Après un premier disque Schmelzer salué avec enthousiasme par la critique (Editor's Choice de Gramophone, Choc de Classica), l'ensemble Masques dirigé par Olivier Fortin revient chez Alpha dans un programme alliant des oeuvres de Muffat, Kerll ou encore Pachelbel avec celles d'un compositeur resté totalement inconnu, Romanus Weichlein (1652-1706). Moine bénédictin, préfet et compositeur attitré de l'abbaye de bénédictines de Säben, Romanus Weichlein laissa plusieurs collections de sonates et de messes mais aussi de grandes chaconnes; autant de pages magnifiques qui s'inscrivent dans la tradition de ses compatriotes Biber, Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky et Georg Muffat.
Italian composer Giovanni Battista Buonamente, a member of the Franciscan order, gained renown throughout Europe as a violinist, singer and choirmaster. He began his career as the Gonzaga court in Mantua, later becoming a chamber musician at the Viennese court of Ferdinand II and his final post was as chapel master at the Sacro Convento in Assisi, where he remained until his death in 1643 and his compositions many characteristics of the early Italian Baroque.
The two String Quintets are considered to be among Brahms' greatest chamber works. The first was a favorite of the composer, and he wrote to his publisher that, 'you'll never receive anything more beautiful from me.' The second was written when Brahms had all but retired. When he delivered the work to the publisher he wrote, 'with this note you can take leave of my music, because it is high time to stop.' The Nash Ensemble, having recently celebrated their 40th anniversary, are having something of a golden period. Their previous Onyx discs of Turnage and Mendelssohn received rave reviews.