Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Philharmonie Berlin
“The strings played Handel’s ‘Ombra mai fù’ enchantingly, and the winds gave Ravel’s ‘Pavane’ a fantastic opening.”
Der Tagesspiegel, 21st September 2012
Handel Xerxes / Ensemble Matheus at Versaillles’ Handel Festival
“Jean-Christophe Spinosi urged his singers on with a seductive and potentially frightening wildness. Always on a knife edge, he turned his orchestra into an actor in the drama, freely involving them in the staging. But most of all, he created sheer orchestral beauty. With only around thirty musicians, Spinosi painted a rainbow of nuances and colours, bringing the music to life. The accompanied recitatives were filled with excitement as the cello and theorbo dialogued with the singers. And the bassoon, flute, trumpet and horn arias were regally sumptuous. The strings wove a silky web, and drove their portrayal of fury to the very edge of a breakdown.
Conducting like this is a true art: daring to be original rather than submitting to conventions, and taking risks rather than performing a middle class, spineless interpretation of Handel.
After such an evening of gracefulness, intelligent staging and intelligent music-making, one could only hope that this production will be recorded, to bring a new angle to the existing discography, one which would complement and contrast with the well-known version of William Christie’s.”
Classique News.com, 3 July 2012
In concert with Cecilia Bartoli
/ Regentenbau Bad Kissingen
“What made it such a magnificent concert was in fact the best ensemble that Cecilia Bartoli has ever brought to the Regentenbau: the Ensemble Matheus, with violinist and conductor Jean-Christophe Spinosi. The French musicians were entirely different from Bartoli’s previous accompanists: not as formal and strict as the Akademie für Alte Musik; not as rustic and coarse as the Italian ensembles, but with their sense of rhythm, combined with an unbelievable delicacy and elegance – and with an extraordinarily effective continuo group of two cellos, double bass, chitarrone and harpsichord.
For Spinosi, making music is clearly all about transition – with gentle entries, out of which powerful sounds develop, followed by equally gentle, disappearing endings. This was not only extremely effective in the virtuosic instrumental pieces, but it also fitted Cecilia Bartoli’s style perfectly, especially when she sang so unbelievably quietly as in “Leggi almeno” from “Ottone in villa”. Both the soloist and the orchestra, placing their trust in the wonderful acoustic of the hall, took the dynamics right down to the edge of silence. This created such excitement and tension, more than even the loudest of thunderstorms could conjure up.
On the other hand, Cecilia Bartoli could always trust the orchestra not to rely on loud dynamics to create the drama in the extrovert, dramatic B sections of the arias, or in her coquettishly sung "Solo quella guancia bella" from "La verita in cimento", but instead to accompany her with intensity. This was the rare experience of a true collaboration between kindred spirits.”
In Franken, June 2012
“The Ensemble Matheus, under the lead of the lively violinist Jean-Christophe Spinosi, played with wonderful vividness, jauntiness, swing, sexiness and sometimes cheekiness. And they created a sound world in which Bartoli could move around freely; as a twittering bird, a vindictive fury, or a heroine mourning her abandonment.”
Main Post, 22nd June 2012
Haydn Orlando Paladino / Ensemble Matheus / Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris
Apart from the stunning staging and design, there is also Haydn’s music, which is magnificently served by conductor Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his orchestra, the Ensemble Matheus. Avoiding excessive silliness, and drawing out all the musical contrasts, they achieve the impossible: they make a mildly interesting score into a complete success.
Le Journal du Dimanche, 23rd March 2012
Jean-Christophe Spinosi conducts with his usual agility, and savours the contrasts in the score.
Les Echos, 22nd March 2012
Vivaldi Orlando Furioso / Ensemble Matheus at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris / DVD Naïve DR2148
“The spirited Ensemble Matheus and Jean-Christophe Spinosi augment the high standard (...) Spinosi’s lively direction of the music is as inspiring as his orchestra's playing.”
International Record Review, March 2012
Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse / Mario Brunello
“Jean-Christophe Spinosi’s conducting is worth seeing for its own merits. Few conductors lead with such physical energy and such excitement. As a guest conductor at the Orchestre National du Capitole, he presented a thoroughly classical programme of Mozart, Beethoven and Schuman.
For the overture to the Magic Flute, which opened the concert, the conductor had no qualms in combining an opulent orchestra with Baroque percussion, played with verve by Jean-Loup Vergne. The performance, both accurate and especially lively, demonstrated a notable clarity. The accents from the brass section, deployed to punctuate the solemnity of the Masonic ritual, thundered so dramatically that they made the audience jump out of their seats.
The concert concluded with Beethoven’s fourth symphony, one of the least played of the master’s orchestral repertoire. This ‘slim Greek girl placed between two Nordic giants’ as described by Schumann does, it is true, combine many more typically ‘classical’ characteristics than the pieces which surrounded it; characteristics inherited from Haydn. The strange Adagio overture is an example, full of mystery, and of an expectancy which the conductor imposed both on the balance of volume and on the carefully held back tempo. The highly strung excitement of Spinosi’s conducting gradually developed into a choreographic outburst. He must be the only conductor capable of conducting whilst hopping on one leg! His interpretation, faithfully reflected by the orchestra, swarmed with detail. Spinosi could not be accused of holding back on nuances – each and every passage overflowed with them. The conclusion of the final Allegro ma non troppo prepared for the closing bars, played with appropriate exuberance, with a surprising and endless silence. The enthusiastic audience response was rewarded by a reprise of this final, unbridled coda as an encore.”
Classic Toulouse, February 2012
"Jean-Christophe Spinosi displayed an amazing energy when communicating his intentions to the orchestra. With his precise conducting technique, his dance-like movements, and the tension he sustained in his phrasing, he sculpted the contours and detours of the programme with great delicacy.
His performance of the overture to Mozart’s Magic Flute became a poem that was both luminous and profound; anguished and joyful. He emphasised the contrasts, and evoked the magical atmosphere with great skill.
Robert Schumann’s cello concerto, a crepuscular piece with flights of romantic lyricism, took on incredible orchestral colours (...) and the dialogue between soloist and orchestra was enthralling, with every single musician fired with inspiration.
Under Jean-Christophe Spinosi’s baton, Beethoven’s 4th symphony became a wild race in which Spinosi brought out all the rhythmical accents. Filling the orchestra with his contagious enthusiasm, he created a magnificent percussive power which made the piece sublime. This was Beethoven’s 4th at the height of its glory!"
UtMiSol, February 2012
Ensemble Matheus / Cecilia Bartoli
“The extreme rigour with which Jean-Christophe Spinosi tackles a work allows him to interpret it with sometimes mind-blowing imagination."
Frédéric Jambon, Le Telegramme, August 2011
Vivaldi Ritrovato / Ensemble Matheus / Cecilia Bartoli / Château de Versailles, Paris
“Jean-Christophe Spinosi and Cecilia Bartoli’s concerts are a meeting of two like-hearted non-conformists. Cecilia has given new life to Baroque singing, finding many lost pieces by scouring a number of libraries; and Spinosi, in his ardour, has completely overhauled their common ground, the Baroque era.”
Le journal du dimanche, 4th July 2011
“Jean-Christophe Spinosi certainly has something to be proud of! World-wide opera star Cecilia Bartoli has chosen Spinosi and his orchestra, Ensemble Matheus, to accompany her in the two concerts she is giving next week at the Château de Versailles. And being chosen by this opera singer is not without consequence, as she currently reigns over the classical music world.”
Le Figaro, 24th June 2011
Vivaldi Orlando Furioso / Ensemble Matheus / Opéra National de Lorraine, Nancy
“The party wouldn’t be complete without the rhythmic and dynamic energy provided by Jean-Christophe Spinosi’s conducting.”
Resmusica.com, 25th June 2011
Ensemble Matheus / Jennifer Holloway / Le Quarz, Brest
“Jean-Christophe Spinosi presented a programme full of drama, passion and enchantment with his usual humour and conviviality. [Jennifer Holloway]’s impressive presence and her warm tone, combined with the great skills of the Ensemble Matheus, were applauded with great enthusiasm by the audience.”
Ouest-France, 31st May 2011
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh & Glasgow City Hall
“Mozart’s overture to Così fan Tutte [was] sculpted lavishly by Spinosi and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on particularly pert form.
Mozart’s Haffner Symphony (No. 35) ranged expansively from proud grandeur in the first movement to a deeply affectionate intimacy in the second.”
Sarah Unwin Jones, The Times, 2 May 2011
“There was a sparkling account of Mozart's Symphony No 35 in D major, Haffner, with some nice brass contributions and crackling timpani pushing the last movement, with its busy bassoons, to its playful conclusion."
The Scotsman, 25th April 2011
Napolitan Virtuoso programme / Ensemble Matheus / Milizac, France
“Ensemble Matheus won the audience over immediately with their virtuosity and infectious happiness.”
Télégramme, 25th May 2011
Vivaldi Orlando Furioso / Ensemble Matheus / The Barbican, London
"The Ensemble Matheus and the other singers were excellent, and there was a characteristically mellifluous turn from Philippe Jaroussky."
Hugo Shirley, The Telegraph, March 2011
“One notable feature was the periodic endorsement by conductor and orchestra of the events among the singing characters. Jean-Christophe Spinosi was the conduit between the two. He would often turn towards the singer with a beaming smile to acknowledge a particularly felicitous effect achieved. This was a truly ensemble performance. The players showed such joy in their work.”
Richard Nicholson, www.clasicalsource.com, March 2011
“What really made this performance come alive were the fizzing recitatives, accompanied by alert continuo playing of the highest standard … At one point, Spinosi took up the violin himself to provide a demented version of La Follia to accompany Orlando’s madness.”
Mark Pullinger, Opera Britannia, March 2011
Vivaldi Orlando Furioso / Ensemble Matheus / Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris
“The Vivaldian production conducted by Jean-Christophe Spinosi was dazzling in both its violence and its veracity. (...) Spinosi’s conducting illuminated the darkness of Baroque passions such as the Red Priest imagined them for the stage in 18th century Venice.”
Classiquenews.com, 2nd May 2011
“The energetic conductor Jean-Christophe Spinosi has long championed Vivaldi operas. He and his crack period-instrument band Ensemble Matheus … do themselves and the music proud.”
George Loomis, New York Times, March 2011
“The musical team gave a firework display of virtuosity… None detracted from this ideal line-up, led with unshakeable energy by Jean-Christophe Spinosi. At the head of his own Ensemble Mattheus, Spinosi upheld the frenetic rhythm of Vivaldi's violins throughout three hours of stunning music.”
Noel Tinazzi, www.ruedutheatre.eu, March 2011
“Jean-Christophe conducted this music which he loves and knows so well with the passion of an elated lover. Quick-silver, dynamic and languishing, Spinosi knows how to infuse the music with life, to reveal its every detail, and to lift it out of the ordinary.”
Le Figaro, 18th March 2011
“Voluble, expressive, a true magician; Jean-Christophe Spinosi, at the head of his orchestra the Ensemble Matheus, has proved once again that he is a first class Vivaldian.”
Le Monde, 18th March 2011
Ravel and Schumann orchestral works / Ensemble Matheus / La Passerelle, Saint-Brieuc
“Their warm playing, rich sonority and extreme refinement were in total harmony with the passionate conducting of Jean-Christophe Spinosi. This was a great moment of pure music-making which delighted the audience.”
Télégramme, 7th February 2011
Il Barbiere di Siviglia / Ensemble Matheus / Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris
“The French conductor Jean-Christophe Spinosi was back in the pit with his orchestra, the Ensemble Matheus. He has become an essential figure at the Châtelet. His conducting is fitting to his image: lively, fast and energetic. His baroque style was recognisable in the way he leant slightly on the notes, as in the overture. He also showed a sense of circumstancial irony which was most welcome in the recitatives, where he would take up the first few bars of a particular aria, or echo a few notes from Bizet’s Carmen.”
Edouard Brane, OperaAria, 23rd January 2011
“Responsible for the excellent musical standards of this production, Jean-Christophe Spinosi conducted his period orchestra, the Ensemble Matheus, with an assured yet unhurried beat. Finely nuanced, with luminous, lively and crystal-clear polyphony, his interpretation showed us that this piece is so much more than a concerto for timpani and cymbals.”
Les Echos, 27th January 2011
Mattheus Ensemble / The Holy Trinity, Lyon
“Jean-Christophe Spinosi shared with us his passion for these two composers (Handel and Vivaldi) as well as his enlightened vision of these works."
TV14, January 2011
hr Sinfonie-Orchester, Frankfurt / Sonia Prina
“Corsican conductor Jean-Christophe Spinosi is certainly one of the most lively, spirited and impulsive of the early music specialists, and so his reinvitation to the hr Sinfonieorchester after his unforgettable début there was a given. His second concert at the Funkhaus was once again a high point of the musical calendar; this was obvious from the sparkle with which Spinosi began the four Vivaldi pieces at the beginning of this … entertaining and exciting concert."
Harald Budweg, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, December 2010
“Under Jean-Christophe Spinosi’s effervescent conducting, the hr Sinfonie Orchester played with flexibility and joy. (...) The performance of Haydn’s Symphony was lively and witty.”
Ulrich Boller, Frankfurter Neue Presse, December 2010
“Spinosi conducted this work, with its animal associations and its gambolling, cackling motifs to great effect, with the rawness of period performance.”
OF Post, December 2010
Orchestra de Paris / Salle Pleyel, Paris
“The piece, commissioned by Archbishop Colloredo, was still performed with vocal opulence (a chorus of over one hundred singers, prepared by Michael Gläser) and a very baroque brilliance. The interpretation was certainly dramatic and dynamic, even theatrical and fierce, but this ‘brief mass’ blossomed under this operatic approach.”
Simon Corley, The Classical Music Network, November 2010
Il Barbiere di Siviglia / Wiener Staatsoper / dir. Günther Rennert, Richard Bletschacher
“Dance-like and energetic, yet shaped with care”
Marion Eigl, Wiener Zeitung, November 2010
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons / Ensemble Matheus / Le Quarz, Brest
« Matheus’ performance was luminous, limpid and resolutely focussed on a faithful and evocative portrayal of the elements, the sensations and the activity of nature. The line between sound-painting and sound-effects is a fine one, but Matheus managed to present Vivaldi’s work as a unified whole, the vividness and phrasing of this interpretation worthy of the piece. This was music that told a story, but above all that constituted an impressive aesthetic creation. »
Ouest-France, 15th October 2010
Ensemble Matheus / Philippe Jaroussky & Marie-Nicole Lemieux / BBC Proms
"Spinosi brought a constant energy and sheer expression of joy to the performance; in fact, it was impossible not to be infected by his enthusiasm for the music, as his orchestra so obviously was... Not only were the musical selections markedly well-chosen to complement one another as much as the various strengths of the ensemble, one could not but be taken in by the total commitment to the music evinced by Mr. Spinosi. In his vivaciously animated conducting and playing, his love for the repertoire was visible at every turn; paired with the passionate outpourings of such talented soloists, it could only make for an evening to remember."
John E. de Wald, Opera Britannia, September 2010
“Its guiding spirit was the mercurial Baroque violin virtuoso Jean-Christophe Spinosi, leaping round like a demented cricket. His period-instrument Ensemble Matheus is forged in his image: incredibly nimble, fond of wild speeds, elaborate ornamentation and melodramatic dynamic extremes — and addicted to having fun. That’s infectious too (… ) This band’s brilliantly characterised performance of Telemann’s Concerto for Recorder, Flute and Strings, with its astonishing gypsy finale (cue stamping and shouting from all the players), had me joyously revising my lifelong aversions.”
Richard Morrison, The Times, September 2010
“…the charismatic Corsican conductor-violinist Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his wonderful Ensemble Matheus... With an exceptional ability to communicate the joy he takes in making music, Spinosi seems to dance and whirl in front of his players, rather than simply conduct them... A classy, sexy entertainment and pure pleasure from start to finish.”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, September 2010
“…Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his period-instrument Ensemble Matheus made their Proms debut, royally redeemed the evening… the joy of this concert lay as much in how Spinosi and his band of string players interacted with the singers, and with their brilliant flute and recorder soloists; surrounded by the delicate tracery of Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins.”
Michael Church, The Independent, September 2010
“In the mythical 6000 seater auditorium, Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his musicians enchanted the London audience with their light-footed repertoire and a good dose of exuberance.”
Ouest-France, September 2010
Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León / Centro Cultural Miguel Delibes de Valladolid
“As musical director, Jean-Christophe Spinosi was, in effect, the major protagonist of the opera. His reading was full of joy and sparkle. Spinosi showed himself a most original conductor, full of life and energy and the orchestra gave an outstanding performance. Not only did they provide a very
good performance musically, but played a full role in the playfulness of the occasion and surely enjoyed themselves just as much as the audience.”
José M Irurzun, Seen and Heard, May 2010
Bellini Norma / Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris / Dir. Peter Mussbach
“In the orchestra pit, the spirited Vivaldi champion Jean-Christophe Spinosi conducted his own Ensemble Matheus (on period instruments) in a “historical” performance of the piece, both delicately sculpted and varied, with the acknowledged instrumental colours that would have been heard when the piece was first performed… This production restored the balance between drama and music: there was not a single ornament or reprise of an aria that did not add to the intensity and resolution of the plot. In uncovering Bellini’s theatrical flair and the original orchestral colouring, this new production of Norma at the Châtelet has made its mark.”
Alexandre Pham, Classic News.com, January 2010
hr Sinfonie-Orchester, Frankfurt / Marijana Mijanovic
“Spinosi adds a little cabaret spice to early music. Visually, delaying his downbeat in order to move the music stands out of the way; acoustically, stringing out the false endings in the growling finale to Haydn’s 82nd Symphony (The Bear) so deceptively that no one dared to clap at the actual end. He also proved his versatility, playing the violin part in Telemann’s concerto. Luis Beduschi (recorder) and Clara Andrada de la Calle (flute) sounded beautifully harmonious.
But Spinosi can also hold back when appropriate. In the four arias from Antonio Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso, Serbian alto Marijana Mijanovic was firmly in the spotlight. She began her journey through the emotions with almost masculine depth, singing of furious clouds, gruesome gods and a world bereft of light with fantastically assured coloratura.
The performance of Mozart’s works was also fantastic. The emancipated woodwinds in the Overture to Cosi fan tutte were refined in every detail, and the Haffner Symphony in D major KV 385 was vigorous and never dry, despite the historical performance practice. Both the audience and the hr Symphony Orchestra were thoroughly carried away. We shouldn’t have to wait long for Spinosi to be invited back.”
Offenbach Post, September 2009
“The first collaboration between Corsican conductor and violinist Jean-Christophe Spinosi and the radio orchestra proved spectacular. The vivacious musician presented two blocks of music by Vivaldi: the opening sinfonia from Olimpiade and four arias from Orlando Furioso. The latter were full of the great storms of emotion typical of music of the time, and sung by the equally vivacious alto Marijana Mijanovic in her characteristic deep tone… Spinosi’s performance of Mozart’s Overture to the opera Cosi fan tutte KV 588 and his Symphony No.35 in D major KV 385 boasted a lean tone and transparent structure, with exquisitely articulated phrasing.”
Rhein-Main-Zeitung, October 2009
Ensemble Matheus / Philipe Jaroussky / ‘Farinelli’ programme
"[Jaroussky] is "Singer of the Year" and he fulfilled his role as superstar of the high falsetto in an impressive way with coloratura and tender lyric singing carried along and supported by the brilliant Ensemble Matheus under the direction of Jean-Christophe Spinosi."
Ruhr Nachrichten, June 2009
Vivaldi La fida ninfa (Naïve Records)
"One aria of scorching invention follows another, often bedecked with nimbly illustrative orchestral finery. An aria addressed to gentle breezes? The orchestra whispers, just above the level audibility. An aria hinged on the metaphor of a serpent? Bring on fast-curling, encircling strings. In the hands of Jean-Christophe Spinosi’s bubbly Ensemble Matheus, every effect hits home, uncrippled by arch mannerisms of rhythm or tone…In the hands of Spinosi’s crack team, La fida ninfa is a spectacular baroque rediscovery, and resistance is pointless."
The Times, June 2009
“Music Choice of the month: 5 stars.
This excellent [recording of La Fida Ninfa] is the first to include all the music, to retain all the vocal roles at their intended pitches and to realise, often irresistibly, the pastoral charm of Vivaldi’s music. There are several outstandingly effective numbers of which, the most precious jewel is the vitally motivated wheel of fortune trio which concludes Act I. Altogether a splendid achievement by Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his musicians.”
BBC Music Magazine, March 2009
“The most constant joy of the disc is to be found in Jean-Christophe Spinosi’s conducting, always emotionally powerful, and ever full of surprising details and wonderfully infectious energy.”
Classic FM Magazine, March 2009
Cosi fan tutte / Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris
"...the performance of Cosi fan tutte was nothing less than a dream... a splendid band, the Ensemble Matheus, received one ovation after another. Spinosi wedded the rhythms of the 18th century with the blossoming sounds of the 19th century and the sovereignty of contemporary lovers – an absolute dream."
Suddeutsche Abendzeitung, November 2008
“Spinosi and his fabulous period orchestra, unforgettably named Matheus, gave the music all that it required. Sometimes eccentric, other times cheeky, then sentimental and austere once again – Spinosi stubbornly avoided the established pomp and circumstance of the Mozart which the older members of the audience may have preferred to hear, with leaps and bounds à la Bernstein.”
Munich Abendzeitung, November 2008
Vivaldi Nisi Dominus / Philippe Jaroussky (Naïve Records)
"Jean-Christophe Spinosi directs Ensemble Matheus with brio and style."
Financial Times, April 2008
“…Jaroussky’s expressive delicacy is beguiling and he is everywhere accompanied with acute sensibility by Ensemble Matheus.”
BBC Music Magazine, April 2008
“The period-instrument Ensemble Matheus here numbers 20 string players… The playing is both eloquent and sprightly, and Jean-Christophe Spinosi directs the performances with fine feeling for Vivaldi’s colour and textures…”
International Record Review, March 2008
Jean-Christophe Spinosi / Vivica Genaux / Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse
Jean-Christophe Spinosi’s conducting is a performance all by itself. His technique, a combination of mime and choreography, is unique. Conducting the Orchestre du Capitole last 6th March at the Halle-aux-Grains, he pirouetted like a dust devil, caracoled on his podium, leapt up into the air on occasion, titillated each desk, and whipped the entire orchestra up into a whirlwind of astonishing liveliness.
Congratulations too to the musicians from Toulouse, whose precision and reactivity perfectly matched the conductor’s interpretation. The effervescence of his baton inspired every note with an undeniable, irresistible vitality.
Haydn’s Symphony No.82, the bear, came to life as if viewed under a microscope. The performance brought out every detail, every phrase, in an intensity of nuances. The dynamic contrasts were taken to their limits, and the rhythms, hammered out on triumphant timpani, exploded all around.
In the Rossini, the mechanics of the crescendi seeped through the pieces with a tangible excitement. The overtures to ‘La pietra del paragone’, ‘La gazza ladra’ and ‘L’occasione fa il ladro’ reminded us what a fantastic orchestrator Rossini was."
Serge Chauzy, Classic Toulouse, March 2008
“Les musiciens de l'Orchestre national du Capitole ont régalé jeudi soir le public de la Halle aux Grains avec des œuvres de Haydn (la 82e symphonie « L'Ours ») et Rossini. À leur tête, Jean-Christophe Spinosi leur communique son plaisir de diriger ces répertoires. Également précis, le chef d'orchestre français sait obtenir le style, les phrasés, les détails instrumentaux tels qu'il a envie de les entendre dans ces partitions. Le fondateur de l'Ensemble Matheus (une formation sur instruments anciens) sait visiblement transmettre à un orchestre symphonique sa manière d'envisager la musique.“
Anne-Marie Chouchan, La Depeche du midi, March 2008
Jean-Christophe Spinosi / Jennifer Larmore / Ensemble Matheus
"George Frideric Handel doesn't usually come across as particularly sexy. Stately, sure. Dignified, without a doubt. But in a fast-paced, edge-of-the-seat concert...mezzo Jennifer Larmore and the Ensemble Matheus brushed the dust off Handel and showed that there's more furious, passionate life in baroque music than you might suspect."
The Washington Post, February 2008
"...the Ensemble Matheus was no mere backup orchestra. Its members may be renowned for their intensive scholarship, but there was nothing prissy or academic about their playing, which was aggressive, vibrant and focused to an absolutely electrifying pitch."
The New York Sun, February 2008
Vivaldi Orlando Furioso / Edinburgh International Festival
“With Corsican conductor-a-go-go Jean-Christophe Spinosi whirling through the score and a cast and orchestra determined to dazzle, Vivaldi’s Orlando furioso was a connoisseur’s dream night…Best of all was the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s response to Spinosi’s ebullient direction. Vivaldi’s arias rarely match Handel’s for emotional depth or melodic invention, but when delivered with this sort of orchestral verve and expressive shading they surge irresistibly.”
Richard Morrison, The Times, August 2007
“This performance – conducted with missionary energy and temperament, and bags of style, by Jean-Christophe Spinosi –Spinosi brought the very best out of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Chorus – no mean feat for a baroque specialist accustomed to working with his own band.”
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, August 2007
“A Vivaldi opera in concert, Orlando Furioso, supplied thrills and spills, thanks to the Corsican Jean-Christophe Spinosi’s take-no-prisoners conducting of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.”
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, August 2007
Vivaldi 'Heroes' (Virgin Classics)
“... exquisite playing from the Ensemble Matheus under Jean-Christophe Spinosi.”
The Guardian, January 2007