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Arnold Shoenberg Chor
Concentus Musicus Wien
One of the 3 CD's in this set is a PC/Mac-compatible Enhanced CD that includes the complete autograph manuscript of the St. Matthew Passion!
Following on from the success of the Bach Year, Teldec is releasing a new recording of the St. Matthew Passion, one of the greatest works of all time, recorded by the outstanding Bach conductor, Nikolaus Harnoncourt.|
Nikolaus Harnoncourt's pioneering recordings, dating back to the 1960s, have radically shaped Bach interpretation.
From the first bars, this recording offers new and astonishing insights to Bach's magnificent oeuvre that are significantly different from any of the available competitive recordings as well as from Harnoncourt's own St. Matthew Passion recording released 30 years ago. For example, the soprano and alto parts are taken by women's voices on the new disc and the double chorus, each side with its own continuo, reflects the changes that Bach made to the St. Matthew Passion when he revived the work in 1736.
This recording boasts a cast of 10 internationally renowned soloists.
( Scroll down for more information )
The Quiz ...
Besides the St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion,
name one other Passion that Bach wrote but only exists as a fragment:
What famous composer resurrected ( no pun intended ) Bach's St. Matthew Passion
about 100 years after it's first performance?
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
St. Matthew Passion
· Following on from the success of the Bach Year, Teldec is releasing a new recording of the St. Matthew Passion, one of the greatest works of all time, recorded by the outstanding Bach conductor, Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
· Nikolaus Harnoncourt's pioneering recordings, dating back to the 1960s, have radically shaped Bach interpretation.
· From the first bars, this recording offers new and astonishing insights to Bach's magnificent oeuvre that are significantly different from any of the available competitive recordings as well as from Harnoncourt's own St. Matthew Passion recording released 30 years ago. For example, the soprano and alto parts are taken by women's voices on the new disc and the double chorus, each side with its own continuo, reflects the changes that Bach made to the St. Matthew Passion when he revived the work in 1736.
· This recording boasts a cast of 10 internationally renowned soloists.
· BERNARDA FINK was born to Slovenian parents in Buenos Aires, Argentina and received her vocal and musical education at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón, where she performed frequently.
· Her repertoire ranges from early music to music of the 20th century and she has performed with many of the world's best-known orchestras including the London, Czech and Vienna philharmonics, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Leipzig Gewandhaus, English Baroque Soloists and Concerto Köln under such conductors as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, John Eliot Gardiner, Trevor Pinnock, René Jacobs, Philippe Herreweghe and Marc Minkowski.
· Bernard Fink has performed to wide critical acclaim at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Czech National Opera, the opera houses of Montpellier, Innsbruck, Rennes, Salzburg and Barcelona, Nederlands Opera and the Teatro Colón. She has also been a regular guest at festivals including the Salzburg Festival and Mozartwochen, Wiener Festwochen, Prague Spring Festival, Tokyo Summer Festival and the Montreux Festival.
· She has given recitals at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, Vienna Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall, the Théâtre des Champs Elysées and at Vienna's Musikverein.
· The German soprano CHRISTINE SCHÄFER made her operatic début in 1991 as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. Her international breakthrough came with her performances of the role of Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier for the San Francisco Opera. Having already scored a notable personal success in the title role of Alban Berg's Lulu in Innsbruck in 1992, she repeated the part to huge acclaim at the 1995 Salzburg Festival. As a lieder singer, Christine Schäfer first attracted attention in 1988 with her performance of Aribert Reimann's Nachtträume at the Berlin Festival. As a concert singer she has worked with many ensembles and orchestras, including the Gächinger Kantorei, Musica Antiqua of Cologne and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. For TELDEC CLASSICS she has already sung the role of the Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel and, under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, taken the part of Aennchen in the company's recording of Der Freischütz and of Mozart's sacred works.
· The German baritone MATTHIAS GOERNE was introduced to music and theatre by his parents from a very early age. A native of Weimar, he studied with Hans-Joachim Beyer at the Leipzig Musikhochschule and later with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. Central to his artistic activities are lieder recitals: his regular appearances at London's Wigmore Hall are among the highlights of the concert season, while the tour that he undertook with Alfred Brendel in 1999/2000, performing Winterreise and Schwanengesang, set standards that other interpreters will seek in vain to match. On the world's concert platforms he has worked with leading conductors and orchestras, including Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic, Vladimir Ashkenazy and the German Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, Herbert Blomstedt and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. Among Matthias Goerne's operatic triumphs are his performances as Papageno at the 1997 Salzburg Festival and as Wozzeck in Alban Berg's opera of the same name at the Zurich Opera in 1999. In both cases the conductor was Christoph von Dohnányi.
· The German tenor MARKUS SCHÄFER studied singing and church music in Karlsruhe and Düsseldorf. His voice teachers were Marga Plachner, Armand McLane and Evelyn Dalberg. After singing with the Zurich Opera Studio he became a permanent member of the Zurich Opera in 1985. As a member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein from 1987 to 1993 he sang many of the lyric tenor roles. Since then he has been closely associated with Mozart's tenor roles but is also in demand in Baroque opera. In these and other roles he has given guest performances in many of Europe's leading centres of music, including the Salzburg Festival, the Rossini Festival at Pesaro and the opera houses in Venice, Barcelona, Munich and Berlin. In addition to his work in opera, Markus Schäfer devotes much of his time to lieder, while at the same time enjoying an international reputation in the concert halls of the world for his performances as the Evangelist in Bach's Passions. For Teldec he recorded the role of Agenore in Mozart's Il re pastore under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt and, more recently, also with Harnoncourt, he took part in a recording of Haydn's Armida alongside Cecilia Bartoli, Christoph Prégardien and Patricia Petibon.
· The young German baritone DIETRICH HENSCHEL studied in Munich and Berlin. He was twenty-three when he made his professional stage début at the 1990 Munich Biennale in Michèle Reverdy's Le Précepteur. His performance was followed by invitations to appear at many other opera houses and leading music festivals, including the Schubertiades in Vienna and Feldkirch, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and the International Beethoven Festival in Bonn. He was a member of Kiel Opera between 1993 and 1995.Since 1996 guest appearances have taken him to the opera houses in Bonn, Stuttgart and Lyons and to the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, where he made his acclaimed début in 1997 in the title role of Hans Werner Henze's Der Prinz von Homburg. He won further international plaudits for his performance as Faust in Busoni's Doktor Faust at the Lyons Opera, a performance that led to appearances at other leading houses. In addition to his work in opera, Dietrich Henschel has also enjoyed a successful career in the concert hall: among the orchestras with which he has appeared are the Vienna and Berlin philharmonics, the Royal Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris. He is particularly fond of the lieder repertory and has given many song recitals. Dietrich Henschel currently records exclusively for Teldec. His first CD, released in May 2000, was Schubert's Die Winterreise, performed with pianist Irwin Gage.
· ELISABETH VON MAGNUS studied the recorder at the Musikhochschule in her native Vienna, before attending courses in acting at the Salzburg Mozarteum and in singing at the Musikhochschule in Munich. After working for a number of years as a recorder player, including solo appearances with the Concentus musicus Wien, she decided to take up singing as a full-time career. She made her North American début in 1991 in Bach's St. Matthew Passion and two years later appeared for the first time at the Salzburg Festival, where she was heard in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea and other works. For the Bavarian State Opera at the Marstalltheater she sang the role of Polly Peachum in Benjamin Britten's arrangement of The Beggar's Opera and also appeared as Marcellina in a production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro under Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, where she subsequently returned for a series of highly acclaimed performances as Rosina in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. At the Carinthian Summer Festival she was heard as Sara in Josef Myslivecek's Abramo ed Isacco, and at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées she appeared as Icaro in João de Sousa Carvalho's early Classical opera, Testoride argonauta. As a lieder singer, Elisabeth von Magnus has explored a wide-ranging repertory extending from the Baroque to Bertolt Brecht. For Teldec she has already taken part in a number of recordings of sacred works, in addition to complete recordings of Johann Strauß's Der Zigeunerbaron, Purcell's The Fairy Queen and Weber's Der Freischütz.
· The young German soprano DOROTHEA RÖSCHMANN has shot to fame in a remarkably short space of time not only as an outstanding Mozartian but also as a distinguished exponent of the Baroque repertory. She made her Salzburg Festival début in 1995 as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. She has returned to Salzburg every year since - as Iphis in a concert performance of Handel's Jephtha under Harnoncourt's direction in 1996, as Servilia in La Clemenza did Tito in 1997, as Susanna again in 1998, as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte in 1999 and as Ilia in Idomeneo in 2000 under Christoph von Dohnanyi. It was as Zerlina in Don Giovanni that she made her Bavarian State Opera début during the 1995/96 season; she has subsequently sung the roles of Susanna, Ännchen and Drusilla there. Dorothea Röschmann is a member of the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin, where her roles have included Ännchen in Der Freischütz, Lisetta in Il matrimonio segreto, Pamina, Susanna, Cupido in Semele, Elmira in Kaiser's Croesus, the title role in Scarlatti's Griselda and Nanetta in Verdi's Falstaff. A native of Flensburg in North Germany, Dorothea Röschmann is also at home in the concert hall: she has performed at New York's Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Musikverein, Symphony Hall, Chicago and the Leipzig Gewandhaus, among others, with renowned conductors including Nikolaus Harnoncourt, John Eliot Gardiner, Daniel Barenboim, Philippe Herreweghe, René Jacobs, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Neville Marriner and Helmut Rilling. She can be heard in Teldec recordings of Weber's Der Freischütz and sacred works by Mozart under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
· Internationally acclaimed young German-Canadian singer MICHAEL SCHADE is considered one of the leading Mozart tenors on the stage today. He regularly performs in operas by Mozart, Strauss, Donizetti, Rossini, Wagner and others in many of the great opera houses of the world, among them the Vienna Staatsoper, Salzburg Festival, Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Milan, L'Opéra de Paris, San Francisco Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera and Los Angeles Opera. In addition to his opera career, Michael Schade performs extensively in concert and recital at Vienna's Musikverein, London's Wigmore Hall, Alice Tully Hall in New York and numerous halls throughout Germany, Austria, and Canada. He has given duo recitals with baritone Russell Braum and Angelike Kirschlager. In concert he has recently performed Bach's St. John Passion with the Philadelphia Orchestra, his St. Matthew Passion at the Salzburg Festival, Haydn's Stabat Mater with Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Musikverein in Vienna, the Paukenmesse with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Missa Solemnis and Leonore with John Eliot Gardiner and Schubert's Mass in Eb Major with Riccardo Muti and the Vienna Philharmonic.
· CHRISTOPH PREGARDIEN is one of the leading lyric tenors of our day, equally in demand as a lieder recitalist, concert singer and opera singer. Among the many eminent conductors with whom he has worked are Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Neville Marriner, Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman and Gustav Leonhardt. His concert repertory encompasses the great oratorios and Passions not only of the Baroque but also of Classicism, Romanticism and the 20th century. Among the roles in which he has appeared in Europe's foremost opera houses are Tamino in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Almaviva in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff and the title role in Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria. Christoph Prégardien's career began as a boy soprano in the cathedral choir in his home town of Limburg. He later studied singing with Martin Gründler and Karlheinz Jarius in Frankfurt, with Carla Castellani in Milan and Alois Treml in Stuttgart. In the case of lieder singing, his teacher was Hartmut Höll. On the Teldec label, Christoph Prégardien may be heard in Handel's Samson and in various sacred works by Mozart, all under Nikolaus Harnoncourt. In addition, he has made a number of important lieder recordings with the fortepianist Andreas Staier, the most recent of which is Brahms's Die schöne Magelone.
· The ARNOLD SCHOENBERG CHOR was founded in 1972 by its current artistic director, ERWIN ORTNER. It consists largely of students and graduates from the Vienna Musikhochschule and is one of the most versatile and sought-after vocal ensembles in Austria, with a repertory extending from the music of the Renaissance and the Baroque to contemporary compositions. The choir is particularly interested in a cappella works, although the bulk of its repertory comprises large-scale pieces for choir and orchestra. Its members also appear in fully staged productions of operas, undertaking frequent tours and appearing at international festivals. In 1994 the jury of the International Classical Music Awards voted the ensemble "Choir of the Year". The Arnold Schoenberg Chor has worked closely with Nikolaus Harnoncourt over a period of many years, a partnership documented in numerous recordings for Teldec. In 1997, to mark the bicentenary of Schubert's birth, Teldec released a special boxed set featuring the Arnold Schoenberg Chor and devoted to all the composer's secular works for vocal ensemble. This seven-CD set was awarded the 1997 German Record Critics' Prize, the Diapason d'Or and the Grand Prize at Japan's Academy Awards.
· In 1498, Emperor Maximilian I moved his court and his court musicians from Innsbruck to Vienna. He gave specific instructions that there were to be six boys among his musicians. For want of a foundation charter, historians have settled on 1498 as the official foundation date of the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle and the VIENNA CHOIR BOYS. The choir sang exclusively for the court, at mass, at private concerts and on state occasions.
· Musicians like Heinrich Isaac, Paul Hofhaimer, Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Caldara, Antonio Salieri and Anton Bruckner worked with the choir. Franz Schubert was a chorister himself and Franz Joseph and Michael Haydn, Hans Richter, Felix Mottl and Clemens Krauss were all substitutes.
· In 1918, after the breakdown of the Habsburg Empire, the Austrian government took over the court opera (i.e. the orchestra and the adult singers), but not the choir boys. The Wiener Sängerknaben owe their survival to the initiative and business acumen of Josef Schnitt, who became dean of the imperial chapel in 1921.
· Today there are 96 choristers between the ages of ten and fourteen, divided into four touring choirs. The boys have toured all the European countries and are frequent guests in Asia, Australia and the Americas. They visit the USA and Canada almost every year. Every Sunday, with the exception of the summer vacations, the choir sings at Mass in the Imperial Chapel, as they have done since 1498.
· Their repertoire spans five centuries of music, from Renaissance to contemporary music. Benjamin Britten, and the Austrian composers Heinz Kratochwil, Ernst Krenek and Anton Heiller have all written works for the Vienna Choir Boys.
· The choir's repertoire extends to cross over and world music. In 2000, the boys sang liturgical Jewish music of the 19th century, joining forces with the Chorus Viennensis and the cantor of Vienna's Jewish community. They have also embarked on a recording project of contemporary American Jewish music for the Milken Archive in New York. The boys have also contributed to film soundtracks (Primal Fear (1996); The 13th Floor (1999)) and they recorded the title song for a Japanese animated movie featuring the cartoon character Doraemon (2000). On 31 December 1999, the BBC broadcast a video of the choir in the style of a pop music video.
· In addition to their own tours and projects, the boys sing a number of concerts each season with men's chorus and orchestra, both in Vienna and abroad. Recently, they sang Mozart's Requiem under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner. Another recent highlight was the performance of Mozart's Coronation Mass in St. Peter's in the Vatican in March 2000, conducted by Riccardo Muti. Two choir boys sang the boy solos in Mahler's Das klagende Lied to great acclaim (conducted by Kent Nagano), others are singing the roles of the three genii in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Vienna State Opera in the 2000-2001 season.
· The Vienna Choir Boys have their own school. Almost 250 boys and girls beginning at kindergarten age live, study and rehearse in the Augartenpalais, a baroque palace in Vienna. They are provided with a complete musical and general education through the elementary grades. At age ten, the most talented boys are selected to join the choir and enter the choir's grammar school. All boys are assigned to one of the touring choirs. Many of the school's alumni go on to become professional musicians, conductors, singers or instrumentalists, in Vienna and throughout the world.
· CONCENTUS MUSICUS WIEN, founded in 1953 by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, is largely responsible for launching the authentic instrument movement and, forty-six years later, remains at the forefront of historical performing practice.
· Nikolaus Harnoncourt drew the pioneering instrumentalists of Concentus musicus Wien from the ranks of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. They came together as a specialist ensemble to play early music on period instruments, "not for historical but for artistic reasons, since the music of every period can best be brought to life and is most convincingly realized using the resources of the time". Manuscripts were discovered and copied meticulously by hand and instruments secured. Intensive rehearsal and experimentation followed. The group gave its first public concert at the Schwarzenberg Palace in Vienna in 1957, an event that marked the start of an annual concert series.
· Concentus musicus Wien made its first recordings for what was then called Telefunken in 1963. Around that same time, the ensemble made concert tours all over Western Europe, performing repertoire including Bach's Brandenburg Concertos and music from the Austrian Baroque. Their first tour of the United States and Canada took place in 1966.
· In 1970 Concentus musicus Wien began recording the complete Bach cantatas for Teldec, an ambitious, long-term project completed in 1989 and one which to this day represents the only complete Bach cantata recordings on period instruments. At the same time, they continued to build up their own concert series at the Vienna Musikverein and to record works by Monteverdi, Purcell, Bach, Handel and Mozart. Their recordings of Bach's B minor Mass and of Monteverdi's three operas and Vespro della Beata Virgine (1610) are universally regarded as milestones of early music performance.
· Their recordings continue to win prizes on a regular basis: Mozart's Lucio Silla and Handel's Theodora, for example, were awarded the German Record Critics' Prize in 1990 and 1991 respectively. The complete Bach cantatas received a Gramophone Award for Special Achievement in 1990. More recent accolades include the 1995 Cannes Classical Award for Bach's St. John Passion and top awards from three different French music publications in 1996-97 for Mozart's Il re Pastore, Vivaldi concertos and Bach motets.
· Concentus musicus Wien continues to appear regularly in Vienna and to undertake tours throughout Europe. The ensemble's 1999-2000 season featured performances of works by Bach, Haydn and Mozart in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Finland and the UK with soloists Cecilia Bartoli and Christoph Prégardien. The ensemble has performed at the Styriate Festival in Graz every year for the past fourteen years.
· Recordings with Concentus musicus Wien played a central role in Teldec Classics International's celebrations of the 40th anniversary of DAS ALTE WERK in 1998 and of Nikolaus Harnoncourt's 70th birthday in 1999, as well as in its BACH 2000 edition.
· Concentus musicus Wien's most recent recording releases include Schubert's Magnificat D 486 and Intende voci D963, Mozart symphonies Nos. 10. 11. 42. 44. 45 and 46 and his Concertos for Flute and Harp, for Oboe and for Clarinet, Masses by Haydn and his opera, Armida with Cecilia Bartoli and Christoph Prégardien in the leading roles.
· NIKOLAUS HARNONCOURT was born in Berlin, grew up in Graz (Austria) and studied the cello in Vienna, where from 1952 to 1969 he was a cellist with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. In 1972 he became Professor for Performance Practice at the Salzburg Mozarteum, a position he held until 1993.
· In 1953 Mr. Harnoncourt and his wife Alice Harnoncourt founded the Concentus musicus Wien as a specialist ensemble for the performance of early music on authentic instruments. By 1957 he was giving regular concerts with the group, as well as making recordings of music from the 13th to the 18th century. Countless tours, including five to the United States, took the ensemble to every part of the world. Today, forty-five years later, Concentus musicus Wien and Nikolaus Harnoncourt continue to appear in highly acclaimed performances and to produce award-winning recordings.
· Since 1970 Nikolaus Harnoncourt has worked as a conductor both in the opera house (he has appeared in Milan, Zurich, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Vienna conducting a repertory ranging from Monteverdi to Johann Strauss) and in the concert hall, where he has worked with the great European orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony, the London Philharmonia, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, among others. He frequently collaborates with many of the world's most renowned soloists, including Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer, Thomas Hampson, Dawn Upshaw, Cecilia Bartoli and Peter Seiffert, to name a few. Highlights of his career have included productions of operas by Monteverdi and Mozart at the Zurich Opera in stagings by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle and Jürgen Flimm, performances of Mozart, Haydn and Schubert with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Beethoven cycles with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
· Mr. Harnoncourt's recording activities have expanded since 1970 to include the operas, oratorios and symphonic works of the 18th and 19th centuries. He has performed and recorded the late symphonies of Mozart and Haydn, Beethoven's complete symphonies and violin concerto, Schubert's complete symphonies and Schumann's complete symphonies, as well as the piano and violin concertos. The complete Brahms symphonies, the Violin Concerto and the Double Concerto were released in 1997. Mr. Harnoncourt is in the process of completing a Mozart symphonies cycle, several recordings of which were released in 1998, and 1999, as were Mozart's complete Sacred Works. Mr. Harnoncourt's 70th birthday in 1999 was marked by Teldec's release of a 10-CD all-Beethoven boxed set containing the nine symphonies, overtures, Violin Concerto, the Missa solemnis and the Romances for violin and orchestra. At the same time, Teldec released a celebratory sampler CD featuring works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms Dvorák, Bruckner and Johann Strauss performed by all the ensembles with whom Mr. Harnoncourt has worked and recorded on an ongoing basis for many years. These include the Concentus musicus Wien, the Arnold Schoenberg Chor, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Releases to date in 2000 include Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 and The Water Goblin with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Brahms piano concerti with the Royal Concertgebouw and with Rudolf Buchbinder as soloist, and Haydn's Schöpfungsmesse coupled with Schubert's Magnificat and Intende voci.
· Nikolaus Harnoncourt's outstanding achievements have been recognized with numerous awards: the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize (1974), the Erasmus Prize (1980), the Hans Georg Nägeli Medal of the City of Zurich (1982) and the Joseph Marx Music Prize of the Province of Styria (1982). In 1983 he was appointed a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in Stockholm. In 1985 he received the Golden Honorary Emblem of the German Record Critics for his services to Early Music. In 1987 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. His recordings of Beethoven's Missa solemnis and Symphonies Nos. 1 - 9 with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir received numerous distinctions, including the German Record Critics' Prize and Gramophone Magazine's Record of the Year Award in addition to selling nearly one million copies worldwide. In 1994, Mr. Harnoncourt was awarded the prestigious Polar Music Prize. His recordings of Beethoven's Fidelio, Schumann's Genoveva and Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 won Belgium's Caecilia Prize in 1996, 1998 and 2000 respectively. Recent awards include the 'Diapason d'Or du siecle' (January 2000) for Monteverdi's L'Orfeo and the Edison Award (March 2000) for Johann Strauss in Berlin.
· An exclusive Teldec recording artist for over thirty years, Mr. Harnoncourt made his first recordings with what was then Telefunken in 1963. Since then he has made several hundred recordings on vinyl and compact disc during a career spanning several decades that has been charted in numerous television documentaries and three full-length books. An authorized biography of Nikolaus Harnoncourt by music journalist Monika Mertl was published in 1999.
· In June 2000 Nikolaus Harnoncourt signed a life-time contract with Teldec.
On Johann Sebastian Bach Johannes Passion, Angela Maria Blasi, Marjana Lipovsek, Anthony Rolfe Johnson etc., Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Concentus musicus Wien (9031-74862-2):
"Harnoncourt offers drama and passion."
(The Organ, Summer 1995)
"Harnoncourt's interpretation is a shock that never ceases to pose new questions. ... With the utmost fervor Harnoncourt proposes total involvement, an irrevocable commitment in both aesthetic and spiritual terms ... and just as realistic (profane) as metaphorical (spiritual), Harnoncourt's reading nourishes the essential ambiguity of the work in which the torments of damnation, the awareness of death must be experienced to achieve final deliverance."
(Alexandre Pham, Répertoire, April 1995)
On Johann Sebastian Bach Four Orchestral Suites (4509-92174-2):
"Harnoncourt can turn a phrase like no one else and when the transfer sound is as exceptional as it is here, his insights are all the more telling."
(Gramophone, February 1994)
On Johann Sebastian Bach St. Matthew Passion Paul Esswood, Kurt Equiluz, Max van Egmond, James Bowman, Nigel Rogers, Karl Ridderbusch, Wiener Sängerknaben, Regensburger Domchor, King's College Choir, Cambridge, Concentus musicus Wien, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (2292-42509-2):
"This St. Matthew Passion recording is quite unlike any other in the catalogue; comparisons are difficult, perhaps irrelevant. It represents a serious, methodical attempt to recapture the sound and the style of a performance of Bach's own day... This is a more authentic Matthew Passion than any other, by far, much the nearest approach to what Bach expected and wanted."
(The Gramophone, April 1971)
"Indispensable - imbued as it is with the interpretative principles of the Concentus maestro - it evokes colors, vitality and dramatic radicality to a degree achieved by no other conductor."
(Jean-Luc Macia, Diapason, May 1994)
Johann Sebastian Bach Das Kantatenwerk (CD 4509-91755-2):
" A recorded milestone without parallel."
(Julian Haylock, CD Review, December 1994)
Johann Sebastian Bach Mass in B minor (4509-95517-2):
"... rediscovering the Mass conducted by Harnoncourt with such highly geared dynamics compared with the first recording of this piece commissioned 26 years ago reeducates our hearing and puts the Bach clocks right."
(Jean-Luc Macia; Diapason, January 1995)
On Johann Sebastian Bach Brandenburgische Konzerte, Concentus musicus Wien, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (9031-75858-2 & 9031-75859-2 -Digital Experience):
"The musicians in a Harnoncourt recording really leap out of the loudspeakers into one's living-room - a great sonic festival at a temptingly low price."
(Hifi-Vision, March 1996)