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Handel and Haydn Society releases new recording with Artistic Director Harry Christophers and Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky on CORO in September 2013
“…lively and characterful string playing, part of a performance that blends bonhomie with drama.The orchestra proves itself as expert in period style as it is musically spontaneous.” –BBC Music Magazine
September 10, 2013 (Boston, MA) – Following the success of a Mozart trilogy on the CORO label, the Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) is delighted to announce its September 10 release of Haydn, Vol. 1. Recorded live at Symphony Hall in Boston in February of this year, the CD showcases one of Haydn’s Paris Symphonies, L’ours (The Bear), a festive and jubilant work commissioned by a Parisian orchestra in the 1780s. Also featured is Symphony No. 6, Le matin, one of his earlier works, characterised by unusual virtuoso writing across the orchestral ensemble. Completing the recording is Haydn’s Violin Concerto in G major performed by Handel and Haydn’s fiery and expressive Concertmaster, Aisslinn Nosky, whose tenure with H&H began in 2011 with great critical acclaim. This recording marks Nosky’s solo debut on the CORO label.
Artistic Director Harry Christophers comments: “On this live recording, we present a programme devoted to that Master of the Symphony, Franz Joseph Haydn. From his early symphony Le matin to his much later Paris symphony L’ours, you can witness first hand the development of Haydn’s compositional style. The first concert I ever gave with H&H was at the Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt in September 2006. We performed Le matin in the Haydnsaal on the very stage Haydn first performed it for his employer, Prince Paul Anton Ersterhazy. Symphony No. 82 shows just how much Haydn’s symphonies had transformed from those of his early years, not only in orchestral size but also in individuality. It’s been nicknamed ‘The Bear’, and if you listen to the opening of the finale there is an animal-like vigour and excitement in that heavy drone-like bass line; this is a very European symphony full of French grace and German rusticity.”
Executive Director and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard adds, “The Handel and Haydn Society is delighted to undertake a series of Haydn recordings on the CORO label, and to showcase its period instrument orchestra and Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky in some of the finest works by the composer. One of H&H's founders was an oboist in Haydn's London orchestra. Haydn's legacy has shaped H&H's extraordinary journey, and we look forward to bringing his works to life as we approach H&H's Bicentennial in 2015.”
With this recording, Handel and Haydn Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky is introduced as soloist on the CORO label. Nosky joined H&H as Concertmaster in 2011, and has since received acclaim from audience and critics alike. The Boston Globe described her playing as “distinguished not only by her dance-like physical exuberance, but also by a sense of style and fantasy.”
Founded in 1815, H&H, a Grammy Award winner, is considered the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the U.S. and has given the American premieres of major works including Handel’s Messiah and Jephtha; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion; and works by Haydn, Mozart, and many others. Handel and Haydn celebrates its Bicentennial in 2015. H&H and CORO launched their first collaboration in 2010 with the release of Mozart’s Mass in C minor, followed in 2011 by Mozart's Requiem, and in 2012 with Mozart's Coronation Mass. Future plans include the release in October 2013 of a new Christmas album entitled “Joy to the World” and live recordings of Handel's Messiah and Haydn's Creation, which H&H premiered in the U.S. in 1818 and 1819, respectively.
Appointed Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) in 2008, Harry Christophers began his tenure with the 2009–2010 Season and has conducted H&H each season since September 2006, when he led a sold-out performance in the Esterházy Palace at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. Christophers and H&H have since embarked on an ambitious artistic journey towards the organisation’s 2015 Bicentennial with a showcase of works premiered in the United States by H&H since 1815, education programming, community outreach activities and partnerships, and the release of a series of recordings on the CORO label. Christophers is known internationally as founder and conductor of the UK-based choir and period instrument ensemble The Sixteen. He has directed The Sixteen throughout Europe, America, and the Far East, gaining a distinguished reputation for his work in Renaissance, baroque, and 20th- and 21st-century music. In 2000, he instituted The Choral Pilgrimage, a tour of British cathedrals from York to Canterbury. He has recorded over 120 titles for which he has won numerous awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque for Handel Messiah, numerous Preise der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics Awards), the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music, and the prestigious Classical Brit Award (2005) for his disc entitled Renaissance. In 2009 he received one of classical music’s highest accolades, the Classic FM Gramophone Awards Artist of the Year Award; The Sixteen also won the Baroque Vocal Award for Handel Coronation Anthems, a CD that also received a 2010 Grammy Award nomination. Harry Christophers is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Granada Symphony Orchestra and a regular guest conductor with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. In October 2008, Christophers was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Leicester. He is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford and also of the Royal Welsh Academy for Music and Drama and was awarded a CBE in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Aisslinn Nosky was appointed Concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society in 2011. With a reputation for being one of the most dynamic and versatile violinists of her generation, Nosky is in great demand internationally as a soloist, leader, and concertmaster. Recent collaborations include the Thunder Bay Symphony, the Lameque International Baroque Festival Orchestra, Arion Baroque Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, Collegium Musicum Hanyang, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Nosky is also a member of I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble. For over adecade, this innovative Canadian ensemble has presented its own edgy and inventive concert series in Toronto and toured Europe and North America turning new audiences on to Baroque music. With the Eybler Quartet, Nosky explores repertoire from the first century of string quartet literature on period instruments. The Eybler Quartet’s latest recording of Haydn’s Opus 33 string quartets was released to critical acclaim in 2012. Since 2005, Nosky has been a highly active member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and has toured and appeared as soloist with this internationally renowned ensemble.
ABOUT HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY
Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) is a professional period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and an internationally recognized leader in the field of Historically Informed Performance, a revelatory style that uses the instruments and techniques of the composer’s time. Founded in Boston in 1815, H&H is considered the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States and has a longstanding commitment to excellence and innovation: it gave the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s The Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). H&H today, under Artistic Director Harry Christophers’ leadership, is committed to its mission to enrich life and influence culture by performing baroque and classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence, and by providing engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education and training activities. H&H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on WGBH/99.5 Classical New England and National Public Radio, and recordings. Its recording of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises won a 2003 Grammy Award and two of its recordings, All is Bright and Peace, appeared simultaneously in the top ten on Billboard Magazine’s classical music chart. Since the release of its first collaboration with Harry Christophers on the CORO label in September 2010, it has made available three live commercial recordings of works by Mozart – Mass in C Minor (2010), Requiem (2011), and Coronation Mass (2012) as well as Haydn, Vol. 1 (September 2013) and An American Christmas (October 2013). The 2010–2011 Season marked the 25th anniversary of H&H’s award-winning Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program, which brings music education, vocal training, and performance opportunities to 10,000 students annually throughout Greater Boston and beyond. Handel and Haydn Society is funded inpart by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The United Kingdom based record label, CORO – the record label of the acclaimed choir and period instrument orchestra The Sixteen and conductor and founder HarryChristophers, has exclusively recorded the Handel and Haydn Society since 2010, with the commencement of Christophers' tenure as Artistic Director. This international collaboration began with a trilogy of Mozart recordings that have met with critical success. In 2011, CORO celebrated its 10th anniversary and the label now boasts 118 titles. Recent releases include a new series of discs devoted to the music of Palestrina; The Queen of Heaven, which accompanied The Sixteen’s 13th Choral Pilgrimage in the UK; and new recordings of Handel’s celebrated oratorios, Saul and Messiah – the latter was awarded the prestigious MIDEM Classical Award 2009. In the same year the group’s recording of Handel’s Coronation Anthems won the coveted Classic FM Gramophone Award for Baroque Vocal Music. In 2010 CORO released the BBC’s groundbreaking first series of Sacred Music on DVD. Future plans include new recordings of Handel’s epic oratorio Jephtha and Monteverdi’s Vespers with The Sixteen and Haydn’s Creation with Handel and Haydn Society.