Performance Wednesday, March 6, 2013 | 7:30 PM

Ensemble Matheus

Zankel Hall
Together with its powerful leader, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Ensemble Matheus performs the Baroque repertoire it specializes in with white-hot energy. The ensemble is, as Stephen Brookes of The Washington Post put it, “aggressive, vibrant, and focused to an absolutely electrifying pitch.”


  • Ensemble Matheus
    Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Director and Violin
  • Veronica Cangemi, Soprano
  • Laurence Paugam, Violin
  • Claire-Lise Démettre, Cello
  • Jérôme Pernoo, Cello


  • HANDEL Overture to Serse
  • HANDEL "Frondi tenere" from Serse
  • HANDEL "Ombra mai fù" from Serse
  • VIVALDI "Gelosia" from Ottone in Villa
  • VIVALDI Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins, Cello, Strings, and Continuo from L'estro armonico, Op. 3, No. 11
  • VIVALDI "Zeffiretti che sussurate" from Ercole su’l Termodonte
  • VIVALDI Concerto in G Minor for Two Cellos, Strings, and Continuo, RV 531
  • VIVALDI "Se mai senti" from Catone in Utica
  • PORPORA Concerto in G Major for Cello
  • VIVALDI "Siam navi all'onde algenti" from L’Olimpiade

  • Encore:
  • VIVALDI "Agitata da due venti" from Griselda, RV 718


  • Ensemble Matheus

    For more than 20 years, the Ensemble Matheus has made its mark in the world of classical music under its founder Jean-Christophe Spinosi, with its bold artistic planning and its appeal to a wide and varied audience. The ensemble has a flexible formation, from chamber orchestra to symphony orchestra. From the very beginning, it has endeavored to bring together various musical genres, performing repertoire from the 17th to the 21st centuries on appropriate period instruments. Through its performances and recordings, the ensemble has formed close relationships with many renowned soloists, including Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Natalie Dessay, and Susan Graham. Resident orchestra of the Quartz in Brest since 1996 and at the Théâtre du Châtelet, the Ensemble Matheus has performed in major venues worldwide that include the Tonhalle Zurich; Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome; Paris's Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Palais Garnier; London's Royal Albert Hall, Barbican, and Wigmore Hall; and the Konzerthaus and Theater an der Wien in Vienna, among many others. In addition to its second appearance at Carnegie Hall this season, the ensemble performs in London, Hamburg, Valencia, Barcelona, Dortmund, Toulouse, Paris, and Quebec. The Ensemble Matheus also performs Rossini's Le comte Ory at the Theater an der Wien with Cecilia Bartoli, with whom it will collaborate on a series of new projects in 2013-2014.

    Ensemble Matheus is subsidized by the Conseil régional de Bretagne, the Conseil général du Finistère, the town of Brest, and the Ministère de la culture et de la communication-DRAC de Bretagne. The Ensemble Matheus's performances are kindly supported by its sponsors, BNP Paribas-Banque de Bretagne and Altarea Cogedim.

    Jean-Christophe Spinosi

    A true musician-choreographer, Jean-Christophe Spinosi originally studied violin, but a passion for all kinds of musical expression led him to study conducting. He founded the Matheus Quartet in 1991, which later became the Ensemble Matheus. In 2005, his historical research led him to make a series of recordings with the ensemble of Vivaldi's previously unrecorded works. These recordings include the double gold-selling album Heroes for EMI-Virgin Classics. Mr. Spinosi conducts Ensemble Matheus in a new opera production each year at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. In addition, he works regularly with various other orchestras, including the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Nationale du Capitole de Toulouse, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, New Japan Philharmonic, Orquesta Nacional de España, and Vienna State Opera. He has also collaborated with the Orchestre de Paris, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.


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  • Veronica Cangemi

    Born in Mendoza, Argentina, Veronica Cangemi was first cellist of the Mendoza Orchestra before winning first prize at Argentina's National Singing Contest. Her early European engagements included Gluck's Armide with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre, Despina in Così fan tutte in Montpellier with William Christie, and Adina in L'elisir d'amore at Opéra National de Lyon. In addition, she sang Servilia in La clemenza di Tito in Glyndebourne with Sir Neville Marriner, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Ms. Cangemi's engagements in the 2012-2013 season include Zerlina in Don Giovanni at Washington National Opera and concerts with tenor José Carreras at the Teatro Colón. Highlights of the 2011-2012 season included Alcina at the Vienna State Opera, her debut as Mimì in La bohème at New National Theatre in Tokyo, Schubert's Alfonso und Estrella at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Handel's Poro with Kammerorchester Basel, and Mozart's Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots at the Salzburg Festival. Her recordings include a Vivaldi solo album with the Ensemble Matheus for Opus 111 and Scarlatti's Griselda with René Jacobs for Harmonia Mundi.


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  • Laurence Paugam

    Laurence Paugam has served as first violin soloist of Ensemble Matheus since its creation. At the age of 20, she joined the Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine, but left to work with Jean-Christophe Spinosi's ensemble. In addition, she has taught for many years in her hometown at the national music school of Brest, Brittany. With the Ensemble Matheus, she has performed as a soloist in prestigious concert venues that include Carnegie Hall, the Proms in London, and at the Salzburg Festival, as well as in Zurich and St. Petersburg. In recent months, she has performed as a guest soloist with the Hanover Radio Orchestra, among other ensembles.


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  • Claire-Lise Démettre

    Born in Bordeaux, France, Claire-Lise Démettre enjoys a busy and varied career, and is emerging as one of the most interesting young French cellists. Much in demand as a chamber musician and soloist, she has performed throughout France and Europe, appearing at such festivals as the Amsterdam Cello Biennale, the Festival international de musique de Besançon Franche-Comté, Les Musicales de Bagatelle, and Festival 1001 notes en Limousin, as well as in major venues such as the Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre National de Bretagne, l'Orangerie de Bagatelle, and l'Auditorium Saint-Pierre des Cuisines. In addition, she has played with orchestras that include the Orchestre symphonique de Bretagne, the NWD Philharmonie, the Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen, and the Spirit of Europe orchestra (Austria). A prizewinner in international competitions, Ms. Démettre is a recipient of the prestigious Fondation Banque Populaire Award. A graduate of the CNSMD of Lyon, France, with first-class honors, and the Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen (Germany), in 2011 she won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Drama in London, where she currently studies with Louise Hopkins.


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    Jérôme Pernoo

    Born in Nantes, France, Jérôme Pernoo studied with Germaine Fleury, Xavier Gagnepain, and Philippe Muller. In 1994, he was a prizewinner at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and at the Rostropovich Competition in Paris. In 1996, he won first prize at the Pretoria Cello Competition. He has since performed with most of the major French orchestras, as well as with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra del Teatro Regio in Turin, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de España, Zurich Opera Orchestra, and St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra, among others. Since 1995, Mr. Pernoo has given recitals with pianist Jérôme Ducros at venues that include Wigmore Hall in London, Florence Gould Hall in New York, and Paris's Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Théâtre du Châtelet, and Cité de la Musique. His recent recordings include Saint-Saëns's Cello Concerto No. 2 with the Orchestre de Bretagne under Nicolas Chalvin, Offenbach's Cello Concerto with Les Musiciens du Louvre under Marc Minkowski, and a Beethoven program with Jérôme Ducros. Upcoming releases include Guillaume Connesson's Cello Concerto with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo under the baton of Jean-Christophe Spinosi. Mr. Pernoo is founder and artistic director of the chamber music festival Les Vacances de Monsieur Haydn. He plays a cello made for him by Franck Ravatin.

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Vivaldi's Concerto for Strings & Continuo in A Major, RV 159, Allegro
Ensemble Matheus

At a Glance

This evening's concert features music by three composers who were rivals at the opera houses of the early-18th century: George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, and Nicola Antonio Porpora. If Porpora's name is not as famous today—except among vocal students—as the other two, the performance of his remarkable Concerto for Cello may help to ameliorate this. Here, he brilliantly transferred his gift for showing off a highly trained voice to the cello, making it a virtuoso singer as well.

We also hear examples of both the vocal and the instrumental music of Handel and Vivaldi. The latter's greatness as an operatic composer remained unknown outside specialist circles until very recently when the revival of Baroque opera, ably aided by Cecilia Bartoli, moved beyond Handel to unearth jewels from Vivaldi's more than 20 surviving stage scores. His vocal music is as vivacious and varied as his well-known concertos.
Program Notes
Funding for the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast series is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This performance is part of Baroque Unlimited.

Part of