Album: A Life for the Opera

Released: 5th February 2021, Pan Classics, © note 1 music gmbh.

Excerpts from opera of Agostino Steffani with the Italian soprano Silvia Frigato.

Agostino Steffani is one of those multi-talented personalities one often encounters in the baroque era. He was a man of the church who made it as far as titular bishop and mediator between Pope and Emperor. He was a much-travelled diplomat and politician, as well, who held high state offices up to minister, and he was a composer who wrote operas for the courts in Munich, Hanover and Düsseldorf. Especially in the last years his operas became again very popular because of their high quality.

The Italian soprano Silvia Frigato together with Ensemble Castor trace the stages of Steffani’s life through a selection of arias from his operas.


Album: Flute Concertos & Trios

Released: 7th September 2019, Pan Classics, © note 1 music gmbh.

Works of Franz Xaver Richter and Johann Stamitz. With Jana Semerádová, transverse flute.

Because Carl Theodor, Elector Palatine, was an experienced flute player, this instrument played a significant role for many composers of the commonly called Manheim School. Those concerts, quartets, trios and sonatas were widely disseminated throughout Europe due to effectively networked music printing centers which released them. As one of the most important representatives of the Mannheim School, Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789) became very popular for his free instrumentations of flute and violin in his harpsichord trios in D major and A minor. Richter’s works are said to be rather conservative interpretations of the Mannheim School, whereas Johann Stamitz (1717-1757) represents stylistic and structural innovation. With his flute concert in G major, Stamnitz introduced new tonal colours to the baroque charm.

For the album “Flute Concertos & Trios”, Ensemble Castor proudly presents the excellent transverse flute player Jana Semerádová from Prague.

Flute Concertos and Trios booklet

Album: Concertos & Divertimentos

Released: 19th May 2017, Deutsche Harmonica Mundi, © Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

Works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Josepf Haydn, hammerclavier.

Ensemble Castor dedicates this album to the friendship between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn. While it is still uncertain, when Haydn and Mozart met for the first time, there are chronicles about an exceptional private musical evening in Vienna 1784, starring Haydn at the lead violin and Mozart playing the viola. With a generation apart, Mozart and Haydn showed greatest respect to each other. Taking into account their mutual influences, it is not surprising that some works of Mozart and Haydn also converge musically. ‘Concertos & Divertimentos’ gives evidence to this synergy.

“It was conceived purely to entertain and that’s exactly what it does. Lovely, imaginative performances on some sweet-sounding period instruments … these players never fail to find something to say.” (Gramophone Magazine, August 2017)

Concertos Divertimentos booklet

Album: Discorsi Musicali

Released: 21st November 2014, © Ensemble Castor

Music at the Munich Court under Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. With Ida Aldrian, mezzo-soprano.

‘Discorsi Musicali’ reflects the music of the Munich Court under Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, presenting works of Johann Kaspar Kerll, Agostino Steffani und Rupert Ignaz Mayr. Together with Ida Aldrian, mezzo-soprano from the Styrian city of Bruck an der Mur, Ensemble Castor introduces these lately rediscovered baroque masterpieces, which originate from the South-German and Austrian region – full of suspense and with high intensity.

‘Upper Austria may be proud of this excellent showpiece of baroque music’ (Georgina Szeless, November 2015)

Discorsi Musicali booklet