Early Music Ensemble
Gabrieli (also known as the Gabrieli Consort and Players) was founded by English conductor and cellist Paul McCreesh in 1982, and began its life as an early music ensemble; over the years the group has retained its focus on historically-informed performance, but expanded its repertoire to encompass nineteenth- and twentieth-century repertoire, typically performed on authentic instruments of the time.
Their debut recording of Carissimi oratorios was released on Meridian in 1987, but it was A Venetian Coronation (a musical reconstruction of the investiture of Doge Marino Grimani in 1595, issued on Virgin in 1990) which brought them to widespread attention: speaking to Presto in 2019, McCreesh wryly observed that ‘Whether I like it or not, the words 'Venetian Coronation' will probably engraved on my tombstone’.
In the early 1990s they began a long and fruitful relationship with DG Archiv, with highlights including Haydn’s The Creation, Biber’s Missa Salisburgensis, Bach’s St Matthew Passion, and Handel’s Theodora, Saul, Messiah and Solomon.
In 2010 McCreesh launched Winged Lion (an imprint of Signum Records), for which Gabrieli now record exclusively; their distinguished discography on the label includes Mendelssohn’s Elijah (winner of a Diapason d’Or in 2013), the Britten War Requiem , and Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts (both of which won BBC Music Magazine Awards). Their recordings of large-scale works often involve the collaboration of the Wrocław Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, thanks to McCreesh’s previous work as artistic director of the Wratislava Cantas Festival.
Further Reading: Gabrieli Consort
Paul McCreesh and Gabrieli give a sparkling performance of Purcell's patriotic extravaganza, from a new edition prepared by Christopher Suckling.
The conductor talks to David about his latest recording with Gabrieli, which weaves music and readings from the coronations of four British monarchs (Edward VII, George V, George VI, and Elizabeth II) into a composite ceremony, recorded in Ely Cathedral.