Lautten Compagney Berlin

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April 2024

Lautten Compagney is an instrumental ensemble based in Berlin, Germany. Founded in 1984 by Hans-Werner Apel and Wolfgang Katschner, now the principal conductor, it specialises in Early music and Baroque music, notably the operas of Handel.

Lautten Compagney was founded in 1984 as a lute duo by lutenists Hans-Werner Apel and Wolfgang Katschner. The ensemble grew and plays in varied formation, specialising in Early music and Baroque music, notably the operas of Handel. Katschner is the principal conductor, Abel plays in the continuo group. Twice a year the group runs a festival, AEQUINOX, in Neuruppin.

The ensemble has frequently played choral works in concert and recording, collaborating with notable singers and ensembles. In varied formation from chamber ensemble to opera orchestra, they performed with vocal ensemble Capella Angelica, also founded by Katschner, and the Berliner Singakademie, works including Handel's Der Messias and Bach's Passions. In 2007 they recorded cantatas by Dieterich Buxtehude. In 2010 they performed Bach's Köthener Trauermusik in the reconstruction by Alexander Ferdinand Grychtolik in the Sophienkirche Berlin. In 2011 they played Handel's opera Rinaldo, 300 years after its premiere, with Valer Barna-Sabadus in the title role. In 2012 they performed Handel's oratorio La resurrezione, staged by Kobie van Rensburg, and Bach's Christmas Oratorio.For the Rheingau Musik Festival's annual Marienvesper at Eberbach Abbey, they performed Monteverdi's Vespers in 2013 with ensemble amarcord and five additional guest singers.

Program and cast

Lautten Compagney Berlin
Wolfgang Katschner musical direction
Dorothee Mields | soprano
Love's Madness - Henry Purcell & English Folk Songs
N.N.: Bedlam Boys
Henry Purcell: 'Tis women makes us love. A catch
Henry Purcell: Then mad, very mad let us be
Henry Purcell: Fantasia "Three parts upon a ground"
Henry Purcell: I'll sail upon the dog star
Henry Purcell: Jack thou'rt a Toper. A catch
Henry Purcell: The Triumphant Dance
Robert Johnson: A Forsaken Lover's Complaint
Henry Purcell: Oh the sweet delights of love
Henry Purcell: Dance of Bacchanals
Henry PurcellOh Solitude!
Henry Purcell: Fantasia upon one note
Henry Purcell: Sing Ye Druids
Henry Purcell: Often she visits this lov'd mountain
Robert Johnson: Full fathom five
Henry Purcell: Rondeau
Henry Purcell: Beneath a poplar's shadow
John Gay / Johann Christoph Pepusch: Grim King of the Ghosts
Henry Purcell: From silent shades: Bess of Bedlam
Matthew Locke: Curtain tune in The Tempest
Henry Purcell: The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation
N.N.: The Cruel Mother
Henry Purcell: Once, twice, thrice. A catch
N.N.: William and Margaret
Anonymous: The Willow Song
Henry Purcell: Charon the Peaceful Shade
Thomas Ravenscroft: The Three Ravens
Henry Purcell: Ground in c
Anonymous: Ophelia's Mad Song
Henry Purcell: Dido's Lament from "Dido and Aeneas"
Henry Purcell: With drooping wings
N.N.: Bedlam Boys

Musikverein Brahms Hall

For many years, this hall was known only as the “Kleine Musikvereinssaal”, until in 1937, during the 125th anniversary year of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien, it was given a name that truly reflects its importance: the Brahms Saal. Johannes Brahms not only performed in person in this hall, he was also behind the very first concert to be performed here, by Clara Schumann on 19 January 1870. The standards set that day have been maintained ever since. The Brahms Saal remains one of the most prized locations for the greatest chamber music ensembles and lieder singers performing in the world today.


With just under of 600 seats, the hall is designed to showcase the intimate aspects of classical music. The hall acoustics are perfectly attuned to deliver this: the Brahms Saal – 32.50 metres long, 10.30 metres wide und 11 metres high – possesses a similar acoustic brilliance to the Große Musikvereinssaal.


When the Musiverein building was opened in 1870, the Kleine Musikvereinssaal was described as a “true little treasure chest”. It was even suggested that this hall might warrant greater praise and wonderment than the Große Musikvereinssaal: “One might even wish to award the prize to this hall for its peacefulness and simple grandeur.” It is abundantly clear that Theophil Hansen’s design for the Brahms Saal created an architectonic masterpiece of the Historicism period. His commitment to the “Greek Renaissance”, evident in the design’s allusions to classical Hellas, make this concert hall an authentic temple of chamber music.


In 1993 the Brahms Saal underwent a comprehensive restoration programme. The restoration project involved consulting the original designs held at the Print Room at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.  This made it possible to reconstruct the original colour scheme created by Hansen as the Musikverein’s architect: green walls, red columns and the liberal use of gold.


When the Brahms Saal reopened to the public in its new form in 1993, a Vienna newspaper wrote: “Without wishing to raise expectations too high, this has been transformed into the most beautiful, magnificent and prestigious chamber music concert hall we are likely to find anywhere in the world.”

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