Capella de la Torre is a group of musicians who have made a name for themselves as specialists in historical performance practice. The ensemble's aim is to give listeners an immediate experience of the rich and hitherto neglected repertoire of mediaeval and renaissance music by performing it to a professional standard.
The name "de la Torre" has a double meaning. In the first place, it pays homage to the Spanish composer Francisco de la Torre, who wrote his "Danza Alta" at the beginning of the 16th century. This is probably the most famous piece for what was then known as "capella alta", an ensemble of wind instruments such as shawms, dulcians, sackbuts and cornetti. Capella de la Torre has specialized in music written for the "capella alta". Secondly, the name may be taken in a literal sense: "de la Torre" means "from the tower" and groups of wind players (Spanish: ministriles) often played on towers or balconies at festivals and other official occasions. "Torres de los Ministriles" are still to be found in many Spanish towns today.
Capella de la Torre does not confine itself to Spanish music, however, but also plays music written throughout the rest of Europe for the "hauts instruments" or "loud instruments". In general, it tries to breathe life into the old traditions of "ministriles", "piffari" and "Stadtpfeiffer". In the music world of today there are very few ensembles centred around historical double-reed instruments. This is particularly so in Germany.