Music in Vienna: Boxwood and Brass
21/02/2017, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tuesday 21 February 7 pm
University Concert Hall, Corbett Road
Music in Vienna: 1700, 1800, 1900
Boxwood and Brass
Boieldieu arr. Anon: Overture Jean de Paris
Triebensee : Partita in E flat
Beethoven arr. Anon: Symphony no. 7
The imaginatively named group Boxwood & Brass specialise in Harmoniemusik (for wind instruments) from the two or three decades either side of 1800. This is a fascinating and, with the exception of some Mozart examples, a relatively unknown repertoire. The Harmonie usually described an ensemble of up to fifteen players, generally with pairs of oboes, clarinets, horns and bassoons, sometimes supplemented by a wide range of other instruments. With its roots in Viennese saloon and Imperial music, a parallel tradition was growing in France through military and revolutionary bands.
Praised for their ‘spectacular playing’ (Robert Hugill), Boxwood & Brass was formed in 2013 by a group of period wind-instrument players to advocate for neglected wind chamber music and Harmoniemusik of the Classical and early-Romantic periods. We had all trained and worked in mainland Europe, and we were struck by the fact that every other major country except Britain was home to a historical Harmonie. We wanted to emulate the success of groups like Nachtmusique in the Netherlands, Zefiro in Italy, and Amphion in Germany by combining in-depth scholarly research with stylish interpretation and show what Classical-period wind instruments are really capable of. As the group has developed, a determinedly irreverant attitude to the music canon has emerged: who needs strings to play a classical symphony? How about opera without words? For us, no repertoire is off limits, and no composer too obscure.
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