Photo: Courtesy of the Ensemble
The baroque orchestra known as Ensemble 415 is one of the world’s finest early music groups. They were founded in 1981 by Chiara Banchini, the Swiss violinist who still directs and inspires the ensemble. Under Banchini’s guidance, Ensemble 415 has explored the vast repertoire from the Italian baroque, including many composers who you might not be familiar with.
Ensemble 415’s latest recording of Albinoni’s Concerti a 5 on the Zig-Zag Territories label is proof they are as good as ever. Their sound is lush and their energy, high. Albinoni’s concerti haven’t been recorded that often in the past. To now have such a terrific recording is a welcome addition to the Albinoni discography.
Ensemble 415’s Harmonia Mundi recording of Georg Muffat’s Armonico Tributo is a classic. Recorded often by a number of ensembles, Muffat’s work—made up of five dance suites—gets the royal treatment in Ensemble 415’s hands. With an orchestra of forty musicians, the work is given a sumptuous and energetic reading.