Les Seraphines

© T.Milewski

In their programme ‘Between Occident and Orient’ the ensemble Les Seraphines combines compositions of Bettina Hartl which are characterized by the early baroque era as well as Persian and Indian Sufi music featuring Celtic elements. In addition to that, ensemble combines “new” arrangements of old baroque masters and improvisations of their own. Originally all members of ensemble come from the sector of classical music. Besides from their orchestra and chamber music activity they explore the mystic of different cultures which gives them inspiration for their improvisations and interpretations. The curiosity about music experiments and combination of different music approaches has brought the ensemble together.

Les Seraphines sings in Persian, Sanskrit, Celtic, Latin, Italian, Spanish, English and fantasy language. In confluence of west and east music influences, musicians explore different modes of action. The freedom that can be heard at the transition from 16th to 17th century in both Western European and Persian-North Indian music takes Les Seraphines up and inspires by the invigorating virtuosity and improvisation potential from both currents.

In combination of oriental and occidental, ensemble sees the possibility of a path to holistic, cosmopolitan music against the background of conscious coexistence.

Instruments: vocals, volin, bandoneon, organ, Celtic harp, cello, piano
Musicians: Bettina Hartl, Anna Barbara Kastelewicz, Andreas Pasemann, Romy Nagy, Marco Reiss

The CD of the ensemble:

– “Between Occident and Orient”-

Bettina Hartl, Les Seraphines & Guests
Produktion: Kaliphonium, Berlin 12/2013

Excerpt from the Booklet

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Anna Barbara Kastelewicz,

The violinist Anna Barbara Kastelewicz is working as a soloist, chamber musician and concertmaster. With performances and concert tours around Europe and Asia she is present nationally as much as internationally.
She is playing and recording for broadcast, TV and various media-recordings. Anna Barbara Kastelewicz plays baroque violin and modern violin. Her repertoire ranges from Renaissance to Contemporary and includes musicals and jazz. In her projects she connects different arts and moderates her concerts. She intensively devotes herself to musicology by interpreting contemporary composers.
Anna Barbara Kastelewicz founded two orchester projects – “neue barockorchester berlin” and “neue konzertorchester berlin“, which she guides as a concertmaster herself. From 2007 to 2013 she was an artistic director of „Musikfestivals Lüneburger Heide“, in 2016 she founded a cultural festival “„Kulturschlaglicht / Kulturfestspiele in Schlössern und Gärten“, a festival that combines musical performances with light and sound design, lectures and guided tours through the historical places with their special flair.
Anna Barbara Kastelewicz works as a lecturer at colleges of music. Born in Berlin, she lives as a freelance artist in the city.

Bettina Hartl,
Vocals, bandoneon, piano, Celtic harp

Born 1977 in Munich, Bettina Hartl studied piano and sound engineering at theBerlin University of the Arts. Parallel to her studies, she began lessons on the bandoneon with Klaus Gutjahr, who in 2003 invited her to accompany him on a concert tour of Argentina.

In 2005 Hartl founded the tango quintet Amortal, which specializes in the music of Astor Piazzolla, with tours to Japan and several CD productions at the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation. At the same time, the Duo Amortal developed together with the violinist Dariusz Błaszkiewicz..

Hartl has soloed with various, leading European orchestras such as Helsingbørgs Symfoniorkester, the Baden-Württemberg State Orchestra, the Braunschweig State Orchestra and the Magdeburg Philharmonic. In addition, she has played the bandoneon part in Piazzolla‘s Tango Opera Maria de Buenos Aires.in both the Berlin and Magdeburg productions.
artl is in demand internationally for her fine, sensitive skill on the bandoneon and she receives invitations from all over the world to perform. She has performed in numerous tango shows hosted by theHerbst Theatre in San Francisco and on the occasion of the ‘Latin American Cultural Week’ in New York.

In 2010, Hartl started to compose as a second profession. Her first piece for full orchestra made its debut at the Minoriten Church in Vienna in 2010 and was performed by the First Women’s Chamber Orchestra.

Since 2012 she has been experimenting with her own pieces, improvisations and ‘renewed’ old music in free choice of cast within the framework of the ensemble Les Seraphines.

In 2012 she also initiated the visionary forum Kaliphonium with the aim of promoting interdisciplinary events in order to refresh Berlin’s society and art scene. In 2013 she started a record label and publishing house under the same name.

Andreas Pasemann,
Chest organ, Celtic harp

Born in Wolfsburg Andreas Pasemann took his first organ lessons from Brunswick’s Cathedral Choirmaster, Helmut Kruse. From 1984 to 1990 he studied church music at theHanover University of Music and Drama under Professor Ulrich Bremsteller and under Professor Michael Leuschner for piano.
After winning a scholarship from Lower Saxony’s savings bank he was able to continue his studies under Professors Daniel Roth and Gaston Litaize in Paris, qualifying his A- Diploma in 1990. Since then he has been organist at Brunswick’s cathedral and is deputy head of the cathedral’s choir school.
Since 1996 Pasemann has been cantor at Seesen (Harz), where he has led a very wide range of choirs and instrumental groups. He tours regularly throughout Germany and all over Europe.
Alongside his academic work, Pasemann is a much sought after organist and accompanist for recordings, TV drama and film music. He performs as solist for various orchestras. In addition to the organ and the piano, he plays the Celtic harp.

Marco Reiß,

Born 1960 in Magdeburg, Marco Reiß started learning to play violin from his father and went on to attend Halle’s Special School of Music. Afterwards, he started his music study at the Academy of Music in Leipzig under Professors Fred Roth and Klaus Hertel.
In 1982 he joined the Magdeburg Philharmonicand has been a principal violinist from the first violins there since 1993. Between 1986 and 1989 he played occasionally at Staatsoper Berlin.
From 1991 to 1996 he initiated and organised „Magdeburg’s ‘Chamber Music Sundays“ and was responsible for the ‘Classic Hour’ in the AMO-Kulturhaus from 1997 to 2000.
Marco Reiß was of co-founder Magdeburg’s Rossini Quartet and has led it since 1989, which has included tours of Jordan and playing at the Shanghai EXPO.The Quartet was awarded the Romantic Prize by the state of Saxony-Anhalt’s tourism association. Reiß has recorded numerous CDs, regularly performed on radio and was officially appointed ‘Chamber Musician’ of Magdeburg in 2013. Reiß has been appointed director for Festivals Telemania which is being held in 2017 in on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the death of Georg Philipp Telemann.

‘Between Occident and Orient’

In their programme “Between the Occident and the Orient”, the ensemble draws together connections and contradictions between musical currents in our music history to point at common roots. It’s about the early era of baroque in West and at the same time the musical heyday of Persian-Indian Sufi music at the courts of Indian Mughal Empire in East. The musicians combine baroque compositions in form of masterly chaconnes and graceful-sounding arias by Bettina Hartl with current, timeless arrangements by Claudio Monteverdi and contrast oriental compositions with Hartl’s and improvisations.

Bettina Hartl (*1977)
‘Roshangari’ – persisches Lied
‘Om Purna Purnamadah’
Ciaccona Piccola

Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643)
‘Pur Ti Miro’
‘Zefiro Torna’
Si Dolce Tormenti

Longa Read

El Helwa

Helwa ya baladi


Around 1600 there was a musical departure independently in both East and West, which today has gained more topicality and timelessness than ever. In Europe, music with Claudio Monteverdi, the avant-garde of his time, made a breakthrough in our Western music history and thus marked the change from the Renaissance to the early Baroque. The so-called Early Music.

“North Indian classical music” was developing in parallel on the Indian subcontinent at the courts of the Mughal Empire and was heavily influenced by the Persian area, as many musicians emigrated through the prohibition of Islam in their own country to India and therefore significantly influenced the Indian style. They in turn brought the Sufi music with them, which led to a mutual cultural exchange. Pioneers such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt rediscovered the Early Music in the 1950s, creating a revolutionary upswing of that era after over 300 years of oblivion. At the same time the wave of Indian classical music with important representatives such as Ravi Shankar came to Europe and merged with western influences. This resulted in the new vision of ‘world musicians’.

‘Spirit of Celtic Baroque’

In its Spirit of Celtic Baroque programme, Ensemble Les Seraphines combines compositions of Bettina Hartl, inspired by the colorful and multifaceted world of early baroque, as well as elements of Celtic and Irish music. They combine exciting and timeless arrangements of Baroque and Celtic masters from Claudio Monteverdi to Turlough O ‘Carolan and free improvisations.

Bettina Hartl (*1977)
Celtic Phantasies

Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643)
Amor – Lamento della Ninfa
Interrotte Speranze – ‘In una nuova Versione’

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644 – 1704)
Partia I

Turlough O’ Carolan (1670 – 1738)
Eleanor Plunkett
Planxty Irwin