I Solisti del Vento
Stijlbewust
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I Solisti del Vento

an ensemble aware of her style

 

In contrast to the string quartet, the wind ensemble does not handle a standard strength. I Solisti del Vento is fully aware of the historic ambiguous status which this strength has fulfilled in the history of music. Starting from the modern wind instrumentation, I Solisti del Vento keeps a finger on the pulse of the musicological studies concerning the authentic performance of wind music. Therefore it tries to be a vivid, contemporary and flexible ensemble that looks back on its historic background, but is open to modern, actual renewal, concerning the musically dramatic potential of music for winds, as well. As a result, I Solisti del Vento sets herself up as defending the classical as well as the romantic repertoire and as supporting and defending the modernistic and new-fashioned developments within the music for winds. To guarantee such artistic flexibility, a variable formation is necessary. The repertoire performed by I Solisti del Vento forces the ensemble to use different formations, going from quintet, past ‘die Harmonie’, to large wind ensemble.

                                                          

classical

From the beginning of the eighteenth century onwards, (chamber) music formations for winds already were in demand. The large and multilayered sound spectre of this (early-)classical wind music started from horns and bassoons, supplemented by oboes, clarinets and/or flutes. I Solisti del Vento honours the varied oeuvre of the eighteenth century in the matter of strength and sound technical innovation and attempts to perform the works from this period as historically correct as possible. The ensemble therefore focuses on the first compositional experiments concerning heterogeneous sound production. ‘Die Harmonie’ – as a wind ensemble consisting of 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns and 2 bassoons whether or not supplemented by a double bassoon or contrabass, was called – was very popular at that time, which not only resulted in many original works of great masters like Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and others, but in various arrangements of operas and of other compositions for the wind ensemble as well. Nevertheless the ‘die Harmonie’ was not an authorized, but changeable strength that constantly made different demands in respect of sound proportion. I Solisti del Vento is aware of the varying compositional requirements this formation demanded in the eighteenth century. Thanks to her presence on the stage, the ensemble provides the listener with the opportunity to interestingly respond to the many-hued wind formation.

 

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romantic

The large-scale output of classical wind music strongly contrasts with the relative indifference, in which way the wind formation was used in the nineteenth century. In spite of some interesting, romantic compositions (of Beethoven, Reicha, Gounod, Dvorák, Brahms), composers, during a large part of the nineteenth century, hardly paid any attention to creating wind music. Only at the end of Romanticism, the socio-cultural and aesthetic preferential treatment of stringed and keyboard instruments was put an end to. Late-romantic composers, such as Bruckner or Strauss, ‘rediscovered’ the sound technical capacity of the wind ensemble and used the formation’s unique expressiveness to enrich the repertoire with new masterpieces. I Solisti del Vento regards that it is her duty to not interpret the Romantic lack of interest as a compositional vacuum and to search within this period for valuable contributions to the wind repertoire.

modern and contemporary music

I Solisti del Vento searches for forgotten but pivotal wind music from the twentieth century as well. Every year the ensemble selects one composer, the work of whom it will elaborate. In this way the wind music of Erwin Schulhoff and Paul Gilson has already been explored and a two-day celebration of Olivier Messiaen, in honour of his hundredth year of birth has been mounted by I Solisti del Vento. Moreover, the ensemble yearly commissions contemporary (Flemish) composers to enlarge the existing wind repertoire. For instance Daniel Capelletti, Frits Celis, Alain Craens, Wim Henderickx, Bert Joris, Luc Van Hove, Jan Van Landeghem, Annelies Van Parys, Stefan Van Puymbroeck and Petra Vermote have already written for the ensemble. A careful selection of these compositions has been recorded. Searching for enrichment of the wind repertoire, I Solisti del Vento does not only stick to the field of classical music, but also encourages other music styles to embrace the unique sound of the wind formation. For that matter, the ensemble has already cooperated with jazz musicians, among which contrabassist Hein Van de Geyn and trumpet player Bert Joris. Within the scope of the Golden Wings (Gouden Vleugels) project, I Solisti del Vento, laureate of the KBC-Music Award (KBC-Muziekprijs), acted as a tutor ensemble for the young, promising jazz formation High Voltage Sextet. This cooperation has been awarded with the Klara Tandem Trophy 2003.

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