L'Orfeo Barockorchester - Michi Gaigg -

Michi Gaigg (1st left)


about the question:

How do you know in music that something is typically Austrian?

“… Sometimes I think that the more south you go the darker the colour sounds. … Things turn to be more round. Maybe a bit more “sloppy”. The sound becomes softer. … And to us Austrians this rhythmic perfection is a bit missing. But we come from a waltz tradition where you have to feel free within a bar. … Maybe this imparts to the sound a certain kind of smoothness?? … And I think it is the same with dialects, wine and food. Everywhere things sound and tast a bit different.” she answers with her composed, charming and untranslatable Austrian accent.

(Interview Toccata 17/2005)



Michi Gaigg about the question:

Do intuition and inner voice play an important role for your interpretations?

“… I think in fine arts it is more important to affect than to impress. That is why for me emotion and passion in music are the most important. For a musician it means high satisfaction if he is able to affect his audience. But you have to be touched yourself to touch others.”

(Interview Concerto 10/2003 )

is one of the top orchestras in the field of historical performance practice. A great joy of making music, a very light and dancing way of playing and fresh verve are the special merits of the Austrian ensemble whose female leader Michi Gaigg interprets well reflected and quite sensitive. Especially works by composers from Central Europe are performed very authentically by the ensemble. For 2007 the L’Orfeo Barockorchester plans to present programmes around the French composer Rameau played on historic instruments tuned in the deep original tuning (392 Hz).


   The L’Orfeo Barockorchester was founded in 1996. Since than it gave concerts at renowned concert halls and famous festivals as Großer Saal Musikverein Wien, Styriarte, Internationale Barocktage Stift Melk, Prager Frühling, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Rheingau-Festival, Europäischen Festwochen Passau, Göttinger Händel-Festspiele, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival. The orchestra works together with solo singers like Nuria Rial, Emma Kirkby, Christoph Prégardien and instrumentalists like the baroque violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch.

   Both, organizers and audiences highly appreciate the orchestra’s request of creating a synthesis between  repertoire and pioneer work, as nomerous awarded CDs do prove. The L’Orfeo Barockorchester likes to discover and perform works by wrongfully lost Austrian, Bohemian and South German composers. Especially French baroque music, works by Mozart, great 17th and 18th century instrumental and vocal compositions are part of the ensemble’s repertory.

   Every member of the L’Orfeo Barockorchester has studied his instrument and is familiar with the historical performance practice, the average age is under thirty, about half of the members are from Austria, the other’s provenances are Netherlands, Germany, Czechia and Switzerland. Austrian Michi Gaigg is the orchestra’s first violinist and conductor. She studied violin at the Salzburg Mozarteum. Inspired by her first conctact with historical performance practice through Nikolaus Harnoncourt, she studied as well baroque violin with Ingrid Seifert and Sigiswald Kuijken. She then played with internationally renown ensembles like London Baroque, Orchestra of the 18th century and founded L’Arpa Festante Munic. She started teaching at the Conservatoire National Strasbourg and today teaches at the private university Anton Bruckner Linz within the branch of period music. She gives special courses for baroque violin, chamber and orchestra music. Michi Gaigg is the managing director of the Austrian Donau-Festwochen.


   The Austrian orchestra and its leader Michi Gaigg (violin) started the concert with Johann Sebastian Bach's first Suite for orchestra. Here and also after the intermission with the fifth Brandenburg Concerto, L'Orfeo proved that it is one of the best Baroque orchestras today. Excellent string playing, perfect blend of the winds, this is probably insurpassable.

from: Online Musik Magazin, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg 16.05.2005


   ... the L'Orfeo Barockorchester’s concert was a real treat for the ears. The spirited orchestra and its equally brilliant conductor Michi Gaigg convey the music's joyful drive. According to the requirements of the colourful score Michi Gaigg deceicively demands courtly austerity, dancelike playfulness or, by means of minimal gestures shaped the slow movement.

from: Passauer Neue Presse, Europäische Festwochen Passau 2005


   Michi Gaigg, conducting her L'Orfeo Barockorchester, inspires the musicians to play impulsively, dramatically and with strong expression. The sounds conjure up high spirits and emotion.

from: Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, Donau-Festwochen 2005, programme: W. A. Mozart: Zaïde


   Michi Gaigg leading and conducting the ensemble as first violinist bestowed new acoustic experience on Haydn's symphonies "Le matin" and "Le soir". Mozart's "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" has probably never before been played this absorbingly, sprightly and animatedly ...

from: Die kleine Zeitung, Styriarte - Die steirischen Festspiele 2004


   ... a Mozart taylored sharply and full of passion.

from: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


   Minute details and finest quality in the string playing characterised L'Orfeo's interpretation of Mozart's Symphony in g minor KV 550, here presented in the clarinet version. A work often heard, yet appeared in a completely new light.

from: Concerto - Das Magazin für Alte Musik, 53. Deutsches Mozartfest Augsburg


   The pleasure was completed by L'Orfeo Barockorchester’s highly differentiated play under Michi Gaigg. By this ensemble even Mozart's first symphony was elevated to the nobility of a masterwork.

from: Stuttgarter Zeitung, Stuttgart Barock 2004


   The fact that some of the Holzbauer arias were deeply moving also had to do with the outstanding and uncompromising interpretation by the L'Orfeo Barockorchester …

from: Die Welt, Schwetzinger Festspiele 2003, programme: "Il figlio delle selve", Favola pastorale by Ignaz Holzbauer (1753) and orchestra concert "Mannheimer Schule" with works by Holzbauer, Fils, Dimler, Rosetti and Wagenseil

Programmes   4


Michi Gaigg about the question:

What makes the difference of a deep tuning in 392 Hz?

“The sound becomes more sonor and passionate, an incredible roundness and richness of sound is created. The sound mixture between strings and wind instruments seems to be more intensive and sensory."

(conversation with Dr. Felicitas Graap )


4LE TRIOMPHE DE L'AMOUR  8 Tuning 392 Hz 7




4ZAÏDE (German Singspiel by Mozart)

4MOZART'S requiem


4CantatAS BY THE EARLY bach










L'Orfeo Barockorchester:


produced 1996 / published 1997:

“Serenades Nr. 1 – 6“

Benedikt Anton Aufschnaiter (1665 – 1742)

from ”Concors discordia“ (1695)

cpo 999457-2 (co-operation with WDR Köln, Westgerman broadcast station)

» “Full of spirits, with rhetoric aplomb and stunning dance like verve.”

   (Concerto 9/1998)


production 1997 / published 1999:

“Fünf Sinfonien“

Georg Christoph Wagenseil (1715 – 1777)

cpo 999450-2 (co-operation with SDR Stuttgart, Southgerman broadcast station)

» “The task was to discover an excellent composer having been degraded as boring. … No other recording could have been more suitable for this purpose. … Music from the pre-classical period can be rarely heard so rich in dynamics, vivedly articulated and played with so much drive.”

   (Fono Forum 7/1999)


produced 1998 / published 2000:

“Fünf Sinfonien“

Ignaz Holzbauer (1711 – 1783)

cpo 999585-2 (co-operation with WDR Köln, Westgerman broadcast station)

» “Conducted and motivated by Michi Gaigg the L’Orfeo Barockorchester is playing at its best.“

   (Fono Forum 3/2000)


produced 1999 / published 2001:

“Geistliche Konzerte“

Johann Christian Bach (1735 – 1782)

Emma Kirkby, soprano, Markus Schäfer, tenorus

cpo 999718-2

award: Choc Musique

» “Everthing is interpreted with a slender sound, shaded articulation and unconceited virtuosity. Now a convincing pleading for the catholic J. Chr. Bach is available.”

   (Klassik heute 7/2001)


produced 2000 / published 2001:

Anton Fils (1733 – 1760)

cpo 999778-2 (co-operation with WDR Köln, Westgerman broadcast station)

» “L’Orfeo acts with stylistic sense, elegance and love for the music.“

   (Klassik heute 7/2002)


produced 2001 / published 2002:

“Konzertarien für Tenor und Orchester“

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)

Christoph Prégardien, tenorus

cpo 999810-2 (co-operation with WDR Köln, Westgerman broadcast station)

awards: Choc Musique and 1st price Pasicciopreis Radio Austria

» “A superbe recording of Mozart arias.“

   (Salzburger Nachrichten 4/2003)


produced 2002 / published 2003:


Leopold Mozart (1719 – 1787)

cpo 999942-2

» “… an hour of most happy musical pastime: Michi Gaigg and her L’Orfeo Barockorchester interpret full of temperament and virtuosity, with fine phrasing or powerful play in the right moment, with original sense for humor without being shy to play a burleske – and yet with beautiful irony.“

   (Klassik heute 2/2004)


produced 2002 / published 2004:

“Complete Violin Concertos Vol. 1”

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 – 1767)

Elizabeth Wallfish, violin

cpo 999900-2

» “L’Orfeo and Elizabeth Wallfish do understand it in a very prosperous way to rouse charme and human warmth in Telemann’s music.”

   (Concerto 10/2004)


produced 2003 / published 2004:

“Symphonies, 5 Ouvertures“

Josef Mysliveček (1737 – 1781)

cpo 777050-2 (co-operation with WDR Köln, Westgerman broadcast station)

award: Diapason 4

» “... Symphonies rousing all colours and forms like a sweet-smelling summer-flower-meadow. … With verve L’Orfeo brings sound to jewels of music ...“

   (SWR CD-Tip 11/2004)


production 2004 / published 2005:

“Händel, Aufschnaiter, Muffat”

Nuria Rial, soprano



produced 2004:


Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)



produced 2004:

“Complete Violin Concertos Vol. 2”

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 – 1767)

Elizabeth Wallfish, violin


produced 2005:

“Le Journal du Printemps“

Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer (1665 – 1746)

cpo (co-operation with SWR, Southgerman broadcast station)

Music Shortcuts

J.-Ph. Rameau (LC 5812)

Dardanus - Tambourins I (mp3, 29 s, 353 KB)

Hippolyte et Aricie - Ouverture (mp3, 52 s, 624 KB)

L. Mozart (LIVE Deutsches Mozartfest Augsburg 2004)

Sinfonia da Caccia - Vivace (mp3, 62 s, 738 KB)

J. Mysliveček (cpo 777 050-2)

Sinfonia III - Andante (mp3, 50 s, 594 KB)






W. A. Mozart (cpo 999 810-2)

Divertimento 3, KV 138

- Andante (mp3, 53 s, 641 KB)

- Presto (mp3, 58 s, 710 KB)

+ Prégardien

"Misero! O sogno", KV 432

(mp3, 47 s, 576 KB)

G. F. Händel 

(LIVE Barocktage Stift Melk 2004, ORF CD 369)

+ Rial

"Piangerò la sorte mia" 

(mp3, 43 s, 300 KB)