Conductor Paul McCreesh has launched his own record label, on which he'll release recordings by his ensemble the Gabrieli Consort and Players and by the Wratislavia Cantans Festival, of which he is artistic director.
Called Winged Lion (the symbol of Venice and of St Mark, as well as the Gabrieli Consort), the label will release recordings of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, as well as large-scale 19th- and 20th-century oratorio, including on the near horizon, Howells’s Requiem. It will be distributed and manufactured by Signum Classics.
The first release on the label, due in September, will be a recording of Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts, which drew on forces of 400 musicians from the Gabrieli Consort and Players, the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra and Chetham’s School of Music. Among the instruments either sourced or made specifically for the recording was a trombone that originally belonged to Elgar.
This will be followed by Mendelssohn’s Elijah, with Simon Keenlyside in the title role (due to be recorded in the autumn), Haydn’s The Seasons, and Britten’s War Requiem. McCreesh’s recording of Haydn’s The Creation won the Choral category in the 2008 Gramophone Awards, the conductor praised for being “acutely responsive to the work’s mystery and awe”. It was released by Archiv Produktion – part of the Deutsch Grammophon label, with which McCreesh has a 15-year relationship.
Next year the Gabrieli Consort and Players will re-make their recording of 20 years ago entitled “A Venetian Coronation”, about which Gramophone had said: “Without doubt, this is one of the finest records of Italian Renaissance polyphony to appear for a long time”. The year also marks the ensemble’s 30th anniversary, and the 400th anniversary of the death of Giovanni Gabrieli whose music, along with that of Andrea Gabrieli, features on the recording.
[This is an updated version of a story which was posted yesterday]