After starting out as a duo in their student days at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, recorder player Thomas Triesschijn and harpsichordist Aljosja Mietus soon envisaged a larger ensemble that could expand depending on the repertoire. With the violinist Matthea de Muynck and cellist Petr Hamouz they formed The Counterpoints. The group soon had success at the York Early Music Young Artists’ Competition and the Göttingen Händel Competition, and appeared on stages such as The Concertgebouw Amsterdam as well as at various prestigious Early Music and Chamber Music festivals all over Europe. In September 2019 they released their first ensemble CD, “La Querelleuse” which was highly praised in national and international press. Read more
A highlight from the starting period of the ensemble is the production of Inspiring Bach, a cd around the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. On this disc, Thomas and Aljosja compiled pieces by composers who influenced or inspired the big master Bach, such as Telemann and Dieupart. Soon after that, the ensemble was expanded with two core members, cellist Petr Hamouz and violinist Matthea de Muynck.
All members of the ensemble work regularly with the leading period instrument orchestras and chamber music groups of the moment, such as Les Talens Lyriques, The Orchestra of the 18th Century, Collegium 1704, The Netherlands Bach Society and many others. They all pursue a promising career as soloists and chamber music players.
In the spirit of the Dutch Early Music pioneers, The Counterpoints believe in performing on authentic instruments or the best copies of instruments of the time. It is their aim to create passionate performances, inspired by the composer’s original intentions, the period instruments as well as musical intuition, musicological and historical research.
In their programming, The Counterpoints are always searching for new and refreshing ways to bring Early Music to the audiences. It is therefore not only crucial to play a beautifulconcert, but also to tell the stories behind the music. Collaborations with other artists, disciplines and institutions form an important key to presenting the music in a context that relates to the contemporary. The repertoire the Counterpoints chose for their debut cd La Querelleuse is a good example of their narrative programming. Central to the story is the innovative composer Georg Philipp Telemann who “quarrels” with different national styles of his time by mixing them altogether in the different movements of a trio sonata. In a way, he was using the concept of “crossover” avant-la-lettre! At the same time, it tells the story of the quarrels in Telemanns personal life (his marriage was a drama and would not have been out of place in a gossip magazine), summarized in the suite “La Querelleuse”.
The brand new programme Il Musicista Itinerante, premiered last February in Edinburgh (UK), centres around the story of Italian violin virtuosos who travelled to England in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Scottish and Irish folk and fiddle music was a great inspiration to them, and rings through in many of their compositions. This unique programme, featuring composers such as Geminiani, Purcell, Corelli, Vivaldi, Händel, Matteis, McGibbon and Oswald, points out how refreshing and ‘folksy’ baroque music can be.
The Counterpoints’ most recent engagements this year included our debut concert in Edinburgh (UK) and a live Radio broadcast on NPO Radio 4 (the Dutch national Classical Music station) with live music and an interview, presenting La Querelleuse.