virtual concert series
Concerto Copenhagen's activities are set on stand-by due to the corona virus crisis. Therefore we have setup this page on which we every day will post a link to a concert, a recording, something else, from the vast archives we and others have available. You can also follow our Facebook Page...
Do you know everything about Easter and Baroque Music? Take our monthly quiz and test your knowledge!
Easter, called "påske" in Denmark, is the most important religious holiday for the church, commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus. Numerous composers through the centuries have written music to be performed during Easter, and many of these works are considered milestones in the history of classical music.
Many of us would have been sitting in churches during these days, performing or listening to some of this wonderful music. Since this is not possible, we hope that you will instead join us in a quiz about Easter, its music, traditions and history!
Take our Easter quiz here...
Like all others, we are also looking forward to better times. Together with the rest of the classical music-world, Concerto Copenhagen plans to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven later this year.
Here we bring a live recording of Concerto Copenhagen's latest Beethoven performance, his 2nd symphony performed in the Danish Radio Concert Hall in February 2017.
The 2nd symphony was composed in 1802 and it is regarded as one of the last major works in what is called Beethoven's Early Period, a period when Beethoven's legacy to composers such as Haydn and Mozart is very audible.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony no.2 in D Major, op. 36. Concerto Copenhagen conducted by Lars Ulrik Mortensen.
1. Adagio molto-allegro con brio
3. Scherzo: allegro
4. Allegro molto
2 april • Water Music HWV 348-350
Made up of more than a thousand islands, Denmark has always been a maritime nation. The waterways surrounding the country have for centuries been the lifeline keeping the nation together as well as the connection to the world surrounding Denmark. East of Denmark the Baltic Sea is the water that connects the country to what today is know as The Baltic Countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Therefore, when Concerto Copenhagen was invited by the Danish Cultural Institute in Riga to present the Danish musical contribution to the celebration of The Baltic Countries' 100 years of independence in December 2018, nothing was more natural than to base the program on the element connecting the two regions – namely water. The music was by Telemann (Hamburger Ebb und Flut) and Vivaldi (La tempesta di mare) and of course by G. F. Händel's with his iconic Water Music.
Listen to a selection of movements from Händel's Water Music in this live recording from Riga, 6 December 2018 here...
Concerto Copenhagen and Lars Ulrik Mortensen
It's a terrifying period we live in with shocking numbers of deaths in Italy, Spain, China and now beginning to climb in the USA and likely to continue to South America and Africa. We should not forget, however, that humankind has lived through similar – and even worse – situations before, and always there has existed artists, themselves facing famine, plagues and war, that were capable of finding ways to express beauty and comfort and inspire hope.
Today we present such a piece of music: Da Pacem Domine – Lord, give us peace – by Arvo Pärt.
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Concerto Copenhagen, conducted by Kaspars Putnins.
See the video here...
31 March • "Sehet, welch eine Liebe", BWV 64
Today, the 31st of March, is Johann Sebastian Bach's birthday. Yes, we do know that some regard the 21st of March as his birthday, but according to the Gregorian Calendar, which is the calendar we use today, Bach was born on the 31st of March 1685.
So, please enjoy another one of Bach's comforting cantatas - "Sehet, welch eine Liebe", BWV 64.
Listen to the cantata here...
30 march • Sinfonia. I - Allegro
Like any Classical Music ensemble, Concerto Copenhagen mainly performs music by great composers like Bach, Händel, Telemann, Vivaldi, Mozart and so on. But we are also always on the lookout for great music by composers who are not well known for some reasons. Sometimes we even find a great piece a music where the composer is unknown!
This piece was found in the music collection of W.H.R.R. Giedde, who was head of The Royal Orchestra in Copenhagen from 1791 to 1793. After his death his impressive music collection was donated to The Royal Library and is still today one of the treasures of the Library's Department for Music and Theatre.
The composer of this piece remains unknown.
Listen to the piece here...
Read more about Gieddes music collection at The Royal Library here...
J.S. Bach's more than 200 cantatas were composed to be an integrated part of the service in the churches of Leipzig. And since today is Sunday, here is one of them – "Ich freue mich in dir", BWV 133.
With Maria Keohane Soprano, Alex Potter Alto, Jan Kobow Tenor and Matthew Brook Bass.
Concerto Copenhagen and Lars Ulrik Mortensen
28 march · Harpsichord Concerto in D-Major, BWV 1054
The Garrison Church in Copenhagen has been the venue for numerous memorable moments as Concerto Copenhagen have performed many concerts in this church, enjoying the church's splendid acoustics. Today we want to share a both tender and joyful memory from ten years ago: Concerto Copenhagen's artistic director Lars Ulrik Mortensen performing the 2nd and 3rd movement of J.S. Bach's Harpsichord Concerto in D Major, BWV 1054.
Concerto Copenhagen's musicians keep practising social distancing by playing virtually together. They record it, part by part, on their iPhones, and CoCo's tech people enhance the video- and sound quality a little, and here you go....
26 march · Bach's unknown chamber operas
J. S. Bach never wrote an opera but many of his cantatas, of which he wrote hundreds, have dramatic features. In Autumn 2019 Concerto Copenhagen performed two of these cantatas. They are – if not operas – then remarkably dramatic: The church cantata ”Selig ist der Mann” and the very secular, frankly speaking entertaining "Coffee Cantata".
Eline Soelmark, Jacob Bloch Jespersen and Gerald Geerink are the performing singers under musical direction by Lars Ulrik Mortensen.
25 march · Guilio Cesare
Concerto Copenhagen has since 1996 had a close collaboration with the Royal Opera in Copenhagen and has been part of productions of operas by among others Händel, Gluck, Monteverdi and Mozart. In recent years the collaboration has been made possible by generous donations by the Augustinus Foundation.
One of the biggest successes in this history of collaboration was Händels “Guilio Cesare” in 2005.
The cast included Andreas Scholl, Christopher Robson, Michael Maniaci, Inger Dam-Jensen, Tuva Semmingsen, Randi Stene, Palle Knudsen and John Lundgren
The production was recorded and released on DVD by Harmonia Mundi
We have prepared a playlist with high-lights from the performance here...
It began in Spain towards the end of the 16th century, and over short time it spread to France and Italy and further through Europe, all the way to Scandinavia.
No, we aren't talking about a virus, but about the dance melodi, or rather sequence of harmonies, named "La Follia", that spread over musical landscape in Europe, not only geographically but also over time in that composers from Corelli and Vivaldi to Carl Nielsen and Sergej Rachmaninov have written music based on La Follia.
The program for this concert in Autumn 2015 was all based on La Follia and even included a world premiere of a piece written for Concerto Copenhagen by Danish composer Karl Aage Rasmussen titled "Follia, follia...".
Musical direction Alfredo Bernardini.
23 MARch • Les Boreades
(Only in Danish)
J.S. Bach's cantata "Süsser Trost, mein Jesus kömmt" BWV 151 is made for the service three days after Christmas – and no, we are not already longing for Christmas, but comfort it what we all might need in these days.
Recorded live in Garrison Church in Copenhagen, December 2011, featuring Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Maria Keohane, Alex Potter, Jan Kobow and Matthew Brook.
Musicians with gas masks, playing Vivaldi. Seen in retrospect, the images in this music video seem almost "prophetic".
Danish composer Karl Aage Rasmussen's versions of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" have been part of our repertoire for a couple of years and were also released on a CD named "The Four Seasons After Vivaldi" on Dacapo Records last year.
20 march • home concert with a passacaglio by Marini
“Social distancing has confined us to our homes – but it hasn’t taken away our desire to make music together.“
Concerto Copenhagen’s bass player, Megan Adie, shares the rest of the orchestra’s eagerness to continue playing music together despite the difficulties in being separated from each other. As an alternative, we are thrilled to launch a "virtual concert" today with each musician sitting at home but connected digitally!
The piece is a passacaglio by Marini that we used in the opening of 4th act of Monteverdi’s Orfeo at the Royal Opera in Copenhagen, a wonderful production that had its four last shows canceled due to the virus crisis.
The piece was recorded part by part by the musicians using their iPhones, listen to the result here...
Like all others in the music industry, Concerto Copenhagen spends quite a lot of resources on promoting its brand through PR and marketing.
But sometimes one is so lucky that it comes to you all by itself – like this article in one of the world's leading newspapers, The New York Times.
The article is from December 2018 and is written by one the world's leading Bach specialists, Michael Marissen. It focuses on the religious aspects of J.S. Bach's otherwise secular Brandenburg Concertos. The article is fully illustrated with images, music scores, manuscripts – and music samples taken from Concerto Copenhagen's recording of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.
The article very well-informed, written with significant historical and musical insight .
Read the article here...
Concerto Copenhagen is not only performing baroque music but offers music from serveral periods of the music history too – including contemporary music.
Today's concert was performed once and only in Copenhagen, September 2018. The program involved music from the Classical period: Mozart, Haydn, Johan Peter Salomon and the Danish composer Johann Ernst Hartmann. Conductor: Lars Ulrik Mortensen.
Danish Radio records and broadcasts main part of our live concerts both in Denmark and abroad via collaborating radio stations. This program we played in a number of venues in Denmark during January-February 2019. As the title indicates, these are concerti for a small ensemble written by the greatest of Baroque composers.
The last performance taking place at the Royal Danish Theatre's Old Stage was Monteverdi's Orfeo with Concerto Copenhagen in the orchestra pit and Lars Ulrik Mortensen as conductor. LuckilyDR (the Danish Broadcasting Corporationg) were present making a test recording of the performance and the recording turned out to be very suitable for publishing. DR has made the recording exceptionally available for online streaming on the Royal Danish Theatre's website.
You will find the recording on the Royal Danish Theatre's special site KGL Xtra here...
The Four Seasons – After Vivaldi composed by Karl Aage Rasmussen.
Buy the album on Dacapo Records or on Amazon, Itunes and Spotify.