innocent enchantment as they do here. […] Gaigg’s approach to this movement is admirably straightforward and not without moments of grace and charm, as is the performance as a whole.
The tempo set for the Andante con moto is to my mind spot on, with splendid balance between wind and strings, while the stormy interludes carry admirable weight and punch. The trio section of the Menuetto, which is again ideally paced, has an irresistible lilt that perhaps only Austrian players could bring to it.
The eight concert overtures Schubert composed between 1816 and 1819 tend to be quickly passed over by his biographers. Five are included here […] all agreeably played, making the CD as a whole an excellent proposition for anyone interested in the collection.
(Early Music Review, Brian Robins, October 2012)

This is an interpretation with rough edges. The Menuet (Symphony Nr 5) could serve as example: instead of elegant dancelike gestures we encounter sharp cutting accents. A sweeping and revealing production.
(Toccata – Alte Musik aktuell, Johan van Veen, Jan./Feb. 2013)



radiostephansdom
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Complete Violin Concertos Vol. 4
Ouvertürenkonzerte TWV 55:G6, E3 & g7

L’Orfeo Barockorchester
soloist and direction: Elizabeth Wallfisch

(cpo 2006/2012)



mdr figaro hr2 CD-Tipp kulturradio rbb
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)
Suites from:
Zais, ballet héroique (1748) &
Hippolyte et Aricie, tragédie en musique (1733, 1742, 1757)

L’Orfeo Barockorchester
conducted by: Michi Gaigg

(Capriccio / Crystal Classics 2011)

[…] the Austrian recording scores with the colour of the flutes and violins in the higher range. Michi Gaigg prefers silvery sounds and courtly strictness. But she also has an eye for subtle nuances, especially in the “Ritournelle” from “Hippolyte et Aricie”. This fugato combines grace and clumsiness, making it impossible to unravel, but leading straight to the listener’s heart.
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Jan Brachmann, 8 September 2011)

Caring for details
[…] Every recording of the L’Orfeo Barockorchester is characterised by a love of detail, musical brilliance and temperament. With their latest release Michi Gaigg and her musicians ventured into more familiar realms of repertoire. […] This is music in which the special qualities of L’Orfeo are best demonstrated. The overtures and numerous dance movements of the two suites are rendered here in vivid colours.
[…] L’Orfeo’s playing combines a poignant approach to Baroque dance rhythms with a sensual sound. The overture to Zais, depicting the chaos preceding the creation of the universe, benefit beautifully from these aspects. Rameau proves himself to be ahead of his time with these works and his interpreters follow suit. The listener finds suites here characterised by courtly elegance, bucolic folklore and a considerable amount of finesse and compositional vision. Michi Gaigg and the L’Orfeo Barockorchester present these aspects with great intensity.
(Fono Forum, Arnd Richter, July 2011)

[…] The result is once again contagious: Michi Gaigg and her „orpheic“ colleagues render these miniature orchestral dances with lilting enthusiasm and rhythmical precision and clarity. The long gone glitter and glory of life at the French court is vividly brought back to life […].
(Attila Csampai, HIFISTATEMENT netmagazine, 15 June 2011 / stereoplay 26 May 2011)

A contemporary of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s is reputed to have said the following concerning his first stage work „Hippolyte et Aricie:“ „This work contains enough material for ten operas.“ Rameau was already 50 at the time. The first performance caught a dash and left Rameau a wealthy man. The work contains floating gods, scenes from the underworld or from the realms of bad dreams and storms. A fresh approach, an unquenchable passion, vivid colours and dancelike buoyancy is needed to make this music work for today’s audience. Michi Gaigg and the L’Orfeo Barockorchester have exactly what it takes in this release of orchestral suites from „Hippolyte et Aricie“ and „Zais“.
(MDR Figaro, Beatrice Schwartner, 16 May 2011)

The L’Orfeo Barockorchester directed by Michi Gaigg again plays as noble as can be The finest detail, often hidden behind a shimmering surface, is highlighted. The ensemble was founded 15 years ago and although it was won nearly all possible awards it doesn’t seem to slacken its pace by any means. Rameau seldomly comes across this fresh and crisp. A thunderstorm or even rampaging furies thrill the listener with amused blissfulness.
(Aachener Nachrichten, Armin Kaumanns, 7 May 2011)

Directness
[…] What is this spezial sound then that makes L’Orfeo so unmistakable? If one listens to the newest release of Telemann’ Orpheus one is immediately struck by the direct, even harsh sound in the first three bars. The noisy gut strings and early winds are treated as colours to a larger picture. At the same time the approach is fresh and eloquently formulated, with pointed rhythms, balanced string playing with the strong bass, transparent middle parts and warm blending violins. An earthy sound prevails notwithstanding the lightness of the playing. Michi Gaigg seems to approach all music from a sense of movement. […]
(Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Jenny Berg, 6 May 2011)



radiostephansdom mdr figaro
Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)
Five Symphonies

L’Orfeo Barockorchester
conducted by: Michi Gaigg

(cpo 2011)

Gaigg and the orchestra deliver the symphonies with bright timbres and vivacious playing, and the historically informed techniques and sounds of a period ensemble are faithfully produced. CPO’s exceptional reproduction makes everything crisp and clear within a suitably resonant space.
(www.allmusic.com, Blair Sanderson)

Gleeful Gluck
[…] The L’Orfeo Barockorchester presents the five symphonies with zest, a highly entertaining performance. […] The fresh character of this cpo recording fits into the series of newly discovered works from the 18th century, reminding us that there is a lot of interesting repertoire waiting to be discovered beyond well-trodden paths.
(Klassik.com, Frank Fechter, 24 June 2011)

To Gluck or not to Gluck, that is not the question
– and this doesn’t apply to the collector of rare classical works only […] These musicians love Gluck and he requites their love. With cheeky accents but also with unkempt joy in the Cantilenas this exceptional Upper Austrian ensemble presents finest detail on their latest release.
(Ö1 bis zwei – Radio Ö1 CD of the day, Helmut Jasbar, 10 June 2011)

Michi Gaigg and her L’Orfeo Barockorchester convincingly prove the reknowned musicologist Ludwig Finscher wrong. According to the latter Gluck was neither inspired nor revolutionary in his instrumental compositions. […] The quality of the compositions recorded here, their versatility and the emotional depth tell another story. Undisputed at least is the exceptional interpretation. The L’Orfeo Barockorchester plays with fiery temperament, differentiated dynamics, clear articulation and considerable virtuosity.
(Kleine Zeitung, Ernst Naredi-Rainer, 6 July 2011)

There’s some question as to whether or not all of these works are by Gluck, but it doesn’t matter. The music is unfailingly enjoyable, the performances vigorous and full of life […] L’Orfeo plays on period instruments with results that are well above average. The winds, horns especially, are pretty terrific, and they have some impressive solo licks. The string ensemble is clean and the tone generally attractive […] This is an important addition to the Gluck discography and definitely worth the collector’s attention.
(Classics Today, David Hurwitz, 9 May 2011)



ndr-kultur-cd-tipp hr2 CD-Tipp
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Orpheus or The wonderful constancy of Love
Opera in three acts TWVW 21:18

Orasia – Dorothee Mields, Soprano
Orpheus – Markus Volpert, Baritone
Eurydice – Ulrike Hofbauer, Soprano
Eurimedes – Christian Zenker, Tenor
Ismene – Barbara Kraus, Soprano
Pluto – Reinhard Mayr, Bass
Cephisa / Priestess – Marelize Gerber, Soprano
Ascalax / 2nd Nymph – Julie Comparini, Alto

L’Orfeo Barockorchester
conducted by: Michi Gaigg

(deutsche harmonia mundi / Sony Music 2011 ∙ 2 CDs)

Love prevailing
[…] René Jacobs already perfromed this work in Berlin in 1994 and subsequently recorded it for Harmonia mundi France. In comparison Michi Gaigg’s new release seems much more coherent on the whole. The natural flow of the arias and musical gestures is very convincing. Dorothee Mields (Orasia) and Markus Volpert (Orpheus) are definitely better choices for the main roles. They sing with less vibrato and vocal force than their colleagues with Jacobs, rendering their parts with flexibility and fine nuances. The choice for the minor roles present a tie break, except for the role of Ascalax. The alto Julie Comparini is definitely a better choice than a male alto. The choirs are performed by the soloists whereas Jacobs disputably uses a big choir. Result: point, game and match to Gaigg.
(Fono Forum, Matthias Hengelbrock, June 2011)

The L’Orfeo Barockorchester, in small cast, directed by Michi Gaigg, lives up to its name and accompanies with confidence, subtlety and attentiveness. Telemann’s „Orpheus“ is by no means such a representative musical monument as one might associate with Handel. On the contrary, the listener is presented by an intimate opera, generally quite soft but then of course with incredible intensity. The carefully chosen vocal cast proves to be a truely lucky strike: instead of individual weaknesses only the various strong points seem to be in the spotlight. A truely recommendable recording!
(NDR kultur, Jan Ritterstaedt, 4 March 2011)

When René Jacobs released the very first recording of “Orpheus oder Die wunderbare Beständigkeit der Liebe” in 1998 he took up the cudgeols for Telemann in his role as opera composer, at the same time setting an apparently unreachable standard with his interpretation. And now, 13 years later, a new complete recording, released by deutsch harmonia mundi, takes it up with Jacobs, without directly challenging it. The approach doesn’t count on stars but on an established cast of fresh singers. The L’Orfeo Barockorchester provides a lucent Baroque palet without loud accents. 
(hr2 kultur – Der CD-Tipp, Andreas Schubert, 23 March 2011)

The opera is introduced with powerfully striding chords by the L’Orfeo Barockorchester on period instruments, conducted by Michi Gaigg […]. The arias are presented as independent orchestral statements and not merely as accompaniment […] A highly successful and well-balanced recording.”
(Das Opernglas, G. Schunk, 4/2011)

[…] An apt statement: Georg Philipp Telemann’s Orpheus is a truely “pleasant sojourn”. During the next two hours the audience is led through all possible emotional upheavals. The result is a highly entertaining event, especially when rendered so convincingly by Michi Gaigg and the L’Orfeo Barockorchester. […] Gaigg approaches each different style without harsh contrasts. The result is an organic flow in which French style dissolves into German taste and German style eases into Italian gusto. […] Johann Mattheson, famous 18th century theoretician, once called Telemann’s Orpheus a “miserable mixture”. This new recording proves the opposite: it is the stylistic variety which makes this work so enchanting. It presents a true alternative to all the famous settings of this myth, on CD as well as on stage.
(WDR3 TonArt, Christian Schnitzler, 23 March 2011)


Prise de Son d’Exception (May 2010)
hr2 CD-Tipp kulturradio rbbradiostephansdom
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Die wüste Insel (The Desert Island)
later version of the azione teatrale L’isola disabitata Hob. XXVIII:9

Ulrike Hofbauer (Constanze)
Barbara Kraus (Silvia)
Christian Zenker (Fernando)
Reinhard Mayr (Enrico)

L’Orfeo Barockorchester
conducted by: Michi Gaigg

(deutsche harmonia mundi / Sony Music 2010)

Michi Gaigg found a coherent approach for this sparkling work. Her fine sense of the narrative flow shows in the Accompagnati. Musical gesture and dramatic action find a homogenous symbiosis. The “Island” is not presented here as a great opera, but rather as a light Divertissement. And that might be the correct approach. Gaigg’s vocal ensemble is young and approaches this work with a refreshing ease. […]
(Fono Forum, Andreas Friesenhagen, 04/2010)

Today’s Haydn
The different numbers follow each other at high rate, the highly dramatic and affective ending is incomparable in the Classical era. The astounding performance by the L’Orfeo Barockorchester, directed by Michi Gaigg, underlines these aspects. Also the singers, Ulrike Hofbauer, Barbara Kraus, Christian Zenker and Reinhard Mayr offer exemplary achievements.
(Wiener Zeitung, 18 February 2010)

Don’t miss it! It is as gripping as a good audio book.
(André Scheurer, Radio Swiss Classic, 13 February 2010 / kulturtipp 4/10)

The Austrian singers and the L’Orfeo Barockorchester hit it on the spot: the right nuance, the right emotion which stays human without ever turning ridiculous.
(Dirk Hühner, kulturradio rbb, CD of the week, 22-27 February 2010)

radiostephansdom mdr figaro

br_klassik

Josef Myslivecek (1737-1781)
Complete Wind Octets & Quintets

L’Orfeo Bläserensemble
Carin van Heerden, direction and 1st oboe

(cpo 2010)

Wind instruments in their original sound
Amazing what the two natural horns achieve (especially in the quintetts for two oboes, two horns and bassoon) and the attractive sound of the two clarinets in the larger setting. Carin van Heerden and her colleague on the second oboe carry off a witty and lithe dialogue […] 66 minutes of truely excellent „entertainment“ by the undisputed master of melodic invention
(DrehPunktKultur, Reinhard Kriechbaum, 29 January 2010)

The wind ensemble of the L’Orfeo Barockorchester, directed by the oboist Carin van Heerden, present the entertaining masterpieces with virtuosic charm and delicate sensitivity. Mozart’s comments on Myslivecek’s sonatas also apply to these works: they are exceptionally effective and should please everyone […].
(Klassik Heute, Sixtus König, 26 February 2010)

mdr figaro echo-klassik-musikpreis-2009

ECHO-Klassik 2009:

Young talents award for singers –

Nuria Rial

mit Joseph Haydn, Arie per un’amante

(deutsche harmonia mundi)

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Arie per un’amante –
Complete Inserted Arias for Soprano and Orchestra

with Nuria Rial, Soprano & Margot Oitzinger, Mezzosoprano

(deutsche harmonia mundi / Sony Music 2009)

Haydn’s amorous sighs
The music on this CD introduces a whole specrum of witty, demanding, self- assured and fickle women. We owe this to the experienced opera singer Nuria Rial with her light and utterly unacademic natural voice. She shares the arias on this CD with the mezzo soprano Margot Oitzinger. Not to mention the mischievous fun that the orchestra conveys. The accompaniment is played with character and wit. Reminding the listener of a nervous opera overture the recital starts with a movement from a Haydn symphony. The clear articulation, the revelling dissonances, the purposeful and often cheeky dialogues, rich colours and dynamic nuances make this clever performance into a huge pleasure.
(KlassikInfo.de)

Charming
Nuria Rial […] sings with beautiful lightness and with the finest timbre. Her voice seems to have it all: vocal brilliance and perfect intonation, playful charm and flirtatiousness, amorous coyness. […] The L’Orfeo Barockorchester accompanies with clear articulation and an obvious enjoyment of Haydn’s many dynamic and harmonic surprises. The opening movement from the symphony unleashes an emotional storm. Excellent sound quality and balance between the singer and orchestra.
(Fono Forum, Werner Pfister, July / August 2009)

Natural grace
The name of this CD, „Arie per un amante“, leads the potential lover further than he expected. He finds here, apart from the Haydn arias with the beautiful voices of Nuria Rial (Soprano) and Margot Oitzinger (Mezzo soprano), a ravishing opening of the recording: Haydn’s Symphony in G major. The L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra, directed by Michi Gaigg, proves that Haydn can’t be labelled as a „portly papa“. He was this neither as a composer, nor as a person and definitely not as a man. He is reputed to have not been indifferent to the charms of other women, especially in the context of his chronically bad-tempered wife. This might be the reason that so many wonderful arias for a female voice were composed by him, especially those for his longstanding mistress Luigia Polzelli. Rial and Oitzinger provide all that is needed for this repertoire: natural grace, a feeling for style and that specific slight sense of humour which Haydn’s music thrives on.
(Teresa Pieschacón Raphael, crescendo June / July / August 2009)

[…] The second excellent (and unexpected literary) message from Haydn is delivered by the violinist and conductor Michi Gaigg. The CD contains 12 ,,Arie per un’ amante” (from Hob. XXIVb), an aria from Hob. XXXII/1b and the first movement from the G major Symphony Nr 81. One has seldom heard such careful contrast between soft and dramatic playing, highlighting Haydn’s arioso qualities and his symphonic mind. Added to this is the sweet charm of the soprano Nuria Rial with her versatile diction.
(Peter Cossé, The Record Geijutsu (Japan) 07/09; Klassik Heute – Hörführer, 11 June 2009; OÖ Musikzeitschrift)

Oitzinger’s performance is very impressive as far as clarity and expression is concerned. She easily manages the quick changes in colour and range in „La moglie quando è buona“. Also Nuria Rial adorns this music with a freshness which makes one wonder why on earth Haydn’s theatrical vocal music isn’t given more attention.
The L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra plays with wonderful alertness from the first Vivace from Haydn’s Symphony Nr 81 up to the very last bar in „Son pietosa“. They revel in details, the strings balance between a slender, elegic, mild, vital and proud sound. Haydn’s subtle rhythms begin to move, noble flute sounds are embedded in soft phrases. Also the oboe solo in „D’una sposa meschinella“ leaves nothing to be desired, starting with subtle melancholy and changing into the dooming allegro.
(Opernwelt, Christoph Vratz, 5/2009)

“Soaring with Haydn”
(Musik & Theater, Mario Gerteis, May 2009)

The accompaniment of the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra, conducted by its co-founder Michi Gaigg, ist colourful and precise. The orchestra always finds the perfect blend of sweet charm and sharp accents ( one has seldom heard such a furious Vivace – from the Symphony Nr 81 in G major – presented here as Overture) […] A truly enchanting CD, nobody will regret this purchase.
(klassik.com, Andreas Schubert, 11 April 2009)

Joseph Haydn in Perfection

What an immense sensibility Michi Gaigg shows with every piece she conducts! For example these arias that Haydn composed for his mistress Luigia Polzelli: nothing is done merely for the sake of effects. On the contrary, the score is just read very carefully. In the process it is filled with an astounding freshness and elegance. Add the young soprano Nuria Rial with her impeccable intonation and her glowing timbre and total addiction sets in. An insurpassable recording!
(Wiener Zeitung, 26 March 2009)

A stroke of luck

Nuria Rial is definitely no secret anymore. Her recordings for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi with Handel’s “Riccardo Primo” and “Duetti amorosi” have already been highly acclaimed by international critics. On this new CD she sings with a clear and bright timbre, elegance and honesty, allowing the seemingly simple arias to come to life, making the listener addicted. A welcome counterpoint is set with the 
fiery Margot Oitzinger. The L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra’s accompaniment is spirited and sensitive. All of a sudden one understands why Joseph Haydn himself was so proud of his vocal music. (Chris Tengel, Ö1 Apropos Oper, 26 March 2009)

[…] the most loving recording of this Haydn anniversary.
(Stephan Bartels, Brigitte, 11 March 2009)

Nuria Rial here deals with the arias that Haydn composed and added for his court performances of some of his colleagues’ operas. She does this attractively and with charm, even adding the odd gentle portamento, inspite of slight blemishes in the intonation. What the gentle Nuria Rial lacks in ardency is contributed by Margot Oitzinger on this CD. She presents a few arias for mezzo soprano with a pleasantly dark but clear timbre without excessive vibrato. Both singers are accompanied excellently by the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra and Michi Gaigg. They are flexible enough to accompany Nuria Rial with a gentle distance, yet adding stronger accents with Margot Oitzinger.
(Michael Wersin, Rondo 3/2009)

selection-musicora

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
3 Overture Suites for Recorder (2 Oboes), Strings and B.c.

Carin van Heerden, soloist and direction

(cpo 2006/2008)

A light breeze
[…] Carin van Heerden glides with dance-like virtuosity through the technically highly demanding solos and presents, together with the orchestral musicians, a fresh and spellbounding performance. The listener is grasped by the pleasure and enthusiasm, reminiscences of a light breeze in Telemann’s Ebb’ und Flut.
(Michael Wruss, OÖ Nachrichten, Klassik-Köpfhörer, 28. November 2008)

A very energetic and rhythmically cleverly phrased interpretation of Telemann’s music, played with dedication and enthusiasm.
(Pizzicato (Luxemburg), 1/2009)

[…] This admirable reading of Telemann’s score is exhilirating in its stilistic knowledge and the obvious dedication to affects. And in spite of all its historical „correctness“ and the amazing eloquence in dealing with different instrumental colours it thankfully comes across as utterly undogmatic. […] When this is then combined with a superior recorder virtuoso of the likes of Carin van Heerden it is utter bliss[…] Hearing the lightness and litheness of her playing and that of her ensemble, presenting this mixture of French and Italian elements, the listener can’t but bow down in reverence.
(Christof Jetzschke, Klassik Heute, 1/2009 – 10 out of 10 marks for Artistic quality, Sound quality and Overall impression)

Exemplary
The listener who hears this production with the South African born Carin van Heerden as soloist on the recorder and oboe und director of the renowned L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra will agree: Yes, this is exactly how Telemann should sound. Here we have the perfect mix of drive in the passages strongly influenced by folk music and the necessary noblicity.
(Sven Kerkhoff, Musikansich.de, 1/2009)

bbc_radio_3

mdr figaro

Jean-Féry Rebel (1666-1747) Les Élémens, Symphonie de danse (1737/38)
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) Suite from Castor et Pollux (1737/54)
(Phoenix Edition 2007/2008 ∙ SACD)

The Orfeo Baroque Orchestra give a vibrant performance of the Rameau. Gaigg is a decisive leader who encourages her colleagues to brandish their bows and clip the dotted notes with breathtaking panache […] percussionist Rogerio Gonçalves provides wonderful rhythmic counterpoint. […] strikingly idiosyncratic performances.
(Gramophone Magazine, February 2009)

In the beginning was chaos, and it must have sounded dreadful. In 1737 Jean-Féry Rebel put this chaos to music quite literally by starting his symphonie de danse “Les Élémens” with a cluster consisting of all pitches. And then, slowly, through natural laws the elements find their positions in the universe. What an effect! Even today it hasn’t lost any of its power. The L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra directed by Michi Gaigg combines this musical spectacle of the French late-Baroque with a Suite from Rameau’s “Castor et Pollux”. Great!
(Carsten Fastner, Falter, 26 June 2008)

Beware when you expect to hear some harmless Baroque music when listening to this CD the first time! Jean-Féry Rebel starts his ballet music with a diatonic cluster containing every single note of a d minor harmonic scale. And the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra is not ashamed to let us hear its full impact. Rebel’s version of the creation of the elements originated 60 years before Haydn’s „Schöpfung“ and commences with „Le Cahos“[sic!]. The following movements of the Suite remain colourful und musically highly effective. Also in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux the young Austrian ensemble exudes enthusiasm and finesse.
(Wolfgang Fuhrmann, Partituren, September/October 2008)

Michi Gaigg and her L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra have been courting 17th and 18th century French music for a while now. And introducing sounds and repertoire we are not so well acquainted with yet. This Upper Austrian model ensemble now deals with Jean-Fery Rebel’s “Les Eléments” and Rameau’s Suite from “Castor et Pollux”. And what a feat! Their impulsive musicianship, their creative phrasing, the acribic search for smallest details of affects in this fascinating music hits the nail on the head.
(Michael Wruss, Klassik-Kopfhörer, OÖ Nachrichten, 10 August 2008)

Numerous recordings of Rebel’s „Les Élémens“ have been made: the earliest was by the Orchestra of the ORTF directed by André Jarve in 1973, followed by Christopher Hogwood (1980), Marc Minkowski (1993), Reinhard Goebel (1995) […] 
Michi Gaigg and her L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra join the ranks of these with determination and animated tempos, revelling in the score’s harshness and sound metamorphoses. She puts clear accents, enjoys rests to the full, little by little creating an evolving universe from the chaos. Rebel’s highly differentiated instrumentation in the dance suite finds an ideal interpretation here: the well-balanced polarity of heaviness and lightness is very convincing in the first Loure, „La Terre et l’Eau“. A special feature of the orchestra is the surprising energy and a generous sound. Michi Gaigg nevertheless knows the art of extreme subtleties and the magic of colour. The orchestral excerpts from Rameau’s opera „Castor et Pollux“ (composed at the same time as Rebel’s work) thankfully prove to be of the same calibre.
(Catherine Cessac, Diapason 11/2008 – 5 de Diapason)

Rarely have I listened to a recording with such extremes. If there is much to commend on this disc, there is also much to question. […] The Orfeo Baroque Orchestra give a vibrant performance of the Rameau. Gaigg is a decisive leader who encourages her colleagues to brandish their bows and clip the dotted notes with breathtahng panache, panicularly in the Ouverture, the third Air des athlètes and second Air des démons. Here and in the Rebel, percussionist Rogerio Goncalves provides wonderful rhythmic counterpoint.
(Julie Anne Sadie, Gramophone, February 2009)

[…] Ultimately, I find Gaigg and L’Orfeo marginally more exciting, colorful, and better defined in their playing than Goebel and the Musica Antiqua Cologne. In the Rameau, there is less room for doubt: Gaigg makes far more of the music than Cambreling/SW German RSO (Hänssler Classic 93018), while doing a significantly better job at bringing out its theatrical intensity than Brüggen/Orchestra of the 18th Century (Philips 426714). In short, this is definitely a fine release, and one to get if you enjoy either work – though admittedly, the album could have been longer. Now will someone please convince Gaigg to give us the other choreographic symphonies of Rebel?
(Fanfare Magazine, Barry Brenesal, January/February 2009)

hr2 CD-Tipp
Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer (1656-1746)
Le Journal du Printemps op. 1 Augsburg 1695
(cpo 2005/2007)

[…] this ensemble is no one’s fool when it comes to their untiring dedication to the Baroque Suite […]
(Reinhard Kriechbaum, DrehPunktKultur, 28 October 2009)

[…] Here we have 26 period-instrument players, seven of them winds and one also adding discreet percussion (including even castanets). They are a crack band, both in refinement and in stylistic confidence. Given the repetitive suite format … this is an unfailing source of joy – an a very important contribution to the recorded repertoire.
(American Record Guide 1-2/2008)

[…] L’ensemble L’Orfeo ne traite pas à la légère une musique qui pourrait se contenter de codes et de modes de jeu. Sur le plan dynamique, la phalange menée par Michi Gaigg trouve d’ingénieuses solutions pour vivifier une inspiration parfois conventionnelle – ou du moins perçue comme telle dans cet exercice artificiel et “moderne” qui consiste à donner les huit suites à la queue-leu-leu. Une belle relecture du “style mêlé” cher à toute L’Europe baroque, pour une réjouissante réponse au “style convenu” qui menace quelques-uns de nos meilleurs orchestres.
(Philippe Ramin, Diapason, 1/2008 – Fünf Stimmgabeln)

L’Orfeo Barockorchester offre une sonorité chaude et ample et bénéficie d’une remarquable prise de son. La façon dont le trio des hautbois se mêle aux cordes sans s’y fondre totalement est particulièrement savoureuse. Une belle surprise, et une contribution importante à l’histoire de la musique orchestrale allemande.
(Philippe Gervais, La Scena musicale, 12/2007)

Sensitive […] Although these orchestral Suites are formally oriented to Lully their contents nevertheless surpass their model in relation to the treatment of thematic development and melodic concepts. Michi Gaigg proves to be a thoroughly convincing advocate of this music with her knowledgable and yet sensitive interpretation. She succeeds beautifully in showing the entertaining aspects of the dances but also the rich atmosphere in the Overtures and Passacailles.
(Matthias Hengelbrock, Fono Forum, 11/2007 – Music *****)

Michi Gaigg in the French manner […] Michi Gaigg, leading the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra as concert master (French.: Dessus), presents Suites in French style by J.C.F. Fischer, the director of music in Baden. The orchestra has been positioned in a historically informed manner. The splendid music, Le Journal du Printemps, was published in 1695, and is presented here in an exciting and vivid interpretation. A worthwhile discovery. (Heinz Rögl, Die Bühne, 10/2007)

[…] An energetic and colourful performance by the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra directed by Michi Gaigg. A discovery.
(Judith Schmitzberger, Kurier, 23 September 2007)

[…] With precision and great esprit played by the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra directed by […] since many years now she and her ensemble have been among the leading specialists for Baroque music […] The beautiful new recording will definitely be welcomed not only by lovers of the High Baroque.
(hr2 CD-Tipp, 9/2007)

War and Love […] Spring should be back again! For all those who battle with the current season the “Le Journal du Printemps” is highly recommended. This “Spring diary” was published by Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer, the “Hochfürstlicher marggräfl. Baadischer Capellmeister”(Chapel master to the Duke of Baden-Baden) in 1695 as his Opus 1.
The diary consists of eight orchestral Suites in French style, adapted to the needs of the orchestra employed in Baden-Baden. Another ingredient in this already “mixed pickle” is the Austrian accent in this recording of seven Suites by the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra directed by Michi Gaigg. The sound isn’t as harsh as with most of the more Northern ensembles: this ensemble treads lightly and with warmth. And of course this charming Spring invites the couples to dance the Gavotte and Bourrée, Courante and Sarabande, there is also a battle cry in the “Air des Combattans”. Sometimes love and war are too close for comfort.
(Wolfgang Fuhrmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 23 October 2007)

Michi Gaigg and the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra dedicated themselves to Fischer zealously. The recording here presents high spirits and freshness. Especially the numerous beautiful woodwind solos are very impressive: the two flûtes douces in the Plainte of the second Suite or the solos by oboe and bassoon later on. Again cpo presents good sound quality. A highly recommendable disc for lovers of Baroque music.
(Heinz Braun, Klassik heute, 29 October 2007)

Le ‘Orfeo Barockorchester’, sous l’impulsion de son premier violon Michi Gaigg, nous livre ici une interprétation haute en couleurs, pleine de verve et de vitalité. Côté technique, cette production ne laisse rien à désirer et comble le mélomane le plus exigeant.
(Pierre Schwickerath, Pizzicato (Luxemburg), 11/2007 – Supersonic Award)


selection-musicora
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Complete Violin Concertos Vol. 2

soloist and direction: Elizabeth Wallfisch

(cpo 2004/2006)

Elizabeth Wallfisch and the L’Orfeo Barockorchester commit themselves to Telemann with devotion and verve. This CD, in fact the entire project of recording Telemann’s complete violin concerto’s, can warmly be recommended to all fans of Baroque music.
(klassik heute 01/2007)

This should be a paradox: on the one hand we have highest technical precision and clarity and on the other hand gentle sonority, deep emotions and a dancelike buoyancy.
(Oberösterreichische Nachrichten 04/2007)

[Elizabeth Wallfisch] fills Telemann’s music with life and breath, supported by the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra with brilliance and temperament. Michi Gaigg has yet again taken up the position of concert master, having left the direction to Wallfisch Together with her musicians she sweeps through the fast movements like a storm and performs the slow movements with incomparable expression, now and again in deep contemplation with Wallfisch’s violin a breath soaring high.
(Concerto – Das Magazin für Alte Musik August/September 2007)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
“Mödlinger Tänze” – Country Dances – German Dances – Minuets
(cpo 2004/2006)

Beethoven’s dances convey something very personal with it’s lilting character. No wonder we encounter some of these again in his “great” works! The L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra, on original instruments, and Michi Gaigg bring back the irresistable charm to these works. A true discovery!
(cpo 5/2006)

Inspired by Michi Gaigg the ensemble energetically presents these joyful bagatelles with humour and a fair portion of accents highlighting the small Beethoven obstinacies.
(klassik heute 6/2006)

Especially the “Mödlinger Tänze” are a perfect example of the development and status of dance music during this era. Here we find quick waltzes and, in comparison, “well-behaved” menuets, which Beethoven obviously didn’t regard as useless traditional material. Each dance has its own charm, its own drive. In Michi Gaigg’s unobtrusive and playful interpretation the movement seems to always come directly from the musical impulse itself.
(DrehPunktKultur 7/2006)

Michi Gaigg and her L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra’s interpretation of dances by the young Beethoven is cunning, cheeky, funny, alert and a trifle audacious. It queries the pomp of this genre of “light” music with kind irony in the same way the composer from Bonn must have done.
(Falter 8/2006)

Michi Gaigg leads her ensemble into relaxed, unstrained playing. The historical instruments guarantee impeccable transparency. The movement is brisk, not rushed. The tempi are carefully chosen. The continuity of phrases is maintained in spite of sforzati, the Haydn-like courtesy is conserved even though dissonances are enjoyed to the full. This is high art. Hilarious also some sturdy entries by the comical bassoon
(klassik.com 11/2006)

[…] The alternative: 40 Dances by Beethoven with the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra. It’s conductor Michi Gaigg is committed to historical sound and it’s vitality. Convincing. (Karl Löbl, “Österreich” 12/2006)

Raving write-ups follow L’Orfeo’s concerts and CD recordings under the violinist and conductor Michi Gaigg. Her interpretation of Beethoven’s “Mödlinger Tänze” combines voluptious sound, brilliant playing and lilting movement, a perfect choice for Classical fans.
(Oberösterreichische Nachrichten 12/2006)

Internationale Barocktage Stift Melk 2006
BONUS TRACK W.A. Mozart “Exultate, jubilate” K. 165
Nuria Rial, Soprano
(ORF Edition Alte Musik 2006/2007 ∙ SACD LIVE)
Internationale Barocktage Stift Melk 2004
Works by Handel, Aufschnaiter and Muffat

Nuria Rial, Soprano

(ORF Edition Alte Musik 2004 ∙ LIVE)

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Josef Myslivecek (1737-1781)
Symphonies & Overtures

(cpo 2003/2004 ∙ 2 CDs)

The “atmosphere” on stage is anticipated. The L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra conveys this with pugnacious sounds but also with images of subtle affects. A tip to start this disc: the festive sounds of the Overture to L’Olimpiade.
(klassik heute 11/2004)

The great L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra offers its irresistable contribution to the resurrection of Mozart’s contemporary Josef Myslivecek from the dark vaults of oblivion with this recording of the Symphonies and Overtures by the Bohemian composer. The sound and cunning compositional concept of these works are lively presented and turn out to be addictive musical chocololates.
(WDR 3 12/2004)

[…] it remains to be said that the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra with its familiar powerful and impulsive playing manages to return to these works the long lost fire, energy and life.
(Diverdi (Madrid) 1/2005)

[The Symphonies] are played by L’Orfeo Barockorchester with a sense of uplifting incisiveness; try the powerful and buoyant horns in the finale of No. 3 in F major, full of strong accents and alive. […] To round off this sensitive and invaluable disc, played with care and imagination by this original instrument group we have some helpful notes and a crisp acoustic not too chill, not too reverberant.
(www.musicweb-international.com 1/2005)

If late 18th-century orchestral music is your thing, make sure that you don’t miss this.
(Early Music Review 2/2005)

[…] this similarity is mindboggling! Every musical amateur would notice it: the music on this double CD breathes Mozart’s soul. Although the opposite applies: Josef Myslivecek was 18 years old when W.A. Mozart was born […] the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra with its usual zest and virtuosity […] another acoustic gem by this highly acclaimed orchestra […]
(Oberösterreichische Nachrichten 3 February 2005)

[…] Michi Gaigg and her orchestra present an interpretation which is fresh, eloquent, vivid and contrasting […]
(Salzburger Nachrichten 19 March 2005)

[…] un album savoureux, qui nous met l’eau a la bouche […]
(Diapason (Paris) 04/2005 – 5 tuning forks)

[…] Michi Gaigg and her orchestra present an interpretation which is fresh, eloquent, vivid and contrasting […]
(Salzburger Nachrichten 19 March 2005)

The leader Michi Gaigg managed to identify with the very personal style of the composer. She understands the art of highlighting the dramatist Myslivecek with a thrilling performance and at the same time revelling in his lyricism […] this is a musical tour de force.
(Concerto – Das Magazin für Alte Musik June/July 2005)


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Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Complete Violin Concertos Vol. 1

soloist and direction: Elizabeth Wallfisch

(cpo 2002/2004)

L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra provides Wallfisch with sympathetic support throughout a disc which augurs well for the remainder of the series. The recorded sound is ideal.
(International Record Review 9/2004)

These series will be another precious gem in the cpo crown.
(klassik.com 9/2004)

Elizabeth Wallfisch and her colleagues have a knack to catch the charm and warmth in Telemann’s music. His eloquence in the different styles of his time is conveyed with incredibly fine nuances […] The L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra accompanies the high spirited soloist with infallible reliability. Wallfisch shows her stand in arpeggios, scales, semiquaver triplets and polyphonic playing.- What a colourful microcosm is presented here to the listener during the first 10 minutes already! […] The following volumes in this project are expected in great anticipation, while enjoying this excellent release in the meantime.”
(Concerto – Das Magazin für Alte Musik October/November 2004)

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a name=”leopold”>Leopold Mozart (1719-1787)
Symphonies

(cpo 2002/2003)

Those with prejudiced opinions about the ambitious, arrogant and patronising father of his son will soon change their minds once they hear this CD. The L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra presents the listener with an hour of the most pleasurable musical pastime, with fine phrasing and temperamented virtuosity, with an original sense of the comic and without shying away from the burlesque […]
(Klassik heute 2/2004 – with the highest rating of 10 marks in all categories: artistic quality, sound quality, general impression)

One must credit Gaigg and the Orchestra with spectacular playing. The CPO recording is first class and the notes are excellent. The sound is superior.
(American Record Guide 6/2004)

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
The Concert Arias for Tenor
Christoph Prégardien
(cpo 2001/2002)

[…] The bright timbre, the flow of his (Christoph Prégardien’s) legato is truely admirable; the colourfulness and truthfulness of musical gestures are insurpassable […] contributing greatly to this is the accompanying violinist Michi Gaigg with her L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra […] transparent and passionate Mozart playing.
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 1/2003)

The lyrical tenor Christoph Pregardien sets dramatically to work with the text. The L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra finely adds the rather dry, but warm gut string sound.
(radiomagazin 2/2003)

Interpretation and sound merit the highest possible rating.
(Fono Forum, 3/2003)

Prégardien sings the music with his accustomed commitment and sense of style. There is elegance and warmth in his phrasing. L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra is a keen, perceptive ensemble that provides excellent accompaniments. The recorded quality is high and there are detailed notes, texts and translations.
(International Record Review 4/2003)

A superb recording of Mozart arias.
(Salzburger Nachrichten 4/2003)

The achievement deserves the highest praise: this has turned out a very convincing interpretation.
(Toccata 07/ Sept-Oct 2003)

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Anton Fils (1733-1760)
Symphonies

(cpo 2000/2002)

[…] The musicians of the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra play with style, elegance and love […] The listener of this CD is presented 70 minutes of diversity which he owes as much to the composer’s fantasy as to the understanding of the interpreters […].
(Klassik heute, 7/2002)

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Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782)
Salve Regina

Emma Kirkby, Soprano
Markus Schäfer, Tenor

(cpo 1999/2001)

At the age of 20 J.C. Bach converted to Catholicism in Milano, a cardinal sin for his Protestant home. A result of this conversion is the charming “Salve Regina”, recorded here for the first time by the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra and Emma Kirkby. Had his relations known this CD they would have gladly forgiven this lost son.
(Falter 20/2001)

[…] currently one of the best baroque orchestras […]
(SWR 2 6/2001)

[…] all three works are interpreted with a delicate sound, diffentiated articulation and unassuming virtuosity, aconvincing plea for the Catholic J.C. Bach.
(Klassik heute, 7/2001)

Classics Today
Ignaz Holzbauer (1711-1783)
Five Symphonies

(cpo 1998/1999)

[…] the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra achieves dazzling heights […]
(Fono Forum 3/2000)

[…] these five symphonies are worth being played more often, especially when they are presented as brillantly as here with Michi Gaigg and the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra. Relentless phrasing, fantastic dynamic shades – these are bound to keep the listener spellbound right up to the end of the E-Flat major symphony.
(Klassik heute 4/2000)

Michi Gaigg brings out all the flavor of these symphonies, with strong, piquant accents. Gaigg’s Holzbauer will not disappoint. Warmly recommended.
(Fanfare 5/2000)

Georg Christoph Wagenseil (1715-1777)
Five Symphonies

(cpo 1997/1999)

Lively, sharp-edged performances, a recommendation disc. (The Telegraph 6/99)

Beautifully played. (BBC Music Magazine 7/99)

Excellent band, excellent sound. (Fanfare 12/99)

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Benedict Anton Aufschnaiter (1665-1742)
Serenades from Concors discordia op. 2 Nürnberg 1695

(cpo 1996/1997)

The Aufschnaiter works are rendered in an historically aware and exciting manner that weds meticolous scholarship and perspicacious musicianship. Sonics are clear, bright and lively, with nice presence.
(American Record Guide, July/August 1998)

[…] L’interpretation de L’Orfeo Barockorchester est d’un grand raffinement […]
(Diapason de musique 7/98)

The playing of concert master Gaigg and her colleagues is fine, with light sprung rhythms and clean ensemble.
(Fanfare, July/August 1998)