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Ensemble Marsyas’ debut recording on Linn features three of the extraordinary trio sonatas by the Bohemian composer Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745) for violin, two oboes, bassoon and continuo on period instruments.
These sonatas represent the most spectacularly challenging music ever written for wind instruments in terms of their utopian demands on the technique of the players, their musical integrity and their breathtaking scale.
This repertoire saw the ensemble awarded both first prize and the audience prize at the 2007 Brugge International Competition.
The Edinburgh based chamber group comprises the best of a new generation of musicians specialising in early music from across Europe.
Ensemble Marsyas is Peter Whelan - bassoon, Josep Domènech Lafont - oboe, Molly Marsh - oboe, Thomas Dunford - theorbo, Philippe Grisvard - harpsichord/organ, Christine Sticher - violone.
They are joined for this recording by Baroque violinist Monica Huggett who is a multiple Gramophone Award winner and Grammy nominee.
The members of Ensemble Marsyas have been awarded accolades by both critics and the recording industry alike - the most recent including a 2010 Gramophone Award for a recording featuring Peter Whelan.
Zelenka: Sonata V in F Major ZWV181, No. 5
Zelenka: Sonata III in B-flat Major ZWV181, No. 3
Tempo giusto - Allegro
Zelenka: Sonata VI in C minor ZWV181, No. 6
Zelenka: Sinfonia à 8 concertanti in A minor ZWV189
2nd September 2012
“The lively Ensemble Marsyas are joined by violinist Monica Huggett in the third of the set, full of literally breathless counterpoint, while at the end is a beguiling single slow movement that leaves us up in the air, as if I had finished this review with a question mark.”
23rd September 2012
“Zelenka constantly beguiles...Ensemble Marsyas play everything with real flair.”
“it's the group's nuance that's transfixing. When textures become sparse, delivery intensifies; when the line expands, the tempo stretches; when counterpoint thickens, articulation is leavened. The players are audibly intelligent, at once humorous and illuminating. Non-interventionist engineering shows that less can be more when the artists are first-rate.”
Awards Issue 2012
“There is highly capable playing, with expert tuning, smooth lines, and techniques apparently taxed only by the quickfire repeated notes in Sonata No. 6. The sound is also wonderfully clear and well balanced.”