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The celacanto is a fish well known to biologist thanks to the fossil record and long thought to be extinct since the late cretaceous period, some 65 million years ago. Then, in 1938, it was found happily swimming near the Comoros islands and ever since it has been regularly spotted in many occasions, making it one of the finest „living fossil“ species in the world as well as one of the most intriguing and fascinating animals on earth.

Similarly, renaissance and early baroque music, by 1950, was thought to be extinct. The only way to see the instruments of this period was in historical museums and most surviving scores were buried in forgotten archives. But only a few decades later our musical oceans are again populated with ancient instruments and early music. These instruments and repertoires are not museum pieces anymore but living ones which one can hear and enjoy regularly at concert venues all over the world.

The Ensemble Celacanto is dedicated to bring back to life the sounds of two very special specimens of the renaissance and early baroque family of instruments: the triple harp and the cornetto. Both of them experimental instruments in their time, both of them rich in sound and very unique on their own. The triple harp gradually ceased to be used when a new type of harp with pedals (the direct ancestor of modern orchestra harps) was developed from the German hook harp around 1750 and quickly became a fashionable instrument. The cornetto went completely extinct sometime during the XVIIIth century without leaving any descendants. As late as the 1970‘s, Frans Brüggen was quoted to have said that in order to play certain pieces one should think of the sound of their originally intended instrument, the cornetto, even though no one alive on earth knew how that sound was. Now we know.

The Ensemble Celacanto explores the remarkably rich renaissance and early baroque repertoire through the use of the triple harp and different cornetti and recorders bringing together the knowledge, experience and love for this music and instruments collected by Claire and Ricardo through a long and rich path of study, research, teaching and performing careers.


© Ensemble Celacanto 2014 - 2017