named after the baroque city of Rastatt in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, has developed under its conductor Holger Speck into a chamber choir of international recognition. The ensemble is characterised by lively, compelling, historically informed interpretations of a wide variety of musical styles, and by an exceptional purity of sound (“his sound is akin to pure gold”, American Record Guide). Alongside a dedication to its core repertoire of baroque and romantic a capella literature, the ensemble frequently explores new territories with numerous premiere performances and recordings.
The ensemble performs regularly in the resplendent Ahnensaal of the Baroque Residence in Rastatt as part of the concert series “Klingende Residenz” initiated in 2009 by Holger Speck in cooperation with the STAATLICHE SCHLÖSSER UND GÄRTEN BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG (State Palaces and Gardens Baden-Württemberg).
The ensemble has enjoyed success at the choir competitions of the Deutsche Musikrat and at the International Chamber Choir Competitions in Marktoberdorf and Tolosa. The CD recordings for the CARUS label that followed have been met with international acclaim, as have numerous radio and television productions for the SWR, Radio France, Deutschlandradio Kultur Berlin and Deutschlandfunk Köln.
The VOCALENSEMBLE RASTATT has performed in renowned concert halls and festivals including the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Musikfest Bremen, the Kölner Philharmonie, the Rheinvokal Festival, the Europäisches Musikfest Stuttgart, the Konzerthaus Freiburg, the Schwetzinger Festspiele, the Wartburg concerts for Deutschlandradio Kultur, the Baroque Festival in Mulhouse, and is also a regular guest at the Centre de Musique “Les Dominicains” in Guebwiller, France.
This flexible choir does not shy away from excursions into the world of opera: with Edita Gruberova in the title role, the choir sang in productions of “Lucia di Lammermoor” and “Norma” in Baden-Baden and Cologne. Together with Klaus Maria Brandauer and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the choir also performed Mendelssohn’s “Sommernachtstraum” at the Musikfest Bremen.
The ensemble works on a project basis, varying in size from one voice per part to a traditional chamber choir or oratorio choir. The singers are all handpicked young soloists from around Germany and Europe who audition to the artistic director personally.
Sponsors include the City of Rastatt and the Baden-Württemberg State Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts. Through its concerts and recordings, the young ensemble has become a distinguished musical ambassador for the city and the region both at home and abroad.
The baroque orchestra LES FAVORITES is made up of renowned baroque specialists such as Veronika Skuplik (violin) and Reinhold Friedrich (trumpet) and is characterised by a transparent, stylistically assured and thoroughly stirring musical language. The group is the musical companion of the VOCALENSEMBLE RASTATT, but also performs independently as a purely instrumental group. The orchestra is named after the “Schloss Favorite” near Rastatt, the summer residence erected by the Bohemian architect Michael Ludwig Rohrer in 1710 according to the wishes of the Markgräfin Augusta Sybilla von Baden, and on whose playful design the musicians model their own performances.