Ensemble 1685 is a project ensemble, consisting of highly experienced amateur singers and professional instrumentalists, with a passion for high-quality projects.
The ensemble originated from Nuove Musiche and Lambertus Consort, the project ensembles of the Lambertus Concerten Helmond Foundation. These ensemble are connected to this concert foundation. Because of the desire to realize projects outside the series, Ensemble 1685 was founded.
Focus is on the works of the baroque era, although the repertoire of this ensemble is not limited to this period. Depending on the performance, the number of singers varies from 8 to 24 musicians.
The name of the ensemble is derived from the birth year of the greatest composer of the baroque era, Johann Sebastian Bach. The members all have extensive experience singing his works.
The Netherlands has a big passion tradition: every year there are hundreds of performances of Bach’s passions in the period before Easter.
In the past, the ensemble worked on projects with the St. John and St. Matthew Passion by Bach. But also lesser known passions, such as those of Telemann and Kaiser were on the program.
Furthermore, the singers participated in works by contemporaries of Bach, such as G.F. Händel (the Messiah) and A. Vivaldi (Gloria).
Apart from performing works from the baroque era, Ensemble 1685 also performs works the musical repertoire of the classical period and the romantic repertoire. For example, in May 2018 the members of the ensemble participated in a performance of Mozart’s beautiful Requiem at the commemoration of the end of WW II in Helmond.
In addition to successful performances in the Netherlands, the ensemble also likes perform abroad. In 2013 the ensemble made a successful tour of Israel for 4 performances of Bach’s St. John Passion, in collaboration with the baroque ensemble Barrocade from Israel.