Ensemble Diderot: Hidden Gems

#2 ED by Alexandre Ah-Kye

This month Ensemble Diderot releases The Berlin Album, the latest in its ‘cities’ recording series, juxtaposing works by established 17th- and 18th-century composers alongside those of lesser-known contemporaries. Ensemble founder and violinist Johannes Pramsohler speaks to Pwyll ap Siôn about why these works deserve greater attention

Does Johannes Pramsohler ever stop? While my bus connection from Venice Marco Polo Airport makes its gradual ascent some four thousand feet up towards the picturesque town of Cortina d’Ampezzo in north-east Italy, Baroque violinist Pramsohler and his period-instrument group Ensemble Diderot complete a full day’s recording at the Gustav Mahler Hall in Toblach, South Tyrol. While the others pack their instruments, Pramsohler jumps into his car and drives the twenty or so miles to collect me.

Snow banks line the gritted roads as the jagged peaks of the Dolomites loom ever nearer and larger in the half-light, the digits on the bus’s temperature gauge plummeting to a bone-chilling minus eight degrees Celsius. It’s a cold, crisp December evening when I step off the bus in Cortina but am greeted with a warm handshake and gentle smile from Pramsohler…

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