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The guitar enjoyed a period of great popularity across Europe in the first half of the 19th century, and this period saw the publication of a large quantity  of music for the guitar in duets, trios, quartets and quintets with other instruments. One catalogue published at the time,  listing music available primarily in Germany and Austria before 1830, has details of over 1,600 such works.

Benavente are named after the guitar-playing Marquis de Benavente for whom Luigi Boccherini arranged a number of his own works for guitar and string quartet. The ensemble was formed to perform the vast repertoire of early 19th century chamber music  for various combinations of instruments with guitar.

A number of programmes are offered involving a variety of instrumentation and different numbers of players, from duos to quintets. All the performances are played on period instruments and the guitars are original instruments dating from the time, each selected to suit the repertoire being performed.

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