Arcomelos foto
Arcomelos is the initiative of baroque violinists Richard Gwilt and Irmgard Schaller. Both highly experienced in their field - Irmgard as a member of the Frans Brüggen's Orchestra of the 18th-century and Richard as a member of the chamber ensemble London Baroque - they have formed the ensemble Arcomelos as a vehicle for music-making in different formations.
In its smallest form, Arcomelos is a string duo - two violins, violin and viola, or two violas. Here Irmgard Schaller and Richard Gwilt present a sorely neglected concert repertoire, from the stunningly effective duos by Leclair, through Telemann's jokey "Gulliver Suite" (based on Swift's Gullivers Travels) to Mozart's masterful duos for violin and viola.
With the addition of a continuo instrument - such as harpsichord, organ or theorbo - and as desired dulcian, sackbut, cello or viola da gamba, Arcomelos also performs as a baroque trio sonata ensemble. In this formation we are currently focussing on the innovative and fascinating repertoire of the 17th century. From a concert in May 2010 in the Ursulinenkirche in Köln, with Wim Becu, trombone and Ketil Haugsand, organ here is :
Biagio Marini, La Foscarina
More recently, here is the opening of a Christmas concert performed at the Arithmeum in Bonn in December 2019, with lutenist David Bergmüller, and on the harpsichord, Michael Borgstede. This is a potpourri of various 17th-century versions of:
Von Himmel hoch, da komm ich her
Finally, Arcomelos also appears as a larger group, sometimes with a singer, performing relatively seldom heard ensemble music from the 17th and 18th centuries, including music by Biber, Schmelzer, and members of the Bach family.
You can see sample programmes in all combinations by following the "Programmes" link.
As for our name, Arco (Italian) bow, melos (Greek) song, melody. Hence Arcomelos, "to sing with the bow", or "the melodious bow". Also, most certainly not coincidentally, Arcomelo was Arcangelo Corelli's membership name in the Arcadian Academy in Rome.