Besides a “particular ability for the expression […] of meekness and resignation”, Hector Berlioz attested to the flute sounds of “serious and dreamy character”. It was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, however, who probably paid the wind instrument the greatest compliment when he has Tamino sing in the Magic Flute: “How powerful must be your magic tone, / Because, wondrous flute, even wild beasts / Feel joy at your sound”. The 14 Berliner Flötisten (Berlin Flutists) have dedicated themselves to the enthralling flute sound; the group was founded in 1996 by Andreas Blau, at the time principal flute of the Berliner Philharmoniker.
To be able to put together a line-up in which the entire spectrum of sound from the piccolo to the concert flute and alto flute to the contrabass and sub-contrabass flute would be represented, he also needed – in addition to all the Philharmonic flutists – colleagues from the other Berlin orchestras: the Staatskapelle, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, the orchestras of the Deutsche and the Komische Oper, and what at the time was the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester.
Since then, the musicians sound out the soft, nuanced and brilliant flute sound within a spectrum of not less than seven octaves, reinforced 14 times. The programme at this concert consists of works by Handel, Mozart, Verdi, Wolf-Ferrari, Ponchielli, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Bernstein, Matsushita and Mancini, including arrangements that can be heard in the ensemble’s distinctive sound, as well as original works composed for the 14 flutists.