The Infernal Comedy
Martin Haselböck and John Malkovich are the protagonists in this stage experiment: the story of a convicted serial killer is retold in retrospect. The Vienna performance of the "Infernal Comedy" is now available on CD and DVD. (...)
The story titled "The Infernal Comedy" written and directed by Michael Sturminger at the suggestion of conductor Martin Haselböck and costume designer Birgit Hutte evolved into an English ?theatre piece?. Theatre? is not the apt term, though Sturminger presents it more fittingly as a "theatre-piece for baroque orchestra, two sopranos and actor." (...)
The music serves as an opposing voice to the monologue of the murderer as well as a guide to gain insight into the soul of the victim. Music becomes the reflection of anger and erupting emotions, which the Wiener Akademie musicians perform extremely powerfully, accentuated with discordant eloquence and emotionally charged. Played like this, the sound actually becomes its own subtext to what Malkovich (sorry ? Jack) - argues in his notes. (...)
No question, Malkovich is in a way the ideal person for this piece, as well as Haselböck and his music selection. Stimulating are the reflections on truth and lies and the deliberate manipulation of people. (...)
Fono Forum, Christoph Vratz (26 August 2010)
Hansel & Gretel Reinberg
More than just a fairy tale
(...) The musical component of the performance is remarkable. Martin Haselböck and Cappella Istropolitana act with commitment and enthusiasm (...). Vocally, the performance showed a considerable level throughout the summer of 2009. Klaus Kuttler (Peter, broom-maker) and Romelia Lichtenstein (Gertrud, his wife) (...) are vocally successful and competent actors. Susanne Kreusch (Hansel) and Bernarda Bobro (Gretel) with an innate energy, both vocally found the right path supported by a flawless diction. This also applies to Irmgard Vilsmaier, a luxury casting for the role of the witch, moved with obvious pleasure, vocal power and expressiveness on stage. Aleksandra Zamojska sketched a magical Sand and Dew Fairy with her charming bell-like voice. The choirs of the Blindenmarkt Music High School together with the children from Mostviertel were excellent.
Conclusion: a fascinating and charming performance suitable not only for children. Adults could immerse themselves in Humperdinck?s grandiose score, which is a true musical work of art.
klassik.com (12 July 2010)
Acis & Galetea CD - Old sounds for new horizons
The label NCA has released a new recording of Acis and Galatea by Martin Haselböck, the famous organist who feels at home in any epoch, and a conductor proven to be a specialist in historically informed performance practice. This time the authentic-sound is not from ?old? Europe but by the Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra from sunny California with Haselböck being its music director since a few years. (...) The stringency of the dramatic action, as Ovid delivered it, is transmitted directly in a thrilling way. The musicians of the Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra provide this in an exemplary manner. Fresh, with a clear and transparent sound the music bubbles and sparkles like the spring into which Galatea transforms her lover Acis. The singers fit the mood perfectly, especially Linda Perillo as Galatea, whose clear soprano voice connects an essential link between ethereal colours of the heavens and earthly human warmth. Mark Bleeke on her side as Acis is an extremely colourful and full-sounding tenor, capable of a very wide range of nuance and expression. Florian Boesch as Polyphemus doesn?t stand unnoticed and shapes this distinctive role with great variety in timbre and emotion. William Hite and Gerald Thomas Gray were also convincing in the other equally rich parts. It is a meaningful interpretation given to an often-heard work that is musically and dramatically convincing throughout. It should be ranked up front.
(Paul Hubner) klassik.com (11 December 2009)
Tasks and Duties of Mozart
The 2005 recording?s sound technique is outstandingly implemented. The sound is natural and transparent and creates through the multi-channel version a tangible space and harmonious balance. [...] Martin Haselböck and his musicians offer a thoroughly convincing performance of the sonatas, which impress particularly through their transparent and lean orchestral sound. The string section is never in danger, of covering the (small) organ whose silvery light and delicate sound is really worth listening to. [...] The tempi chosen are always lively, never in haste, as phrasing and articulation seem well thought out and enable the music towards energetic movement. [...] The bottom line is a credible plea for these neglected works.
Klassik.com, Chris Vitali (18 April 2009)
Critic Fidelio DVD
This "Fidelio" is different than expected. Although it is not really surprising that Martin Haselböck and his "Orchester Wiener Akademie" shape an authentic sound to Beethoven?s Opera, as they are indeed specialists in this field. With the transparency of baroque instruments one appreciates the score?s speedy tempi, accompanying voices and sharp rhythms which Haselböck retrieves with his excellent ensemble.
Metropolis (01. March 2009)
Sound revolution with Bruckner
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No 1 in C minor - Linz version
The conductor and organist Martin Haselböck is known not only for his revival efforts of forgotten repertoire, but also for his historical approach to well-known works. He led the Wiener Akademie in "Bruckner's First Symphony? in May 2004. So many viewers are likely to have been a little surprised, as his ensemble performed on period instruments ? something that leaves today's usual ?Bombastic-Bruckner? far behind. The string section use gut strings, the brass and woodwinds on instruments of the 19th century. The warm, airy flute sounds are unmistakably that of a wooden flute. The trombones used here were even purchased by Bruckner himself for a performance of his F minor Mass with the court orchestra!
Rushing sound, interwoven lines
Thus the choice fully resorting to original instruments perfectly compliments this version of Bruckner's First Symphony. This version still shows so many bizarre surprises that Bruckner later ?smoothed? out.
What?s fascinating about this recording is the sound implementation. The early instruments sound very soft and the strings maintain a very sinewy sound. The flute is very airy and light, the brass radiant. The overall sound can be described as "dirty" in a positive way: You hear no highly polished orchestral sound, but one finely-shaded in which each instrument?s individual sound is pronounced; the gnarly sound of the bassoon in the trio of the Scherzo or the dry, lean trombones just before the development of the first movement in which Bruckner calls significantly upon Tannhäuser. This extremely rich orchestral tapestry contributes to an interpretation that accentuates the revolutionary side of Bruckner. The friction of lines which more often move against each other, than with each other, are wonderfully clear here.
The special attraction of this recording lies in the balance within the orchestra. Even in tutti passages most of the instruments are audible. The string ensemble is perfectly aligned with the slim brass sound and delicate woodwinds. Excellent are the double basses with an exemplary implementation of the moving bass line. Such a balance of orchestral sound can hardly ever be heard in Bruckner.
It is particularly beneficial that the second singing subject doesn?t drop in tempo but a the cantabile is given a resilient articulation. For this Haselböck deserves high recognition.
The sound is very direct, capturing the richly shaded orchestral sound ideally. If the two violins sections were positioned opposite each other, an even greater transparency would have been captured. Even so, we are dealing here with a revolutionary Bruckner sound: a must in any collection. Although attempts have already been made playing Bruckner on period instruments, none have ever achieved such an earthy, natural sound.
Klassik.com, Tobias Pfleger (February 19, 2006)
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No 1 in C minor - Linzer version
Martin Haselböck searches for the archetype of Bruckner's First
The period-instrument-wave has long since reached the late Romantic period.... Haselböck now carries on with Bruckner's "keckes Beserl (saucy maid)?. Of course, Haselböck chose the early "Linz version?. His presentation of Bruckner's debut-symphony has its charm.
In the outer movements and the Scherzo, lively music making shapes the "early" Bruckner, whose blaring brass in the finale must have startled the well-mannered Linz audience in the year 1868. The prominence of the woodwinds against the strings highlight the compositional structures of the music ... expressive Adagio played out ... a live recording.
Delightful are the sonorous and warm sound of trombones, even the strings are not lacking in brilliance ... sound quality of this "surround " CD is excellent? An interesting and original ?alternative? version.
Bruckner: 1 Symphony, Wiener Akademie, Martin Haselböck published by Capriccio.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (02 December 2005)
The Wiener Akademie has done it
The Vienna Academy has developed in recent years into a world-class baroque orchestra. From the opening introduction of the Symphony one is coerced into listening attentively: Gorgeous trumpets sparkle in the Tuttis, a very well balanced homogeneous sound of the orchestra with accentuated, lively playing pleasing to the ear. In the D minor Violin Concerto, the Ukrainian Ilia Korol is heard as soloist; in the A major Concerto the German Daniel Sepec. Which of the two deserves the crown?
It?s difficult to decide. Both display unpretentious and unobtrusive violin playing. Korol has the advantage of having a more pathetic and effective work though Sepec presents his phenomenal technique in the final movement. The Italian Vittorio Ghielmi, brother of the harpsichordist and organist Lorenzo Ghielmi, masters the demanding Gamba part with flying colours. The Wiener Akademie leaves its mark and confirms its reputation as an outstanding Baroque Orchestra. Martin Haselböck finds the right tempi and puts Graun's music into perspective.
Klassik.com (01 September 2005)
The recording of violin concertos by Johann Gottlieb Graun was long over due. From the wide range of almost 50 violin concertos attributed to him, Martin Haselböck and his distinguished splendid soloists selected 2 of them. Their performances are stylish with imaginative interpretations.
Fono Forum (01 July 2005)
Guitar between classical and romantic
Rarely has one heard such an exquisite recording. The orchestra and solo instrument are in such beautiful balance.
Catemario has the brisk, bright, warm touch that the instrument needs to avoid sounding thin. The Wiener Akademie understands the noble art of restraint to enhance outbursts when needed. The art of string playing on this recording is tangible.
Fono Forum (01 July 2005)
From Salon to Concert hall
The Wiener Akademie under the direction of Martin Haselböck with guitarist Edoardo Catemario have produced this recording. The playing of the orchestra is exact, technically clean and perfectly fulfilling the demands of this Concerto. It is a narration we listen to intently as it progresses. Take, for example, the introductory dialogue between timpani and string pizzicato, the tasteful use of different tone-colours and appealing melodic ideas for an attentive listening experience.
The smooth interaction of the ensemble is captured by a good recording quality. Lovers of good orchestral music are recommended purchasing this CD, especially those lovers of challenging guitar music.
Klassik.com (01 June 2005)
The three "Tageszeiten? symphonies are undoubtedly the ?Avantguard? of the 1760s, composed by Haydn at the beginning of his term at the Esterházy court. Supposedly Prince Paul Anton himself commissioned the work in which Haydn exploited the royal interest with a ?tour de force? remaining unmatched in his day, partly because of the many solo passages. The hint of the avant-garde crackle can be felt in Martin Haselböck?s interpretation. The conductor?s lack of agitation, almost relaxed style seems rather as a Haydn performer of the softer variety, lyrical with the effect of the ?whole? in the foreground.
Fono Forum (January 01, 2005)
"Empfindungsmalerei" in music
A recording that I now hold close to my heart: Joseph Haydn's Symphonies Nos. 6-8, which have become well known under the title ?Tageszeiten?(times of the day) present the then almost thirty year-old composer at the height of his abilities. The Wiener Akademie under Martin Haselböck boast elegance, eloquence and cultivated sound, not to mention the subtle wit! Here are all facets this entertaining and innovative music needs.
Musik in sich (01 September 2004)
e flutes giggle cheekily - Haselböck records for "Fugato"
For the first time the Kern organ in the Memorial Church in Bad Homburg Kirdorf-district was included in the Fugato Festival. The 2-manual instrument of 1988 built by Alfred Kern of Strasburg (responsible for the reconstruction of the Dresden Frauenkirche organ), was inspired by the Alsatian organ building tradition of Silbermann. The 19 registers sound almost baroque, very selective and in the very dry acoustic some even penetrating - an impression reinforced by Viennese organist and conductor Martin Haselböck by his pointed tempi and rhythm.
This was particularly evident in Mozart?s organ Fantasie in F minor, K. 608 with a very brisk, double-dotted beginning, strongly contrasting with the fluty A- flat major Andante. In the Sonata in G minor, Wq 70 No 6 by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was played freely and full of emotionally charged drama. This also applies to father Bach?s C major Toccata BWV 564. Haselböck was brilliant in the broad fugue from its silvery-spritely theme to the dazzling full organ at the end. Antonio Soler's ravishing "Fandango " on the other hand lost some of its energy and its lively elegance on the Kern organ and would have been more suited to a fortepiano.
Arnold Schoenberg's "Two fragments of an organ sonata" (1941) fit perfectly with the baroque disposition. The Molto moderato?s twelve-tone technique in a sonata-form exposition was played by the organist with the reeds followed by the flutes in the short Allegretto. Haselböck improvised a patchwork-fantasy upon two Polish folk songs. Here he extracted all the colour and tonal possibilities the small organ. Haselböck confirmed that humour is possible on the organ in Claude Balbastre?s "Noel Provencal?, a bold piece, in which the two-foot-flute seemed to giggle.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (30 September 2003)
Revived from a rediscovered archive
The reprocessing of these concertos by the two Bach sons - Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach - as well as Leopold Hofmann is in good hands with the Wiener Akademie under the direction of Martin Haselböck.
These musicians enjoy professional leadership and in addition they are a compact, beautiful sounding entity.
The solo passages unfold all the tonal qualities of the flute, which are fully exploited by Christian Gurtner.
Klassik.com (01. August 2003)
Mozart: Church Sonatas (Capriccio)
WA Mozart: Church Sonatas
The 250th Birthday could be something more than the usual "Magic Flute" or "Jupiter Symphony". These 3-4 minute works were sung during the liturgy in Salzburg between the Epistle and Gospel. Of course this is what Mozart at the end was able to come up with. Only in his later church sonatas, which he produced in 1770, does he demonstrate the true Mozartean personal style.
With its performance on period instruments, the Wiener Akademie and its director Martin Haselböck approach the works refreshingly avoiding its ?religious function in a service?. The strings react with a pleasant drive and even Haselböck glitters on the silvery organ of the Vienna Court chapel with ease. Some things in the orchestra could perhaps have been a little more pointed and some entries sharpened. On the other hand it preserves the character of the works as miniature ?fill-in? pieces.
Sven Kerkhoff from "www.musikansich.de" (20 January 2011)