At the time of Farinelli, Scarlatti and Boccherini, Madrid was one of Europe's leading cultural centres. Successive marriages between Spanish kings and Italian princesses with strong personalities attracted greatly talented Italian musicians to the court, like the Italian castrato Carlo Broschi – the celebrated Farinelli, who formed in Spain Europe's premier opera orchestra of the time, assembling those Italian musicians. Ledesma was one of the few Spanish violinists among their number, his collaboration with Farinelli indicating the extent of his connection with the Italian school. This is also made very clear in his sonatas, closely related as they are with those of Corelli and his students. Among other influences is what might be termed "Espagnolism": the insertion of melodic turns of phrase and rhythms that recall Spanish folk music – or, more precisely, Andalusian folk music – also to be found in the music of Scarlatti and Boccherini. Another important component is a pre-Classical element, in fashion in Europe at the time, and with which Ledesma was certainly familiar.
Blai Justo, violin
Elisa Joglar, violoncello
Bernard Zonderman, guitar
Spaniard BLAI JUSTO studied violin in his native country, but in the Russian tradition. He received the Superior Diploma, and continued his study through various international placements. He became interested in early music in 1990 studying further at the University of Salamanca, following several specialised courses. He enrolled at the Royal Conservatorium in Brussels in 1995, studying with Sigiswald Kuijken, and received the Master's Degree with honours in June, 2000. He joined the Baroque Orchestra of the European Union, and was asked to play with such prestigious ensembles as La Petite Bande (Sigiswald Kuijken), Collegium Vocale Gent (Philippe Herreweghe), Ricercar Consort (Philippe Pierlot), Il Fondamento (Paul Dombrecht), Les Agrémens (Guy Van Waas) and Anima Eterna (Jos van Immerseel). Blai Justo is regularly invited in the role of soloist and concertmaster, notably with conductors Wieland Kuijken, Jean Tubéry and Guy Van Waas. He also performs chamber music with players such as Frank Theuns, Marcel Ponseele, Ryo Terakado, Wieland Kuijken, Robert Kohnen and Guy Penson. Alongside participating in the most important festivals in Europe, Asia and America, he has also contributed to many recordings.
ELISA JOGLAR was awarded the Superior Diploma in cello at the Conservatorium of Vitoria in 1997, along with a special commendation from the jury. In 1994 she received a scholarship to study baroque cello and chamber music at the Academy of Ancient Music at the University of Salamanca, and furthered her studies at the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague with Jaap ter Linden, incidentally working with such teachers as Rainer Zipperling, Jacques Ogg, Wieland Kuijken, Sigiswald Kuijken and Wim ten Have. Elisa has performed and recorded with many of Europe's leading ensembles and orchestras, including La Fenice, Stradivaria, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Opera Fuoco, Le Parlement de Musique, Al Aire Español, Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla, Concerto Köln, L'Assemblée des Honnestes Curieux, and La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy.
BERNARD ZONDERMAN received the Laureate Diploma in guitar from the Superior Institute of Music and Pedagogy in Namur in 1995, continuing his studies at the Royal Conservatorium in Brussels, and then in Liège where he completed his studies in music theory. A passion for early music, along with inspiration from Robert Spencer, led him to take up the lute, culminating, in 2005, in a Masters' Degree in lute, theorbo and baroque guitar from the Lemmens Institute in Leuven, studying with Philippe Malfeyt. Alongside performing with various specialist early-music groups such as the Ensemble Dumont, Les Muffatti, La Lettera Amorosa, Il Fondamento, col Basso, Seicento, I Justiniani, Les Agrémens and Akadêmia, he teaches guitar and music history at the Conservatorium of Ciney and at the Music Academy of Bastogne.