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Das Neue Orchester

Das Neue Orchester specializes in applying historical-performance principles to music from the Baroque to the Romantic era. The group often performed with conductor Christoph Spering and Chorus Musicus Köln. Das Neue Orchester ("The New Orchestra," derived from the term "Das neueröffnete Orchester" in a treatise by 18th century theorist Johann Mattheson) was founded by Spering in 1988. He had founded Chorus Musicus Köln three years earlier and remains conductor of both groups. From the beginning, Das Neue Orchester emphasized little-known repertory in its performances and recordings. A 1990 concert at the Kölner Philharmonie Concert Hall, featuring early Schubert symphonies and his rarely performed singspiel opera Fernando, D. 220, attracted attention to the orchestra and led to its signing by the Opus 111 label. Two years later, Das Neue Orchester and Spering made the first recording of the 1841 revision of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, by Felix Mendelssohn. That gained still wider notice, and since then, the orchestra has had a pan-European reach, appearing at such halls as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, and the Konzerthaus in Vienna, as well as a variety of European summer festivals. Das Neue Orchester has an unusually deep recording catalog, made mostly for the Opus 111, Capriccio, and Deutsche Harmonia Mundi. The group has recorded both choral music with Chorus Musicus Köln and a variety of unusual instrumental music, including a re-creation of an 1830 concert by Fryderyk Chopin in Warsaw, featuring pianist Janusz Olejniczak on a period Erard piano, and a complete recording of Mendelssohn's rarely heard incidental music to Racine's play Athalia. In 2020, Das Neue Orchester was heard with Chorus Musicus Köln on a Deutsche Harmonia Mundi recording of six "Praise Cantatas" by J.S. Bach. The orchestra has won a coveted ECHO Klassik award for several recordings.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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