The chamber orchestra Cappella Istropolitana was established in 1983. The musicians have in common their delight in making music and their enthusiasm for collective playing in a small ensemble. Most of them are both renowned experienced chamber musicians and soloists. The name ”Cappella Istropolitana” is derived from the Latin word Istropolis – town on the Danube.
Their playing is characterized by great technical skill, cultivated sound, instantaneous expression, interpretative discipline, and an extraordinary level of adherence to style.
Based on its high quality Cappella Istropolitana, under the leading of Robert Mareček, was appointed by the City Council as the Chamber Orchestra of the City of Bratislava in 1991.
The core of the ensemble consists of fifteen strings. Moreover, it has regular string and wind players who play for special engagements according to the requirements.
Its wide repertoire consists of German and Italian baroque works, classical, romantic and 20th century compositions for string instruments which are mostly performed without conductor. In special cases the orchestra performs in large size. In this instrumentation the orchestra performed Beethoven´s and Brahms´ complete symphonies in Klagenfurt, Bizet´s Carmen in Athens, Mozart´s Magic Flute in Lisbon, and Mozart´s Don Giovanni in Germany.
Remarkable is the colaboration with important conductors such as Theodor Guschlbauer, Enoch zu Guttenberg, Jan Latham-Koenig, Andrew Parrott, Libor Pesek, Ralf Weikert, and Volker Schmidt Gertenbach and with well-known soloists such as Alfred Brendel, Gabor Boldoczki, Philippe Entremont, Reinhold Friedrich, Jochen Kowalski, Igor Oistrach, Otto Sauter, Fazil Say, Stefan Vladar, Thomas Zehetmair, Lidia Baich, Maurice Steger, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Vivian Hagen, Boris Garlitzky, Philippe Bernold, Laurent Korcia, Albert Mayer, Sergei Nakariakov, Otto Sauter, Wenzel Fuchs, Radek Baborák, Ivan Ženatý, Olivier Charles, Boris Garlitzky, Antoine Tamestit, Gautier Capuçon, Emamnuel Ceysson, Sharon Kam, Laurent Korcia, Marie-Pierre Langlament, Charlotte Balzereit, Stefan Chilli, Michaila Petri, Dalibor Karvay, Bob van Asperen, Martin Michael Kofler.
From the beginning of its artistic activity, the ensemble has become part of the inland and foreign music scenes. It has performed in almost all of Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, China, Macao, Hong Kong, Egypt, Israel, New Zealand, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, and Chile.
The orchestra is regularly invited to perform vocal works of J. S. Bach, G. F. Händel, W. A. Mozart, J. Haydn, L. van Beethoven, F. B. Mendelssohn, J. Brahms, A. Dvorak, G. Verdi (Requiem), and B. Britten (War Requiem) with renowned choirs from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.
Its high artistic quality is documented also by including string quartets and string quintets of J. Haydn, L. van Beethoven, J. Brahms, B. Smetana, P. I. Tchaikovsky, S. Prokofiev, A. Borodin, and G. Verdi in its repertoire.
The orchestra regularly appears at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Prague Spring Festival, Bratislava Music Festival, Strasbourg Music Festival, Carinthischer Sommer Villach, as well as music festivals in Rheingau, Wiesbaden, Kloster Maulbronn, Tegernsee, Ludwigshafen, Köln, Nice, Nancy, Murten, and Bern.
A great success was the performance of Haydn’s 38 symphonies during 11 concerts in the Austrian town Eisenstadt on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of Haydn in 2009. The orchestra performed with outstanding orchestras such as Concentus Musicus under N. Harnoncourt, Camerata Salzburg under H. Holliger, Wiener Akademie under M. Haselböck, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra under T. Koopman, Orchestra of the 18th Century under Frans Brüggen, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Laurence Cummings, and English Chamber Orchestra under the leading of Sir Colin Davis.
Since 15 years, the orchestra has organized concerts in memory of the world-famous soprano Lucia Popp in Bratislava called “Hommage a Lucia Pop”. Every year, famous singers from all over Europe are invited to perform at this event.
In addition to the concert appearances the ensemble is engaged with equal intensity in making CD and television recordings. Up to 120 CD´s have been issued, all of superior artistic value which is proved by the high sales figures and the accumulation of two platinum discs.
In 2013, the orchestra was invited by the Austrian conductor Ralf Veikert to realize DVD recording with works of C. Ph. E. Bach, J. Haydn, L. Mozart, W. A. Mozart, J. N. Hummel, and C. M. v. Weber with the world-famous soloists Daniel Ottensamer, Johannes Hinterholzer, and Karl-Heinz Schütz.
Capriccio: Reinhold Friedrich and Friends -Vivaldi, Händel,Biber,Stölzel,Telemann
Brilliant Clasics 93714/1 The Trumpet in Salzburg /Otto Sauter
Brilliant Clasics 93720 The Trumpet in Viena /Otto Sauter
Arcodiva UP 00532131/ L.Weiner, L.Klepper, E. Bloh, E.Schulhoff /K.Zehnder, M.Radič, E. Aroutunian
Naxos 8.550160 Antonio Vivaldi-Estro Armonico Op. 3, Nos. 1,2,4,7,8,10,11 / Josef Kopelman
Pro cultura 0660 W.A.Mozart-Bassoon Concerto Oboe Concerto Clarinet Concerto
R. Galler- Bassoon, D. Wollwenweber-Oboe, W. Fuchs-Clarinet, / Bernhard Sieberer Conductor
Pro cultura 1099 Ludwig van Beethoven-Symphonie Nos. 7, A Major Op.84 / Bernhard Sieberer
“Although Béla Bartók´s music is nowadays not incomprehensible, one did not expect such a success. However, the highlight was Souvenir de Florence, one of the most difficult interpretations of its kind, a great compensation for those who came to the cncert. Capella´s interpretation was “almost unbeatable“. The high artistic level was rewarded by a big applause followed by two encore pieces.“
“The orchestra is characterized by excellent technique and great interaction, combined with impressive contrasts in tune and dynamics. The result was an ethereally beautiful music.“
Elly van Plateringen
“It is fantastic that we in Dronten, within the concert series Flevoland, had the possibility to experience such a high quality. The huge mass adores “The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields“, however, Cappella Istropolitana stands in no way behind.“
Cappella Istropolitana shines with silky bow stroke
“With Leos Janacek´s Suite for string orchestra, the chamber orchestra from Bratislava proved its extraordinary culture of playing: The dynamic extent ranged from fine pianissimo to symphonic fullness, added to that silky string shine and dreamy legato, followed by bravo ovations already after the first piece…“
“The crowning was Anton Dvorak´s String serenade in E major op. 22, which the members of the orchestra always interprete adorably from the very first wishful tones of the wuthering finale.“
“An art appreciation, which was not only good to hear, but also good to see.“
“The dark tune of the initiated unisono, very soon followed by an extremely vital, vibrating music, the contrast between light violins and the deep strings, but most of all the remarkable integration ability and the not even once endangered sound transparency drew attention to the high qualities of this ensemble.“
Ein Homogener Klang in schöner Harmonie
„Wenn alle Abo-Konzerte so verlaufen, steht uns eine schöne Saison bevor.“
A homogenous sound in beautiful harmony
“When all subscription concerts proceed like this, we can look forward to a nice season.“
Express de Neuchatel
“This applies mainly to the concert on Tuesday night in the Temple du Bas Hall, because one can rarely hear such a persuasive music. Vital and overwhelming.“
“A wonderful concert experience“
“I have rarely seen a string ensemble of such musicality and such minstrelsy.“
“Breath-taking dynamic: A seemingly endless crescendo from pianissimo to fortissimo, one can hardly believe that human genius can bring a dead metal thread to sounds like that.“
“The brilliant sound and technically sovereign, thrilling presentation full of vigor justly raised a rapturous applause.“
“Cappella Istropolitana from Bratislava offered a sparkling concert“
“The chamber orchestra is very well attuned“
“Music culture becomes a revivable term“
“Cappella Istropolitana is rated as a special gift of this concert season and should be invited again by now.“
Diaro de Pontevedra
“The beautiful program was presented with an extraordinary way of expression and perfect interaction.“
La Vox de Galicia
“We have to praise the orchestra, its generous conception, brilliant sound, and pure presentation.“
A noble panorama of baroque music with Cappella Istropolitana
“Cappella Istropolitana – An example of tune and sound“
“We have to feel captivated by the tune and the beautiful sound of the chamber orchestra. The quality seems to be at the level of the best string ensembles. Absolute purity of the sound, perfect intonation and interaction enabled us to see one of the greatest and most splendid concerts of the recent period.“
“An extraordinary music appreciation“
Musikverein concert: Standing ovation for Cappella Istropolitana
“Confident in style and consistent“
“The smaller, 15-headed instrumentation of the orchestra, which plays at the very beginning surprisingly freshly, conforms well to the rather intimate, chamber music character. Impulsivity is combined with lightness of making music. A marked advanted for the chamber orchestra consisting solely of men is that the forceful tempi in the fast movements are not at the expense of a clear articulation and flexible phrasing. On the contrary: While the bows of the first two movements are bent like at one breath, especially the allegreto movement sounds incredibly clear.“
“What applies for the entire Viennese Classic, one could realize in Ludwig van Beethoven´s Great Fugue op. 133. A very music-theoretical and not quite typical work for Beethoven, but the presentation was elaborated down to the last detail.“
N. Bayr. Kurier
“On the spirit in the classical music“
“Those who believed to understand Mozart´s music now, were right and in addition had an delightful enjoyment of art, but Cappella Istropolitana from Bratislava did not yet fully empty its horn of plenty at all. Beethoven´s Great Fugue op. 133 hit with the same instrumentalists a completely new note: intensive, elaborate, tough, and relentless. This piece was also played in the spirit of the composer to reveal his genius and came across as timeless and modern at the same time… Cappella played all these facets with musical sensitivity and energy and first of all with clear sense of artistic venture of this music.“
“The substitution from Bratislava was actually an artistic as well as musical surprise.“
“Ovation for a great orchestra“
“Beethoven´s 4th symphony brought further intensification after the break.“
“A perfect presentation celebrated with ovation, crowned with an even more solved repetition of the 4th movement as an encore piece.“