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Ensemble Marsyas

Ensemble Marsyas

Formed to explore the virtuoso wind music from the eighteenth century, the Edinburgh based Ensemble Marsyas counts amongst its members some of the finest historical instrumentalists working in Europe today.



Edinburgh 1742: Barsanti & Handel
Edinburgh 1742: Barsanti & Handel
A diverse programme of concerti, wind music and Scottish songs by composers Barsanti and Handel. 

CKD 567

Super Audio Collection Vol. 10
Super Audio Collection Vol. 10
Having reached its 10 year milestone Linn's Super Audio Collection series remains as popular as ever 

AKP 564

Handel: Apollo e Dafne
Handel: Apollo e Dafne
Peter Whelan directs Ensemble Marsyas' first foray into vocal music. 

CKD 543  

Super Audio Collection Vol. 7
Super Audio Collection Vol. 7
The seventh volume in the perpetually popular Linn Collection series. 

AKP 459  

Fasch: Quartets and Concertos
Fasch: Quartets and Concertos
Fasch's finest chamber music is full of catchy tunes and contrapuntal ingenuity in equal measure. 

CKD 467  

The Proud Bassoon
The Proud Bassoon
The very best of the virtuoso solo music composed for the galant French styled baroque bassoon. 

CKD 435  

Zelenka: Sonatas
Zelenka: Sonatas
Some of the most spectacularly challenging music ever written for wind instruments. 

CKD 415  

 Ensemble Marsyas

Since winning first prize at the 2007 Brugge International Competition, each member has established themselves at the forefront of the profession and individually they have been awarded accolades by both critics and the recording industry alike. Ensemble Marsyas is a flexible ensemble and performs in a wide-array of formations from chamber music programmes to projects with orchestra, choir and vocal soloists directed from the harpsichord by Peter Whelan.

Ensemble Marsyas has received support from Creative Scotland and the Irish Arts Council, and perform regularly at the Wigmore Hall. They have also appeared at the Göttingen Handel Festival, the East Neuk, Lammermuir, and Tetbury Festivals; Great Music in Irish Houses, and the Zelenka Festival in Prague. In 2017 Ensemble Marsyas made its debut at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Kilkenny Festival, and the Bath Festival.


For further information - www.ensemblemarsyas.com
Chamber 'Choice' Accolade For Ensemble Marsyas
01 October 2014
Five Star Fasch
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Ensemble Marsyas Launch Concert
03 September 2012
New group makes Lammermuir Festival debut
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musica Dei donum
'...you can hardly go wrong with this performance...Handel aficionados certainly won’t hesitate to add this disc to their collection.'
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Opera News
'This performance’s two singers exhibit excellent stylistic instincts and an admirable musical rapport.'
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American Record Guide
'I especially like the sunny, smiley sound of the two period oboes.'
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Hannoveraner Tageblatt
„Die von der Solooboe begleitete Arie „Felicissima quest' alma" (Track 13) ist ein echter Ohrwurm, den man immer wieder hören möchte." / 'The aria 'Felicissima quest 'alma', accompanied by the solo oboe, is a real earworm that you want to hear again and again'.
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BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
'It oozes the sort of vibrant woodwind writing that is meat and drink to bassoonist Peter Whelan's crack band...Peter Whelan directs with a stylish verve...'


Andrew Benson-Wilson
'An impressive recording...their playing in consort and solo is outstanding.'
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MusicWeb International
'I find Mhairi Lawson ideal as Dafne...Ensemble Marsyas are precise and sensitive and tempi appear ideally judged. The Edinburgh church in North Leith which is a beautiful classical structure, ideal for this repertoire, adds a lovely resonance especially to the instrumental work.'
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Gramophone
'...a recording worth buying for the colour and quality of the orchestral playing.'
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Forbes
CD of the Week: '...absolutely jumps out of the speakers for the vitality of the performances and the audiophile sound.'
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The Scotsman
'Peter Whelan an urgent, compelling director in front of his own period-instrument band...with instrumentalists dancing and swaying along to Whelan's bracing rhythms.'
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Early Music Review
5 Stars
'Mhairi Lawson, as Dafne, and Callum Thorpe, as Apollo, are in complete command of all this glorious music, and bring it to life with enormous dramatic energy, ably partnered by Ensemble Marsyas’s superb playing...'
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The Guardian
4 Stars
'...it's the instrumental playing that stands out: pert, shapely, spicy, full of drama.'
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Crescendo
« La vaste inspiration haendelienne souffle à chaque instant. »


Classical CD Choice
'... it's hard to imagine a more committed and sympathetic reading of the work than the one presented here.'
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Early Music Today
5 Stars
'Bassoonist Peter Whelan is outstanding, although the whole group plays with uncanny rapport, turning Fasch's smart blends of instrumental timbres, baroque and galant styles, elegant Largos and frisky, virtuosic Allegros, into a stream of unalloyed listening pleasure.'
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BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
'Chamber Choice': 'Full of playful contrapuntal ideas and energetic passagework...this music positively flourishes in the hands of the Ensemble Marsyas.'
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Early Music Review
'...an overwhelmingly joyful listening experience...'
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The Guardian
'...the real star is Peter Whelan's bassoon, burbling through its vast range with dancing precision, underpinning the quartets and shining in a C major concerto...'
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BBC Radio 3 'CD Review'
'delightful wind chamber music'
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Irish Times
5 Stars
'...you can expect to be delighted by the distinctive colours as well as the often gutsy brio of the playing.'
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Positive Feedback Online
'The realism and dimensionality with this fine Linn release should not be missed.'
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Gramophone
'It's a triumph...they each show the juxtaposition between ardent singing qualities and flexible brilliance in Whelan's playing...'
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The Arts Desk
'You'll marvel at Whelan's supernatural ability...An enchanting collection - accompanied with deft brilliance, and nicely recorded too.'
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BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
'A variety of frivolités round off a splendid recital.'
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Early Music Review
‘Peter Whelan’s playing is always a delight to hear – full of life, interest and variety, and clearly demonstrates why the bassoon has every right to be proud!’
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Crescendo
'Es enthält so überwältigend schöne Musik, dass man gar nicht anders kann, als sich auf den ersten Blick zu verlieben.'
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Kulture Radio
5 Stars
A glowing review in German: 'rundum hörenswert'
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ClassicFM
'Choice for the Very Curious': 'The bassoon is the clown of the orchestra, but it wasn't always so. And this album goes some way to change this.'


BBC Radio 3 'In Tune'
'Delightful. You’ve made the case for the renaissance of the bassoon.'


BBC Radio 3 'CD Review'
‘What a satisfying, pungent sound.’
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Daily Telegraph
'The brilliant playing of Ensemble Marsyas is fully equal to Zelenka's virtuoso demands, and the music's vivacity is matched by its elegance.'
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Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist
'Strongly recommended to all early music collections.'
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Limelight Magazine
4½ Stars
'These sonatas are superb examples of the quadro sonata, a genre in which all four voices were given fully independent parts.'


American Record Guide
'an outstanding recording'
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Fanfare
'Everyone blends well and the tone colors are striking...'
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PSTracks
'If you think you know Baroque music, you're in for a series of pleasant shocks...It's the recording I have played and replayed the most this month.'
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audaud.com
'virtuosic to an extreme degree.'
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SA-CD.net
4½ Stars
'If you think you know Baroque music, you're in for a series of pleasant shocks.'
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Pizzicato
'Super Sonic Award': Review in French
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BBC Music Magazine
Chamber Choice: '...the players combine wit, taste and an earthy Bohemian wink to win the heart.'
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Music Web International
'These works are witty, enjoyable, enterprising and challenging...'
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Gramophone
'Zelenka revival arrives at the chamber works.'
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Double Reed News
Zelenka in Scotland
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International Record Review
'They bring bags of bite and energy to the unison theme of the opening ritornello movement...'
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Music Web International
'...direct and exciting – still refined and beautifully transparent of sound, but with greater impulse and energy.'
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The Irish Times
These sonatas, by Jan Dismas Zelenka, may be nearly 300 years old, but the Bohemian composer's music has lost nothing of its capacity to surprise.
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The Herald
'Why there's an air of genius in the wind'
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The Observer
'lively'
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08 August 2017 to 08 August 2017
Scotland
St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Scotland United Kingdom
ALBUM LAUNCH

12 August 2017 to 12 August 2017
Europe
Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle, Dame St, Dublin 2


13 August 2017 to 13 August 2017
Europe
St Canice’s Cathedral, The Close, Coach Road, Kilkenny Ireland
The Arrival of Mr Handel