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Since his resignation from The English Concert in 2003, Pinnock has continued his career as a conductor, appearing with major orchestras and opera companies around the world. He has also performed and recorded as a harpsichordist in solo and chamber music and conducted and otherwise trained student groups at conservatoires. Trevor Pinnock won a Gramophone Award for his recording of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos with the European Brandenburg Ensemble, an occasional orchestra formed to mark his 60th birthday.
What I really had in mind was a journey of discovery into the unknown. Although I felt there were excellent interpretations of baroque music performed on modern instruments, I sensed that we'd come to the end of the road - and yet I knew that there were still discoveries to be made. I was thinking about the interesting experiments made by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt, although I knew we'd have to experiment in our own way. It was a huge challenge; playing period instruments wasn't as easy as it is today, and finding out their secrets was a difficult process. Nowadays an extraordinarily high technical level has been achieved and the upcoming generations don't have any of the problems we pioneers faced. We cleared the way.
Pinnock at the harpsichord
Pinnock was at the forefront of the period performance movement and the revitalisation of the baroque repertoire; the reaction of Leonard Bernstein to his performances is typical: "In my opinion, the work of the conductor Trevor Pinnock in this area is particularly exciting - his performances of Bach and Handel make me jump out of my seat!"
The English Concert's London debut was at the English Bach Festival in 1973. In 1975, Pinnock played the harpsichord in the first ever performance of Rameau's last opera, Les Boréades, under John Eliot Gardiner.
He toured North America with The English Concert for the first time in 1983; he had earlier spent two periods as Artist in Residence at Washington University, St. Louis. His debut at The Proms was in 1980; he later directed Handel's oratorio Solomon in 1986 and many other large-scale works with his orchestra. They toured worldwide and made numerous recordings, Pinnock directing "with a characteristic energy and enthusiasm which are readily communicated to audiences." The Choir of the English Concert was at first an ad-hoc group of singers assembled as needed, originally in 1983 for the first 20th century performance of Rameau's Acante et Céphise; it became an established choir for a period from the mid-1990s at the time they were performing Bach's Mass in B minor. This allowed the ensemble to regularly perform baroque operas, oratorios and other vocal works; a series of Bach's major choral works followed.
He directed The English Concert, usually from the harpsichord or chamber organ, for over 30 years, deciding, with the other orchestra members, to hand it over to violinist Andrew Manze in 2003. He explained the decision as follows:
There are other things I want to develop - or rather come back to. Having done The English Concert for 18-20 weeks per year, and guest conducting the rest of the time, I'd sacrificed playing the harpsichord rather more than I wanted to. I had to make a decision to move forward: there were certain solo projects I wanted to do, and I wanted to make the decision now rather than wait until after I am 60 and it's too late to do half of them. [...] There's a wealth of keyboard repertoire I want to revisit. I especially want to go back to the rich English repertoire such as Tomkins, Byrd, Bull and Gibbons.
From 1991-1996 he was artistic director and principal conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, a group he had first directed in 1985. He subsequently served as its artistic advisor during the 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 seasons, including a tour of the US with the performance and recording of Beethoven's1st and 5th piano concertos with Grigory Sokolov as soloist. He has made occasional return visits to the orchestra since relinquishing his formal position with them.
Pinnock directs the European Brandenburg Ensemble.
Since resigning his position with The English Concert, Pinnock has divided his time between performing as a harpsichordist and conducting both modern- and period-instrument orchestras. He has also taken an interest in educational projects.
In 2004 he commissioned modern harpsichord music by English composer John Webb, whose Surge (2004) "is built up over an implacable rhythmic repeat-figure. Though neither is explicitly tonal, each skilfully avoids the merely percussive effect that the harpsichord's complex overtones can all too easily impart to more densely dissonant music." He has also played the same composer's Ebb (2000), which "comprises a spasmodic discourse against a manic background of descending scale patterns like a kind of out-of-kilter change-ringing".
He toured Europe and the Far East in 2007 with the European Brandenburg Ensemble, a baroque orchestra, formed to mark his 60th birthday by recording Bach's Brandenburg Concertos and performing popular baroque music. Its recording of the concertos won the Gramophone Award for Baroque Instrumental in 2008. The band was not a permanent orchestra, but planned to reconvene in 2011 when Bach's St John Passion was to be the focus of their work.
J. S. Bach: sonatas for flute and harpsichord BWV 1020, 1030-1032 with Jean-Pierre Rampal (modern flute) and sonatas for flute and continuo BWV 1033-1035 with the addition of Roland Pidoux (cello), CBS Records (1985)
J. S. Bach: sonatas for flute BWV 1020, 1030, 1032 and sonata for flute and harpsichord BWV 1031 with Emmanuel Pahud, sonatas for flute BWV 1033-1035 with the addition of Jonathan Manson (cello); sonata for two flutes BWV 1039 with the further addition of Silvia Careddu (flute), EMI Classics (2008)
^ abMarceau, Guy (9 September 2004). "Trevor Pinnock - Autumn Thoughts". La Scena Musicale. 10 (1). "When the members of the English Concert were looking for a new conductor and artistic director, they decided on Andrew Manze, and I think they made a good choice. But it was their decision."
^Argent, Mark (25 October 2005). "Interview : The English Concert". Goldberg Magazine.
^"Trevor's preference was always to direct from the keyboard. He regarded the conductor as an essentially 19th century invention." - Felix Warnock, see above
^Jeal, Erica (8 July 2003). "English Concert/Pinnock". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007. - Review of his final performance directing The English Concert, at which he was joined by fellow harpsichord-conductor Ton Koopman in some of Bach's harpsichord concertos
^Rothstein, Edward (10 August 1991). "Review/Music; Authenticity: No More a Goal in Itself". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007. - A review discussing Pinnock's resignation. Despite this failure, The English Concert went on to record the complete Mozart symphonies and other classical repertoire.
^Sources for this list are the notes to each recording
^Byrd: Watkins Ale, Lavolta, Lady Morley, Rowland, Carman's Whis; Anon: My Lady Carey's Dompe; Tallis: O Ye Tender Babes; Gibbons: The Woods So Wild, Mask: The Fairest Nymph, Lord Salisbury his pavan and galliard; Bull: The King's Hunt, My Grief, My Self; Dowland: Lachrymae and Galliard; Randall: 'Can She Excuse'; Farnaby: Muscadin, Loath to Depart; Tomkins: Barafostus' Dream
^Anon: The Grange; Gibbs: Lord Monck's March; Anon: Gerard's Mistress; Locke: Suite No.4 in D major; Purcell: A New Irish Tune (Lillibullero); Draghi: Ground (Socca Pur); Purcell - Suite No.2 in G minor; Blow: [Mortlack's Ground]; Greene: Overture in D major; Arne - Sonata No.6 in G; Nares - Lesson No.2 in D major; Paradies - Sonata No.6 in A major
^Anon: My Lady Wynkfylds Rownde; Byrd: The Queenes Alman, The Bells; Handel: Suite no.5 in E major HWV 430; Croft: Suite no.3 in C minor; Arne: Sonata no.3 in G major; J. C. Bach: Sonata in C minor op.5 no.6
^Handel: Air and Variations 'The Harmonious Blacksmith'; Fischer: Passacaglia in D minor; Couperin: Les Baricades Mysterieuses; Bach: Italian Concerto in F major; Rameau: Gavotte avec 6 Doubles; Scarlatti: Sonatas in E major K. 380 and 381; Fiocco: Adagio in G major; Daquin: Le Coucou; Balbastre: La Suzanne
^Purcell: Suite No.4 in A minor; Haydn: Sonata in D major, Hob.XVI/14; Handel: Suite No.7 in G minor; Handel: Suite No.2 in F major; Purcell: Suite No.2 in G minor; Haydn: Sonata in G major, Hob.XVI/27; Haydn Sonata in D major, Hob.XVII/D1: Finale (Allegro); Purcell: A new Ground in E minor. Recorded live at Wigmore Hall: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 January 2010. Retrieved 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
^For the Concert champêtre, Pinnock played a rare triple manual harpsichord, disposition 16' 8' 8' 4' 2', lute stop, 2 buff stops, 2 couplers, by Robert Goble & Son, Oxford (picture) after H. A. Hass, Hamburg, 1740. The original is apparently in the collection of Rafael Puyana.
^For 2 violins: op.5 no.2, op.5 no.4, HWV 393, op.2 no.3; for violin and flute: op.2 no.1; for violin: op.1 no.3.
^Anon.: Divisions on the 'Barafostus Dream'; Alfonso Ferrabosco: Pieces for the lyra-viol; Orlando Gibbons: Fantasia for organ; Christopher Simpson: Prelude and Divisions in E minor; William Corkine: The Punckes Delight, Coranto I, Coranto II, Walsingham; John Bull: Coranto; Anon.: The King's Morisk; John Bull: The Duchess of Brunswick's Toy; Tobias Hume: Musical Humors: Touch me lightly, Harke, harke, A Souldiers Resolution; John Bull: My Jewel; Christopher Simpson: Divisions in B flat
^Pierre-F. Roberge "The Punckes Delight" Medieval Music & Arts Foundation. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
^Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert recorded with CRD from 1974 to 1978, Archiv from 1978 to 1995, and Avie in 2001
^Concerto à 8 for trumpet, 2 oboes, strings and continuo FWV L:D1, concerto for bassoon, 2 oboes, strings and continuo FWV L:c2, orchestral suite for violin, oboe, 2 flutes, bassoon, strings and continuo FWV K:g2, concerto for chalumeau, 2 oboes, bassoon, strings and continuo FWV L:B1, concerto for 2 trumpets, 2 horns, 2 oboes, bassoon, strings and continuo FWV L:D14
^Pinnock plays the organ concerto movement of Handel's concerto grosso op.3 no.6
^Pinnock plays the organ concerto movements of Saul's act I sinfonia and act II sinfonia: Wedding Symphony
^Service in B-flat, Z.230; Te Deum & Jubilate in D, Z.232; Evening Service in G minor, Z.231; O God, thou has cast us out, Z.36; O Lord God of Hosts, Z.37; Remember not, Lord, our offences, Z.50; Lord, how long wilt thou be angry, Z.25; O God, thou art my God, Z.35; Man that is born of a woman, Z.27; Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts, Z.58c; Jehovah, quam multi sunt hostes mei, Z.135; My heart is inditing, Z.30; O sing unto the Lord, Z.44; My beloved spake, Z.28; They that go down to the sea in ships, Z.57; Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem, Z.46.
^Concerto for strings RV 156; concerto for oboe RV 449 (op.8 no.12); concerto for bassoon RV 485; concerto for strings RV 166; concerto for violin, 2 recorders and 2 oboes 'per l'orchestra di Dresda' RV 577; concerto for recorder RV 444; concerto for 2 violins and 2 cellos RV 575.
^Concerto alla rustica RV 151; concerto for oboe and violin RV 548; concerto con molti stromenti RV 558; concerto for oboe RV 461; concerto for 2 violins RV 516; concerto for 2 mandolins RV 532.
^Concerto for strings RV 159; concerto for violin 'l'amoroso' RV 271; concerto for bassoon RV 484; concerto for flute RV 436; concerto for viola d'amore and lute RV 540; concerto for oboe and bassoon RV 545.
^Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Noëls sur les instruments H.531, 534; Johann Melchior Molter: concerto pastorale in G major; Vivaldi: concerto for 2 trumpets RV 537; Giuseppe Sammartini: Pastorale in G major from op.5 no.6; Telemann: concerto polonois in G major; Handel: concerto a due cori no.3 HWV 332; Corelli: Christmas concerto, op.6 no.8.
^Johann Pachelbel: Canon & Gigue; Handel: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba; Vivaldi: sinfonia for strings RV 149; Purcell: Chacony Z.730; Tomaso Albinoni: concerto a cinque op.9 no.2; Charles Avison: concerto grosso no.9 after Domenico Scarlatti.
^John Stanley: Concerto for strings, op.2 no.3; Thomas Arne: Harpsichord concerto no.5; William Boyce: Symphony op.2 no.1; Francesco Geminiani: concerto grosso after Corelli's op.5 no.12 (variations on 'la folia'); Pieter Hellendaal: concerto op.3 no.4; Charles Avison: concerto grosso no.9 after Domenico Scarlatti.