Die Kölner Akademie
The Kölner Akademie, in English the Cologne Academy, is a historical-performance ensemble based in Cologne, Germany. Strongly committed to the idea of authentic performance, they emphasize historically documented performance practices, try to approximate the number of performers a work would have had in its own time, and use editions of the music that come as close as possible to what composers themselves wrote down or intended. Despite, or perhaps because of, this specialist focus, the Kölner Akademie has had an unusually vigorous recording career, issuing more than 40 albums. The Kölner Akademie was founded in 1996 and has performed at major concert halls and festivals around the world, including in South America, Asia, and the Middle East. The group has an associated professional choir that joins them for vocal music performances and for recordings that have included world premieres of music by Francesco Durante, Johann Valentin Meder, Car Heinrich Graun, Johann Mattheson, Johann Friedrich Agricola, and Johann Wilhelm Hertel. Indeed, much of the group's recording activity has been devoted to lost or previously underexposed music, including Classical-era composers Bernhard Crusell, Franz Danzi, and Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda. The Kölner Akademie has recorded mostly for the Ars Produktion and CPO labels, with other albums appearing on the German labels Carus and Raumklang. In the 2010s they were signed to Sweden's BIS label and began a cycle of Mozart's piano concerts with fortepianist Ronald Brautigam; these recordings offered innovative, unorthodox readings grounded in evidence of historical practices. The Kölner Akademie is led by the American conductor Michael Alexander Willens, a Juilliard School graduate who studied with Leonard Bernstein. The group's recordings have garnered major awards such as an ECHO Klassik Prize for their recording of Johann Mattheson's Das größte Kind, and a Supersonic award for their album of Bernhard Romberg's symphonies.
© James Manheim /TiVo
© James Manheim /TiVo
9 albums sorted by Most acclaimed
Narrow my search
Opera - Released August 7, 2020 | CPO
Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | CPO
Now here is an Abel musician, published by an excellent lAbel (we could go on), CPO, finally giving his symphonies the treatment they deserve. In his day, Abel (1723-1787) was a great star: after studying under Bach himself, he moved to London with one of the Cantor's sons, where he took up a career as a musician playing the viol da gamba, the harpsichord, and the horn, with sidelines in composing and boozing. The famous Bach-Abel concerts which dazzled London have been well-known for years. These Symphonies Op. 1 and Op. 4 were published in 1760 and 1762 respectively, and played frequently across all of Europe for a long time thereafter. The young Mozart himself copied (yet) another of Abel's symphonies, which for a long time was taken to be the work of little Wolfgang himself, a clear indicator of the great quality of writing and conception. But unfortunately for Abel, his style of writing remained stuck in his half of the 18th century, even if it was clearly possible to also see the parallels with Haydn's works from the same period. But Abel passed away a little too soon (over-intensive boozing) to change his tune: and so here we have a dozen symphonies (also called "Overtures", but they are arranged in three movements), which straddle the divide between the last of a gallant baroque and the start of a more mannered classicism. The excellent Kölner Akademie, an ensemble which has made a point of not specialising exclusively in any one area, playing works from the 17th century all the way through to the 21st century, gives a performance with a marvellous freshness. © SM/Qobuz
News feed Prev. Next
yesterday Qobuz | Artemis: The Jazz GoddessesThu Qobuz | Bruce Hornsby: Non-Secure ConnectionWed Qobuz | The Flaming Lips: Sunset Youth in Oklahoma
Tue Qobuz | Igor Levit Lock-down RecitalMon Qobuz | The Incredible Sophie Hunger: Halluzinationen
Thu Qobuz | Declan McKenna, the voice of a generation
Fri Qobuz | Back in Black is 40!