Ensemble Marsyas - Edinburgh 1742 - Irish Times
If you like baroque music that celebrates the sound of horns then this CD is for you. The music, mostly concerti grossi, is by Handel and a little-known Italian, Francesco Barsanti. The two composers’ paths crossed in London and their music was in favour with the Edinburgh Musical Society, which existed from 1728 to 1797, hence the album’s title. Barsanti’s interests extended to making sensitive arrangements of Scottish tunes, here given to the violin, and there’s a single, horn-rich aria from Handel’s Alcina. The performances by Ensemble Marsyas, shortly to give concerts in Dublin and Kilkenny, are consistently bracing, and likely to do no amount of good for Barsanti’s 21st-century reputation.