About Castello Consort
The Castello Consort is a young ensemble that specializes in the historically informed performance of 17th-century music. The ensemble consists of four instrumentalists: Elise van der Wel (violin), Matthijs van der Moolen (sackbut), Anne-Linde Visser (violoncello) and Henriëtte Wirth (organ). This core is regularly expanded with other instrumentalists and/or singers, to fit the specific needs for each project. Recently, the Castello Consort performed concerts during the Internationale Händel-Festspiele in Göttingen (DE), Beverley Early Music Festival (UK), Festival d'Ambronay (FR), Festival Barocco è il mondo (IT), BRQ Festival (fringe) in Vantaa (FI), Kongsberg International Organ Summer (NO) and in the Fabulous Fringe series of the Utrecht Early Music Festival (NL). Furthermore, they featured in prominent concert series in the Netherlands, such as Musica Antica da Camera and Kasteelconcerten. In 2017, the ensemble was selected for the prestigious Eeemerging scheme, a programme supporting a small selection of the most promising young, European early music ensembles within the framework of Creative Europe. As part of this programme, the ensemble was invited for residencies at the NCEM in York (UK) and Ghislierimusica in Pavia (IT). The members of the Castello Consort met as students in the early music department of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague (NL). Their dedication towards 17th-century repertoire naturally results in the use of period instruments (or accurate copies), as well as the choice of specific tunings/temperaments (a’=466Hz, ¼-comma meantone) and further research into articulation, phrasing and other aspects of playing that distinguish this repertoire from other musical styles. The ensemble has also participated in educational projects. One example is 'Of Shoes & Ships & Sealing Wax', a project and performance in the Beverley Minster (UK), which involved 200 pupils from schools in Beverley and Hull.
The four musicians impress with their lively, very cultivated interplay. They surprise with a kind of 'baroque rubato', combined with freedom of tempi, which nevertheless does not break the stylistic framework, but follow the development of the musical expressions in a natural way. Thus, the music breathes, as a living organism, that passionately -but peacefully- prevails.
All of this is combined with a highly virtuosic mastery of their instruments, with clever choices in sound, which makes the motivic relations of the partners unobtrusive. For their passionate commitment, the musicians were applauded long and heartily. To thank the audience, they played an encore.
The two pieces where the violin and sackbut challenged each other [...] are real jewels, that are a delight for our ears.
The (eeemerging) scheme is selecting only the best ensembles [...] and the well appreciated presentation of the Castello Consort in Göttingen shows that they (eeemerging) chose wisely: best wishes for the future of this ensemble and this program!
This was an impressive UK debut by a bright and receptive quartet of players, bringing us a curated choice of music that helped us understand the repertoire that is at the core of their interests, and how Sonate and Concerti developed as instrumental settings within the church, and then outside.