CONTINUUM is above all: many things not. For example: no fixed ensemble and no collective. It is rather an overall idea that hovers above the concrete projects and people, that can lean in all directions. There is already a label under this name CONTINUU|RECORDS|M – perhaps also a project space at some point. It is the freedom to think of early music in a completely new way, to present it innovatively and to relate it to a present that is not as distant from it as the name and the usual performance practice suggest.
SELECTION OF PROJECTS (2023/24)
Availability upon request
with Marie Luise Werneburg & Viola Blache, soprano // Alex Potter & Tobias Knaus, counter tenor // Benedikt Kristjánsson, tenor // Tobias Berndt, bass // Thomas Hall, speaker
What emerges in Elina Albach’s arrangements of large baroque works for small ensembles is described rather trivially as “miniature”. The “Missa miniatura” takes on Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B minor. It is the only time Bach has set all the texts of the Latin mass to music, translating the traditional, almost schematic phrases into a search for a human being in wholeness that touches the heart of every individual. An appropriation that Albach and CONTINUUM develop further with their arrangement for seven baroque multi- instrumentalists and six singers. Instead of “merely” innovatively conceived early music, “Missa miniatura” is a piece that translates a formative work of church music into contemporary, agnostic reflection and reveals new musical facets in the well-known material.
After J. S. Bach: Mass in b minor, BWV 232
7 instrumentalists, 6 singers, 1 speaker
Availability upon request
Il Passagio (based on Monteverdi: L’Orfeo)
with Lambert Colson, zink & recorder // Liam Byrne, Viola da Gamba // Philipp Lamprecht, percussion // Elina Albach, organ & cembalo
Radical reinterpretation through reduction as an artistic principle: Baroque opulence translated into minimalist, yet highly emotional and musically multifaceted settings and arrangements are offered by Elina Albach and CONTINUUM’s version of what is presumed to be the first opera in world history. As early as 1607, Claudio Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo” found a formative form of modern art music in the ancient material.
Instead of a large ensemble, four instrumentalists create all the sounds in the modern interpretation of “Il passagio”. Zincs and gambas, percussion and baroque keyboard instruments are used in surprising ways, drawing the audience into the music in immersive repetitions, letting the attractive, clear melodies shine and giving the instrumentally arranged vocal parts a special, unheard drama. Sparse text projections replace the subtitles usually found in opera, leaving listeners free to use their own imagination to develop the musical elements that drive the plot.
Based on C. Monteverdi: L’Orfeo, SV 318