25 Years of the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Adagio and Allegro for a mechanical organ in F minor K. 594 (arr. for wind quintet Michael Hasel)
Andante for a mechanical organ in F major K. 616 (arr. for wind quintet Michael Hasel)
Sextet for piano and wind quintet
Kleine Kammermusik op. 24 No. 2
Sextet for piano and wind quintet in B flat major
Praised by the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel for its “glorious colour effects, prismatically rich and transparent, as well as a quasi-orchestral expressive range”, the Philharmonic Wind Quintet, founded in 1988, now celebrates its 25th anniversary. On this occasion, the five musicians, joined by pianist Jon Nakamatsu, are presenting a wide-ranging programme that begins with works for mechanical organ by Mozart, the Adagio and Allegro K. 594 and Andante K. 616, arranged by Michael Hasel. They are followed by Francis Poulenc’s 1932 Sextet, which he called “a homage to the wind instruments I have loved”. It opens by humorously seeming to capture the turbulence of Parisian city life.
Similarly urban is the Kleine Kammermusik by erstwhile enfant terrible Paul Hindemith, characterised by New York’s Musical Courier in the year the work was written (1922) as the “bad boy” among the German composers. The reviewer goes on, however, to declare that everything Hindemith did had character and was marked by the strongest musicality. And so, not surprisingly, even the highly emotional Kleine Kammermusik has long been numbered among modern classics.
The programme concludes with the Sextet by Ludwig Thuille, successfully premiered in Wiesbaden in 1889. Although Thuille was part of the “Munich School” around Richard Strauss, the introductory horn solo actually pays homage to Brahms – similarities to the opening of his Second Piano Concerto are too strong to be coincidence…