Arcangelo Members Lounge
“Impressively leggy” – 2022-23 Season Review
After a busy summer 2022 of festival appearances in Suffolk, Provence and Budapest, we went rather quiet in the autumn. But as Arcangelo Friends who attended our preview events in October quickly appreciated, the apparently dormant Arcangelo frog was in fact girding its loins for a sequence of impressively leggy leaps.
‘Theodora’ at Barbican, March 2023. Image: Mark Allan / Barbican
To start with the facts and figures: Arcangelo has made music on 45 of the 201 days between the start of our December 2022 ‘A Roman Baroque Christmas’ project and the end of our June 2023 ‘Music for the Vanished Versailles of England’ project. That’s included 10 concerts in eight venues in seven countries, including five venue debuts, 21 days comprising 97 hours of recording sessions, and four days of academy sessions with our 2022-24 cohort of Arcangelo New Ensemblists. Within that activity, we’re particularly proud to have made our 25th appearance at Wigmore Hall, where John Gilhooly continues to provide marvellous support, artistic freedom, and a platform for wider success.
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We’ve performed and recorded music by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Marcello, Boccherini, Scarlatti, Valentini, Stradella, Corelli, Buxtehude, Telemann – and a delightfully crafty Buxtehude reconstruction by Alon Schab. 166 musicians were engaged across all projects, reaching a live audience of around 5,000 and thousands more through EU radio broadcasts of performances from Hungary and Finland. We’ve also seen the release of a new album – ‘Sacroprofano’ with Tim Mead – which has already scored some 55,000 streams on Spotify alone and rave reviews around the world.
Then there’s been our fundraising, quite on another level compared to previous years, with over £200,000 raised across all our appeals. Within that sum, the returning admixture of Trust and Foundation funding for the first time in five years has been especially welcome, both for the value of the support and for the implicit recognition of the quality and value of our work. We’ve also completely relaunched our programme for the Arcangelo Friends, with eight varied events helping to drive a 40% growth in Friends Scheme membership year on year.
So much for the quantity, but what of the quality? That, too, has been abundant. We’ve made an unprecedentedly detailed chamber music film with director Andrew Staples and the team at Classical Films in Sir Christopher Wren’s library at Trinity College Cambridge, where nobody had ever filmed music before. We’ve made only the second-ever complete recording of Buxtehude’s chamber music, and the first to offer a reconstruction of one sonata left in fragment. We’ve made the first studio recording in a quarter of a century by a British ensemble of Handel’s glorious late oratorio ‘Theodora’, got two volumes into the first-ever complete recording on period instruments and on authentic sources of the cello concerti of Boccherini, and made the first authentically-scaled recordings of four of Handel’s consistently misinterpreted ‘Chandos Anthems’. I’m confident that every single one of these recording projects will set new standards on release.
Our work has been rich in partnership and collaboration, notably a co-production of Bach’s ‘St John Passion’ with our friends at Finnish Baroque Orchestra, and also in next-generation talent. We’ve been delighted to welcome three new talented instrumentalists to our Arcangelo New Ensemblists programme – and to welcome back all three members of the programme’s first cohort to various projects over the year. We’re frankly lucky to be able to have them because they’ve identified a total of over 20 subsequent career breaks and opportunities within six months of graduation which they directly ascribe to their membership of Arcangelo’s scheme.
It all adds up to a superb achievement – and a frankly remarkable one when you consider that Arcangelo has no office and no full-time staff. Our little team operates a completely virtual office, making it all happen amongst a host of other commitments including further studies, festival management, venue management, digital marketing, media management, and performing careers. The freest radical of all is of course Jonny, whose schedule of wider engagements took on a whole new dimension this year with his announcement as the 15th Director of the Handel and Haydn Society, the longest continuously performing arts organisation in the United States and a leading light in the US period performance scene.
It’s Jonny, finally, who we all have to thank. Arcangelo is, fundamentally, Jonny and his musicianship and approach. Quietly but unfailingly, his deep-rooted musical sensibilities ensure that every project, from a trio sonata to a Bach Passion, opens and proceeds within a shared space of concentration, application and awareness that simply but compellingly bids each and every participant to give their best while admitting the best from each other. We’ve come to call this our ‘chamber ethos’ though Jonny’s also memorably referred to it as ‘musical sudoku’ – whatever you call it, this is the Arcangelo difference which starts in the rehearsal studio and proceeds to create what one of this season’s musicians described to us as “some of the most profoundly rewarding music-making I’ve ever been involved in.”
“A transformative year” – the Arcangelo New Ensemblists
Our second cohort of Arcangelo New Ensemblists, Yaoré Talibart, Cristina Prats-Costa and Madeleine Renée Bouïssou, are coming to the end of their first year of the scheme, and what a transformative year it has been for these three talented emerging artists!
Since their first performance at our 2022-23 Season launch the New Ensemblists have participated in everything from masterclasses and musical workshops to performing as central ensemble members within our main concert and recording work. And they have even taken on the role of creative leaders and soloists in the production and realisation of individual performance videos (see below) made with a professional director and full crew.
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We kicked off the year with our Academy Strand Sessions, a series of workshops with mentors Jonathan Cohen, Thomas Dunford, Jonathan Manson, Georgia Brown and Sophie Gent, which culminated in a public masterclass and showcase of their work for Arcangelo supporters and interested London Conservatoire students. Jonathan Manson reflected that the workshops “…provided a rare opportunity to have open, in-depth conversations with colleagues about how they approach technical and stylistic issues.”
Equipped with the knowledge and confidence gained from these initial repertoire exploration workshops Madeleine, Cristina and Yaoré next headed to Helsinki, Finland to perform Bach’s ‘St. John Passion’ with The Finnish Baroque Orchestra (FIBO) and the Choir of Arcangelo at the Helsinki Music Centre. This was a particularly important experience for our New Ensemblists, who were afforded the novel opportunity to connect with a broader network of musical colleagues and to be exposed to the nuanced variety of historical performance practices and stylistic variations internationally, important for developing their careers across borders.
Shortly thereafter, our New Ensemblists joined Arcangelo’s full ensemble to perform Handel’s ‘Theodora’ at Barbican Concert Hall and the De Singel arts centre in Antwerp, and to subsequently record the work for the Alpha Classics label. This was one of three Arcangelo recording projects in which Madeleine, Cristina and Yaoré have participated, alongside the second volume of our ongoing Boccherini Cello Concerti project with soloist Nicolas Altstaedt, and a new Baroque album for Sony Classics with superstar guitarist Miloš Karadaglić (who we will see and hear more of next season – see below.)
The New Ensemblists’ first year of activities concluded with two days of intensive filmmaking as a part of the programme’s Academy strand. Here, Cristina, Yaoré and Madeleine each filmed a solo showcase video with a full professional film crew and sound engineer led by specialist arts and performance filmmaker Will Hazell (watch the finished videos below). Each film project deployed a distinct set of filming techniques to offer a broad practical experience, whilst allowing the New Ensemblists creative freedom to choose their preferred set-up, and to be actively involved in the editing process. Needless to say, in today’s industry these professional videos, often difficult to attain and afford for young artists, are vital tools to be used to gain traction and professional endorsement further afield.
After such a jam-packed season of artistic work, our New Ensemblists have a short break in July before packing their bags once more and joining Arcangelo and mandolinist Avi Avital in South America throughout the month of August for a seven-city tour with concerts in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Lima, and Bogota. We look forward to sharing musical videos and smiling photos from sunny South America along the way!
Playing at the Arcangelo 2022-23 Season Launch at the RCM. Image: Nathan Giorgetti
January masterclasses with mentor Jonathan Manson. Image: Nathan Giorgetti
With Finnish Baroque Orchestra and the Choir of Arcangelo in Helsinki. Image: FIBO
Filming sessions at the Amadeus Centre with Will Hazell. Image: Victoria Hodgkinson
Video showcase: Arcangelo New Ensemblists 2022-24
We’re delighted to present these three beautiful films, representing the fruits of our New Ensemblists’ May 2022 film-making workshop with director Will Hazell and his talented team.
Full cast / crew credits
Telemann: Fantasie No.7 in E-flat major
This film is a “sync” recording in which the musician mimes along to their own pre-recorded performance, played back to them on set. The advantage of this approach is that the musician doesn’t need to worry about their musical performance and can concentrate on the visual aspect. At the same time, it takes considerable skill to mime along to your own performance in a way that is natural, and extreme concentration is required.
Bach: Sonata No.3 in C major
This film is a “live multicam” recording in which the musician performs live whilst being filmed by multiple cameras simultaneously. Afterwards, film editor and musician work to agree a preferred sequence of film footage, cutting between cameras as desired. This method provides security by offering multiple angles of the entire performance, meaning that there are always alternatives to try if something isn’t looking right.
Bach: Cello Suite No.4 in E-flat major
This film is a “live one-er” recording in which the musician performs live whilst being filmed by a single camera (here a steadicam) in a single uninterrupted take. This is a high-energy and high-risk approach for all involved – if anyone makes a mistake, everyone has to start again from the beginning! – but brings an almost ‘live concert’ level of intensity to the process for musician and filmmaker.
Season 2023-24: Friends Preview
We have an extensive and exciting offering of Arcangelo Friends events lined up for next season and encourage you to mark the following dates in your diaries and use the linked forms where available to book places. Please note that certain events are reserved for particular levels of the Arcangelo Friends Scheme. Check the details provided with each event listing for more information, and please get in touch with me if you’ve got any queries: email@example.com
Following the relaunch of the Arcangelo Friends in October 2022 we’ve had the pleasure of hosting 186 guests across eight events during the last season, including open rehearsals, recordings, and masterclass sessions, as well as establishing a post-Wigmore Hall supper club tradition at the Mandeville Hotel. The coming season’s programme offers a great range of opportunities and encounters for Friends to enjoy – and to recommend to friends of Friends! It’s always a pleasure to meet new people who enjoy, appreciate and understand our work.
Monday 16th October 2023
10.30am-3pm | Foundling Museum, London | All Friends
“All Around The Scenes”
Join us at the Clore Studio at the Foundling Museum to find out everything you always wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about how we make the magic on stage, in the studio – and behind the scenes. This will be a ticketed event, priced at £50 each, including lunch and refreshments. Capacity at this event is limited to 50 guests, so please sign up without delay to avoid disappointment.
Monday 16th October 2023
6.30-9pm | Foundling Museum, London | All Friends
2023-24 Season Launch
Following the insight session we will move to the glorious Picture Gallery at the Foundling Museum to celebrate the launch of our 2023-24 Season, including a guest appearance by season soloist and rising star violinist Théotime Langlois de Swarte. The event is free to attend, and wine and bar snacks will be served. Capacity at this event is limited to 100 guests, so please sign up without delay to avoid disappointment.
Friday 3rd November 2023
2.30-5.30pm | The Warehouse, London | Seraphim+
Boccherini with Nicolas Altstaedt
Come and watch the final general rehearsal for our 4th November Wigmore Hall concert with Nicolas Altstaedt, including the first UK concert presentation of our landmark Boccherini project. Capacity at this event is limited to 20 guests, so please sign up without delay to avoid disappointment. Please note this event is reserved for Seraphim Friends and above.
Saturday 4th November 2023
From 6.30pm | Wigmore Hall, Mandeville Hotel | All Friends / Cherubim+ / Angels+
Nicolas Altstaedt – Boccherini at Wigmore Hall
CONCERT + SUPPER CLUB
Join us for the long-awaited reunion of Arcangelo and Altstaedt, including the first UK live concert presentation from our ongoing Boccherini recording project. All Friends can benefit from discounted tickets; Cherubim from informal pre-concert drinks, and Angels from invitations to our post-concert Supper Club at the Mandeville Hotel, offering a unique opportunity to celebrate the concert with the performers.
Tuesday 14th November 2023
11am-2pm | St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead | Seraphim+
‘Endymion’ with Tim Mead
Tim Mead returns to Arcangelo for his next recording project, working title ‘Endymion’. We warmly invite you to (wrap up warm for November!) and join us for an open rehearsal session in preparation for the start of recording at St Jude on the Hill, NW11 7AH. Capacity at this event is limited to 20 guests, so please sign up without delay to avoid disappointment. Please note this event is reserved for Seraphim Friends and above.
Wednesday 17th January 2024
From 6.30pm | Cadogan Hall, London | Cherubim+
Baroque Guitar with Milos Karadaglic
PRE-CONCERT RECEPTION + CONCERT
Arcangelo joins guitarist superstar Milos Karadaglic for the UK tour of his all-new baroque programme, featuring music by Vivaldi, Marcello, Bach, Pachelbel, Boccherini, Rameau and Couperin. Join us for the London tour date at Cadogan Hall, for which we have secured 20 discounted tickets and will be hosting a pre-concert reception. Please note these event offers are reserved for Cherubim Friends and above.
Thursday 8th February 2024
TBA | St Jude-on-the-Hill | Seraphim+
Recording Boccherini with Nicolas Altstaedt
Our third and final set of Boccherini cello concerto recording sessions with Nicolas Altstaedt marks the completion in studio of a truly major project. Booking for this open rehearsal will open later in the year.
Saturday 17th February 2024
TBA | Bath Abbey | Cherubim+
Bath BachFest with Théotime Langlois de Swarte
PRE-CONCERT RECEPTION + CONCERT
Arcangelo returns to the Bath BachFest with rising baroque violin star Théotime Langlois de Swarte. Booking for this pre-concert reception and pre-booked concert tickets will open later in the year.
Wednesday 13th March 2024
TBA | Wigmore Hall, Mandeville Hotel
Bach at Wigmore Hall with Théotime Langlois de Swarte
CONCERT + SUPPER CLUB
Following our appearance at Bath we reunite with Théotime Langlois de Swarte for a program of Bach cantatas and concertos at Wigmore Hall. Booking for discounted concert tickets and post-concert supper club will open later in the year.
Friday 24th May 2024
TBA | Fidelio Café, London | All Friends
“The Art of Improvisation”
We return to the charming Fidelio Café in Clerkenwell for a concert based around the theme of improvisation. Violinist Colin Scobie will be leading an insight session into the art of improvisation in the afternoon before the concert. Booking for this insight session will open later in the year.
Spring 2024 TBA
TBA | Venue TBA | All Friends
‘Theodora’ Recording Launch
Arcangelo’s critically-acclaimed concert presentation of Handel’s late oratorio ‘Theodora’ was recorded for Alpha Classics in 2023 with the generous support of Arcangelo Friends and patrons around the world. Stay tuned for details of the launch party for this landmark new recording, scheduled for Spring 2024.
The Arcangelo Members Lounge
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