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Performer: Gabrieli Consort & Players

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The Gabrielis shine in Purcell's confusing King Arthur

Paul McCreesh © Ben Wright

King Arthur is an opera without a plot and, in musical terms at least, Arthur without the King.

*****
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Thrilling King Arthur from the Gabrieli Consort in Adelaide

Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort © Andy Staples

With marvellous cohesion, life and wit the Gabrieli Consort and Players, sponsored by State Opera of South Australia, who thrilled Adelaide audiences with their presentation of English Baroque. 

****1
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Lufthansa Festival opens with a ravishing Handel masterpiece

After Friday’s sublime performance of Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato at the opening concert of 2013 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, I am puzzled why this ravishing masterpiece doesn’t enjoy wider popularity (although it was performed recently at the London Handel Festival).
*****
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A Venetian coronation mass with Gabrieli Consort & Players in Durham Cathedral

It’s a long way from modern Durham to renaissance Venice, from a cold winter evening in a small northern English city to a spring morning in one of the richest and most powerful cities the world has ever seen – but Paul McCreesh’s imaginative reconstruction of a Venetian Doge’s coronation mass made the leap almost instantaneous.
*****
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Blessed Cecilia celebrated in style by Gabrieli Consort & Players

22 November, St Cecilia’s day, lends itself perfectly to music by two of Britain’s greatest composers. Henry Purcell and Benjamin Britten both wrote pieces to celebrate Cecilia as patron saint of music, and Britten was inspired and enriched by Purcell’s music.
****1
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Elijah triumphs in the Royal Albert Hall

Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah, first performed at the Birmingham Town Hall in 1847, was enormously popular in Victorian England. In this sense, the Royal Albert Hall, the grandest of Victorian buildings, is spiritually an ideal venue for this great choral masterpiece.