The Gabrieli Consort and Players were founded in 1982 by Paul McCreesh, one of the most talented and versatile directors in the field of early music. Together they have gained an outstanding international reputation for their challenging performances of Renaissance and Baroque music.
The ensemble gained critical acclaim in its first decade for spectacular reconstructions of music for great historic events – particularly its best-selling recording of A Venetian Coronation Ceremony 1595 which was released in 1990. Building on this success, the Gabrieli Consort & Players have been regular visitors to the major festivals and concert halls of Europe and beyond, and have made numerous television and radio appearances in a variety of repertoire.
In recent seasons, the ensemble expanded its repertoire to include the major oratorios and operas of Handel. Their first release, Messiah, created a great deal of critical excitement. It was followed in 1998/99 by Solomon, which they performed at the BBC Promenade Concerts in London, with Andreas Scholl in the title role and a cast including Inger Dam Jensen, Paul Agnew and Alison Hagley. During a European tour with Handel’s Theodora in 1999, the ensemble made its debut at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.
Paul McCreesh’s liturgical reconstructions continued with Biber’s magnificent 40-part Missa Salisburgensis, which was performed at St Paul’s Cathedral for the City of London Festival and to open a new festival at Santiago de Compostela, and released on CD in 1998. The ensemble’s recording of J. S. Bach’s Epiphany Mass, set in a liturgical context, was awarded the DIAPASON D’OR in 1999. Other highlights of that year include the ensemble’s residency at a new festival in Venice, where they performed Venetian Vespers in the Basilica di San Marco, thereby fulfilling a long-held ambition.
The ensemble made their US debut in 1997 with a programme of music by Gabrieli, and returned there in 1999 and 2000 to perform Praetorius’s Christmas Mass in New York, Los Angeles, Ann Arbor and Boston among others. To celebrate ”Bach Year” 2000, the ensemble toured throughout Europe with performances of his Easter Oratorio and Magnificat. In addition to his work with the Gabrieli Consort & Players, Paul McCreesh appears as a guest conductor throughout the UK, the rest of Europe, and the USA in a wide variety of choral, orchestral and operatic repertoire.
Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort & Players record exclusively for DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON’s ARCHIV PRODUKTION. Their first release, Venetian Vespers, won the GRAMOPHONE AWARD and a GRAMMY nomination in 1993. Subsequent recordings include music by Palestrina, Praetorius, Morales, and Purcell, and have won several major European prizes, including the DIAPASON D’OR, DEUTSCHER SCHALLPLATTENPREIS and EDISON AWARD.