Jos van Immerseel: “While since its foundation in 1987 Anima Eterna Brugge has grown organically into a symphonic orchestra, chamber music once again forms an important part of our repertory today. We will continue our journey through orchestral music, but we want to broaden our base by including chamber music as well.” This recording is Anima’s very first to be completely devoted to instrumental ensemble music. A group of musicians headed by violinist Jakob Lehmann breathes new life into two 19th-century masterpieces. Schubert’s Octet in F is a crown jewel from the repertoire, taking its cue from Beethoven’s celebrated Septet yet at the same time paving the way toward the “Grosse Sinfonie”. Roughly 20 years after its iconic recording of the complete Schubert symphonies, Anima brings its signature approach to the composer’s chamber music to explore it with the insights and “language skills” developed back then and from thereon. In contrast to Schubert, Franz Berwald has been largely forgotten – undeservedly, as this gifted Swede left behind an oeuvre that is both surprisingly modern and delightfully original. Performed on period instruments, using authoritative sources and contemporary playing techniques, these brilliant pages of large ensemble music are now ready to be rediscovered and enjoyed once again.