January 10, 2019 at 7:59 pm #142407
Delmar A. WilliamsParticipant
Here is the USA February 5-24 2019 tour schedule of Berlin Phil Wind Quintet. TX MD AZ CA IN SC VA OH KY TN KY
30 Years of the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet VIDEO in German
Google Translation of article from Berlin Philharmonic Magazine. https://www.berliner-philharmoniker.de/…/philharmonisches-…/
Like the string quartet, the wind quintet belongs to the supreme discipline of chamber music. “As an orchestra musician, we find it a great asset to play in the wind quintet – because we have learned to hear each other in a different way,” says Walter Seyfarth, clarinetist of the Berliner Philharmoniker. He knows what he’s talking about. For 30 years he has been a member of the Philharmonic Wind Quintet Berlin, an ensemble that was initiated by his initiative: In 1988, Walter Seyfarth was invited to perform in quintet formation at Café Einstein. For this event, he was able to inspire his Philharmonic colleagues, the flutist Michael Hasel, the oboist Andreas Wittmann, the horn player Fergus McWilliam and the bassoonist Henning Trog. The great success of their concert encouraged the musicians continue to work together in this occupation. Today, the Philharmonic Wind Quintet is represented by several major concert agencies, coordinating performances and tours around the world: the musicians often give 20 to 25 concerts per year in addition to their regular orchestral service. Only once did a change take place: After Henning Trog retired, the bassoonist Marion Reinhard took over his position.
In search of the perfect sound mixture
Unlike the string quartet, the instrumentation with four different woodwinds and a brass instrument is very heterogeneous. Therein lies the challenge, but also the charm. There is the high, all-over flute, the equally high, nasal oboe, the sonorous clarinet, the lower horn belonging to the brass instruments, and the bassoon as bass. “We flutists like to go prima donna because we play the top voice. With this color you could make the rest of the ensemble pretty flat. As a flutist, I find it quite important to make sure that the sound remains integrated, that it mixes well with the oboe or clarinet. “Adapting to each other, listening to each other – this is also the top priority for Walter Seyfarth:” I constantly pay attention on the articulation of the oboe and the flute, which can play a much shorter staccato. This is very difficult for the clarinet with its much larger resonance range. In addition, I have to constantly mix with the horn and bassoon. It must never come to a stick out of the timbre. The clarinet has something of a mediator function. ”
Walter Seyfarth points out that all members of the quintet do not occupy solo positions in the orchestra. “We are all used to adapting to the first voices. The art of retreating benefits the ensemble impression of the quintet. “According to Andreas Wittman, filing on the sound balance is an important, but not the only, aspect of the interaction:” Over the 30 years, we tried to sound over what one usually knows of a wind quintet to go out. It was important to us to find more timbres and create mixed colors. The audience should have the impression that a larger ensemble is playing. ”
In contrast to the string quartet, the literature for the wind section is manageable, especially since the musicians were agreed from the beginning to play only original works, no arrangements. “That limits the repertoire selection a lot,” grins Michael Hasel. “We often play the same pieces. But we know them better and more intensively. We have really internalized the repertoire. “This repertoire begins in Viennese classical music with works by Anton Reicha and Franz Danzi and extends all the way to compositions of the 20th century, in which the wind quintet experienced a renaissance. Over the years, pieces were added that were written especially for the ensemble, such as Xenion by Volker David Kirchner, the Suite brasileiraby Julio Medaglia or the Second Wind Quintet by Kalevi Aho, in which a piccolo and alto flute as well as a cor anglais are alternately used in addition to the »classical instruments«. For the musicians, these works are often physically challenging. “Sometimes we feel like a marathon runner. We are constantly challenged in the quintet, not just as a tuttist, but as a soloist, “explains Andreas Wittmann. Also essential for the development of the ensemble were the more than 20 CD recordings that were made over the years. “The wonderful thing after all these decades is that we do not have much to talk about. We are attuned to each other and know each other’s reactions, “says a delighted Walter Seyfarth. The others nod in agreement: “It’s like a good red wine: it’s getting better over the years.”
The text is the abridged version of a contribution by Nicole Restle for the magazine 128 (Volume 04/2018), the editions of which are available in our online shop and in the Philharmonie’s shop.bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
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