Jos van Immerseel and Claire Chevallier have enjoyed a close collaboration for many years now. Like Jos van Immerseel, Claire Chevallier loves period pianos; like him, she is a researcher and possesses her own collection of keyboard instruments.
In the course of the 1996-97 season, Anima Eterna played and recorded Schubert's complete symphonies in the particularly innovative interpretation of their conductor, Jos van Immerseel. This interpretation, based on the study of Schubert's manuscripts and on the instruments used at the time of their first performance, allows us to discover sound colours that combine freshness and profundity.
The listener may see the phrase "piano Erard 1905" on the cover of this album of Ravel works and wonder whether the historical performance movement has really gone too far. And truly this is, at least from a modern standpoint, an unusual and even bizarre Ravel recording. It's not so much the Erard piano, which sounds as though it was made to play Fauré and Debussy, but is not so far from other concert grands. What's strange is the general interpretation by Flemish historical keyboardist Jos van Immerseel, known mostly for his performances of music from the eighteenth and perhaps the early nineteenth centuries.
The music of Johann Strauss reflects a lifestyle, a refinement … a true Viennese tradition. At the same time, this music simply creates joie de vivre, an almost uncontrollable urge to dance. It is these feelings and these emotions Anima Eterna and its leader, Jos van Immerseel communicate with delicacy and conviction; also with a view to the greatest possible proximity to the score as it was conceived at the time of its creation.
The music of Johann Strauss reflects an elegance and refinement typical of Vienna. It inspires us with a joie de vivre and an almost irresistible urge to dance. The ensemble Anima Eterna Brugge and its conductor, Jos van Immerseel, invite us to spend a delightful moment in Strauss’s company and theirs, with delicacy and feeling, conviction and emotion. Keeping as close as possible to the original score, they enable us to hear these pieces as they were intended by the composer.
Authentic and authoritative, these 1985 recordings of Mozart and Beethoven's quintets for piano and winds have almost everything going for them. Performing on a pianoforte modeled on a 1790 Viennese instrument, Jos van Immerseel is an adroit player, while the quartet drawn from the period instrument wind band Octophoros Paul Dombrecht on oboe, Elmar Schmid on clarinet, Piet Dombrecht on horn, and Danny Bond on bassoon are likewise all skillful instrumentalists.
This very well recorded disc from 2003 is yet another fine disc from Immerseel and his orchestra once more extending his 'period' interests well beyond the Baroque and Classical areas of musical history. In this case Immerseel turns his attention to music by Liszt which he will have been familiar with as solo piano music but which also exists in its orchestral guise supplied by Liszt. These are not transcriptions but are real alternative versions for orchestra. The one exception is the tone poem, From the Cradle to the Grave' which was a late work, never performed during Liszt's life and only available as an orchestral composition.