Arcangelo brings Telemann’s ‘Paris Quartet No.6’ to life in a captivating film at the Wren Library

Friday 29th September 2023

GRAMMY-nominated ensemble, Arcangelo, showcase their premiere performance film, captured  at Trinity College Cambridge’s exquisite Wren Library

Arcangelo, a globally renowned period performance ensemble, is set to unveil their first studio production film, shot against the stunning backdrop of Sir Christopher Wren’s library at Trinity College Cambridge, free to view now here on Arcangelo’s YouTube channel.

For their repertoire, the renowned ensemble has chosen an appropriately pioneering work of chamber music: the sixth of Telemann’s foundational 1725 ‘Quadri’ (also known as the first set of Telemann’s ‘Paris Quartets’). This film boasts an elite cast of GRAMMY-nominated chamber musicians, and was captured by trailblazing tenor-director Andrew Staples, alongside a five-man team from Classical Music Films.

The film is the first performance film to be shot in the historic Wren Library at Trinity College Cambridge, completed  in 1695 when Telemann was a teenager, and which contains literary treasures including handwritten notes and notebooks by Robert Oppenheimer and Isaac Newton, and A.A.Milne’s manuscript of Winnie-the-Pooh.

The historic sessions took place on the weekend of the 14-15 January 2023, with kind permission from the Master and Fellows of Trinity College Cambridge. For this project, Arcangelo chose to focus on the chamber music which defines its ethos, with a hand-picked ensemble of leading instrumentalists joining Arcangelo Artistic Director Jonathan Cohen: flautist Georgia Browne, violinist Sophie Gent, gambist Jonathan Manson, and lutenist Thomas Dunford.

“Telemann wrote this music to be played by himself together with the highest-grade musicians in France at the time, like Blavet, Forqueray. So he put all his invention and great compositional spirit into music which had to be exquisite in the French style, which is to say incredibly virtuosic but at the same time very refined. It finishes with this extraordinary passacaglia – the music growing into something that to me feels somehow apocalyptic, looking over the world as it passes.” – Arcangelo Artistic Director Jonathan Cohen.

The film also marks Arcangelo’s first foray into dedicated music video production, following increasing experience of the medium acquired through filming of audio recording projects, live streams, and traditional television broadcasts of concerts, notably Bach’s St Matthew Passion at the 2021 BBC Proms which was televised by the BBC.

Working with world-leading talent and cutting-edge technology, the ensemble aims to produce an ongoing series of videos focusing closely on short individual works which will transport audiences into the music’s very midst, experiencing not just the sound-world but also the musical and emotionaltraffic between its performers.

Arcangelo is one of the world’s leading period performance ensembles, whose collective energy and spirit continue to generate a flood of critical awards and five-star reviews, spark audience ovations, and prompt invitations to the foremost international venues and festivals.

The band, which has taken the musical world by storm since its creation in 2010, comprises outstanding musicians under the dynamic leadership of its Artistic Director and founder Jonathan Cohen.

The group embodies an unwavering commitment to infusing every composition in their repertoire, from trio sonatas to oratorios, with the profound listening skills and artistic excellence of chamber music.The film has been funded by a public fundraising appeal, and will be freely available on Arcangelo’s own YouTube channel.

Arcangelo’s much-decorated discography includes Buxtehude’s Trio Sonatas Op.1 ( Alpha Classics), which was nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award, as well as two Gramophone Award-winning albums with Iestyn Davies MBE (Hyperion), and a BBC Music Magazine Award-winning survey of cello concerti by C.P.E. Bach with Nicolas Altstaedt.