The Levée is an early music ensemble formed to bring the newly discovered works of Étienne Delair to life. The ensemble specialises in the performance of less canonical works of the turn of the 18th century, and reflects the interests of its constituent members in its focus on the ‘unwritten’ aspects of music which bring it to life: historically informed ornamentation, improvisation, and basso continuo realisation. Works which, like Delair’s, break down preconceptions about what we now categorise as Italian / French / German national styles, are of particular interest to the group, as these preconceptions influence how a musician approaches the music in performance today.
The instrumentalists Marguerite Wassermann (violin), Martin Jantzen (viola da gamba) and Josef Laming (harpsichord) studied together at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and benefitted from coaching from professors such as Amandine Beyer, Eva Saladin, Jörg-Andreas Bötticher and Thomas Leiniger. The Levée has completed their recording of the complete sonatas of Delair in St John's Church, Loughton, where they also presented a showcase concert of selections from Delair's Opus, followed by performances of their 'Delair in Context' programme in the UK, Germany and Switzerland.