When, in 2001, four music students joined up to form Quadriga Consort, they would never have imagined the path the group would take in the years to follow. The founding members – Nikolaus Newerkla, Angelika Huemer, Karin Silldorff and Peter Trefflinger, all students at the University of Music in Graz, Austria – formed the ensemble with the aim of performing early chamber music for recorders. Their first CD, "Ground" (Label Harp, 2003), featured music by Ortiz, Falconieri and Uccellini, among others.
Soon, however, they had the idea to expand their repertoire by writing their own arrangements of English folksongs for their specific group of instruments, and promptly put it into action. They recruited Elisabeth Kaplan, a singer from South Africa, as well as Laurenz Schiffermüller for percussion and Dominika Teufel and Elisabeth Kurz for the gamba parts. Quadriga Consort doubled their members in one fell swoop!
After the passing of Elisabeth Kurz shortly after the release of "As I Walked Forth" (ORF Edition Alte Musik, 2005), the ensemble decided not to replace her, but rather to carry on as a group of seven. Arrangements were adapted and new ones written and "By Yon Bonnie Banks" (ORF Edition Alte Musik) followed in 2006.
Meanwhile, Quadriga Consort were playing to enthusiastic audiences around the world, including the US, England, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Poland.
In 2009 Quadriga Consort released a live recording of a concert in Freistadt (Austria), first on DVD (make) and then also on CD (Gramola) under the title of "Songs from the British Isles". The next CD, "Ships Ahoy! Songs of Wind, Water and Tide", was released on the French label Alpha in 2011.
In 2012, the small label Carpe Diem released "On a Cold Winter's Day", which met with critical acclaim and became a surprise bestseller in the pre-Christmas business. In 2013, the CD was licensed to Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (Sony Music) and re-released.
Following Peter Trefflinger's departure from the band, Philipp Comploi took over the cello part and also brought the warm, deep sound of the basse de violon into the group.
In early 2014 the live CD "Songs from the British Isles" was re-released under the title of "The Moon of Wintertime - The Very Best of Quadriga Consort" (Gramola). Currently, Quadriga Consort are especially excited about the release of their latest album, "14 Tales of Mystery" (dhm/Sony), in October 2014!
Packed full of engaging and appealing seasonal offerings, Winter's Delights is Quadriga Consort's new album and welcome addition to Yuletide. English composer and poet Thomas Campion (1567–1620) famously wrote ‘Summer hath his joys and Winter his delights,' and the consort has taken this memorable line as its starting point for this attractive collection of popular and lesser-known winter melodies. The album includes traditional English carols such as "The First Nowell," "The Three Kings" and "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," together with Scottish tunes such as "Gloomy Winter," "The Traveller Benighted in Snow" and "Leanabh an Àigh" (The Blessed Child), better known in recent years as the hit song "Morning has Broken." From Ireland comes the traditional jig "A Merry Christmas" as well as the medley consisting of "Early in the Morning" (trad. hornpipe) / "The Ivy Leaf" (trad. reel) / "Christmas Comes But Once A Year" (trad. jig). Nova Scotia beckons with "The Stormy Scenes of Winter" and France happily presents "Noël Nouvelet – Sing We Now of Christmas."
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English composer and poet Thomas Campion famously wrote, "Summer hath his joys and Winter his delights," and the Quadriga Consort has taken this memorable line as its starting point for their new album. The ensemble celebrates the delightful aspects of the season with long-forgotten carols and age-old tunes.
Quadriga Consort - Winter's Delights / WFMT: Chicago - New Release of the Week