Retrospect Trio is an exciting new chamber group formed under the umbrella of the larger Retrospect brand in order to focus specifically on the rich and varied trio sonata repertoire of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The four members of the group are all distinguished international performers in their own right with a shared passion for historically informed music making.
The ensemble's premiere recording, the first in a two-disc series exploring the timeless beauty of Henry Purcell's sonatas, marks the 350th anniversary of the celebrated English composer's birth.
Click here for more information about Retrospect Ensemble.
Sophie Gent violin
Sophie Gent was born in Perth, Western Australia. After completing a Bachelors degree she pursued further studies at the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague with Ryo Terakado, completing her Masters degree with distinction in 2005. In 2002 she was awarded first prizes in two chamber music competitions, the International Van Wassenaer Competition (The Netherlands) and the International Premio Bonporti Concours (Italy), with the ensemble Opera Quarta. Their first recording, a disc of trio sonatas by J.M Leclair (ORF SACD 491), was awarded a Diapason d'Or in July 2007.
Sophie is active as a soloist and chamber musician, performing and recording frequently as concertmater with the Ricercar Consort, Il Gardellino, Capriccio Stravagante, Les Muffatti, Ensemble Masques and as also member of the period instrument string quartet 'Mito Dell'arco', based in Japan. She was invited to teach at the Jerusalem Early Music Workshop in 2007, and regularly coaches chamber music at the Early Music Department Conservatorium in Antwerp. Recent recordings include Harp Consorts by William Lawes (FLORA 1206), and Concerti Grossi by J.C Pez (RAM 0705) with Les Muffatti.
Sophie Gent plays on a violin by Januarius Gagliano from 1732, kindly on loan from The Jumpstart Jr. Foundation.
Matthew Truscott violin
Matthew Truscott studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague and in Bloomington, Indiana where his teachers were Erich Gruenberg, Simon Standage, Vera Beths and Mauricio Fucs. He now shares his time between period instrument performance and 'modern' chamber music, appearing with some of the finest musicians in both fields.
As a soloist and director Matthew has appeared with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Vienna and London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, as well as with the King's Consort at the Wigmore Hall on numerous occasions.
Recently appointed as one of the leaders of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, other engagements as concertmaster have included projects with English National Opera, The English Concert, The King's Consort, Dutch National Opera and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. He is leader of St James' Baroque, the Classical Opera Company and the Magdalena Consort. Matthew is professor of baroque violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Jonathan Manson bass viol Jonathan Manson pursues a varied international career as a performer on both cello and viola da gamba. While still a student, he became a founding member of the viol quartet Phantasm, which has since toured worldwide and earned several record prizes, including Gramophone Awards in both 1997 and 2004. In 1999, he was appointed principal cellist of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, with whom he has since performed and recorded more than 150 Bach cantatas. Jonathan lives near London, where he is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music.
Jonathan Manson cello & viola da gamba
Jonathan Manson pursues a varied international career as a performer on both cello and viola da gamba. He was born in Edinburgh and received his formative training at the International Cello Centre in Scotland under the direction of Jane Cowan, later going on to study with Steven Doane at the Eastman School of Music in New York. A growing fascination for early music led him to Holland, where he studied viola da gamba with Wieland Kuijken.
While still a student, he became a founding member of the viol quartet Phantasm, which has since toured worldwide and earned several record prizes, including Gramophone Awards in both 1997 and 2004. In 1999, he was appointed principal cellist of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, with whom he has since performed and recorded more than 150 Bach cantatas. He has also appeared as guest principal with many of Europe's leading early music ensembles, as a chamber music partner in repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the Romantic, and as viola da gamba soloist with the Vienna Philharmonic.
Jonathan Manson may be heard on over 60 recordings, including a critically acclaimed disk of Rameau's Pièces de clavecin en concert with Trevor Pinnock and Rachel Podger, and Vivaldi's Concerto for two cellos with Yo-Yo Ma. His recording of the Bach sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord, together with Trevor Pinnock, has recently been released on the Avie label, and was hailed by Classic FM magazine as 'superb'. He is also active as a teacher, and has taught on courses in Hong Kong, Germany, Israel, the Czech Republic, America, Portugal and Iceland, as well as closer to home, at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Jonathan lives near London, where he is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music.
Matthew Halls conductor, organ & harpsichord
Matthew Halls is one of Britain's most exciting young conductors as well as a leading harpsichordist and organist. He was Associate Director (2005-2007) and Artistic Director (2007-2009) of The King's Consort before taking up his current position as Artistic Director of Retrospect Ensemble. He studied at Oxford University, was organ scholar and later assistant organist at New College and graduated with a first-class degree in music. Whilst completing postgraduate research at Oxford he was also director of music at the University Church in Oxford. In 1998 he joined the European Union Baroque Orchestra, with whom he toured extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East. Since leaving this orchestra he has enjoyed a busy and exciting career, playing with many of the world's leading period instrument orchestras, including the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Les Arts Florissants, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Academy of Ancient Music, the Theatre of Early Music, Montreal and the New York Collegium. As a soloist he has appeared at the Cheltenham International Festival; Handel Festival, Halle; Enescu Festival, Bucharest; Ottawa International Chamber Festival; Lamèque Festival; New Brunswick and Bermuda Festival.
As Artistic Director of The King's Consort he appeared in many of Europe's leading festivals and concert venues (most recently Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; La Cité de la Musique, Paris; and Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels) and broadcast extensively both on television and radio. His recently-released world premiere recording of Handel's 'Parnasso in Festa' for the Hyperion record label met with great critical acclaim. In addition to his work with Retrospect Ensemble and The King's Consort, he has conducted numerous other period-instrument ensembles, such as The English Concert, Portland Baroque Orchestra, USA, and Holland Baroque Society.
Matthew recently made important conducting débuts with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester, Scottisch Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra and the RTE Concert Orchestra, Dublin. Matthew is also active in the opera world as a freelance conductor and chorus master, working regularly at De Nederlandse Opera and the Nationale Reisopera in The Netherlands, the Komische Oper in Berlin and the Bayrische Staatsoper, as well as with English Touring Opera and New Chamber Opera. He was a tutor at St Peter's College Oxford and taught harpsichord at Oxford University. Matthew is also a tutor for the European Union Baroque Orchestra and regularly teaches on summer schools and courses such as the Jerusalem Early Music Workshop and the Dartington International Summer School. Forthcoming engagements in 2009 include conducting debuts with the Iceland Symphony, Ulster Orchestra and Hamburger Symphoniker as well as new productions of Rinaldo (Central City Opera, Colorado) and Floridante (International Handel-Festspiele, Halle).
For further information -
Opus d'Or Award: '...a magnificent lesson on baroque poetry...'more >>BBC Music Magazine
'...irresistible energy.'more >>Audiophile Audition
'Retrospect Trio, who play with style and verve galore...First-rate in every way.'more >>Gramophone
Gramophone Choice: 'These performances of brief movements convey rhetorical suggestions of speaking intimately, unforced breathing, and listening attentively.'more >>BBC Music Magazine
Chamber Disc of the Month: 'The Retrospect Trio speak the language of Purcell as if it was their mother tongue.'more >>allmusic.com
'The ensemble's sound is exquisite, and the pair of violinists and the basso continuo of bass viol and harpsichord or organ produce a vibrant blend that gleams with authentic period sonorities and ornamentation.'more >>The Sunday Times
'Entrancing'more >>Early Music Review
'...the best recording of these works I have ever heard...'more >>International Record Review
IRR Outstanding Award: 'This is an utterly delightful disc.'more >>MusicWeb International
'Now they complete the set with the three-part works, in which they are just as recommendable if not even more so.'more >>The Irish Times
'The sonatas are among the best you'll find...'more >>Klassik.com
'Eine wertvolle, in vieler Hinsicht überzeugende Einspielung.'more >>Star-Ledger of New Jersey
"...a lyrical, hypnotic marvel."more >>SA-CD.net
"Highly recommended on every account."more >>Listen
"The performances...are first rate"more >>Opus Musica
"...el gran dominio, virtuosismo y pasión que sienten por sus instrumentos..."more >>Sempre Audio
"Bereits unter dem Namen „The King‘s Consort" hatte sich die Formation der Musik..."more >>Scotland on Sunday
"...performed with polish and grace."more >>Gramophone
Editor's Choice: "ripe emotional tension...impeccable technique"more >>Ensemble
"Diese CD ist ein überaus wertvoller Beitrag zum 350 geburtstag von Purcell"more >>Audiophile Audition
Retrospect "throw themselves into the music with enthusiastic expert glee that makes listening a delicious, almost indecent pleasure"more >>International Record Review
"Highly recommended."more >>ClassicsToday.com
10/10: "Outstanding!"more >>HMV Choice
"...a wonderful debut"more >>Classic FM Magazine
"The ornaments slither dangerously and the dances tread with guilty lightness."more >>BBC Music Magazine
"Retrospect's Purcell makes a release of the three-part sonatas a mouthwatering matter of urgency."more >>The Observer
"...this first release is superb..."more >>BBC Online
"Wonderfully performed, fascinating...Bravo."more >>Sunday Times
Classical CD of the Week: "The playing is immaculate..."more >>Nottingham Evening Post
"...melodic invention, rich polyphony and bitter-sweet harmony."more >>