A look at Decline and Fall, our new programme exploring some of the politically-loaded music produced during the decline of the Holy Roman Empire.Read More
Our first tour of 2018 is upon us and we thought we'd share some thoughts on the sextet repertoire we'll be enjoying playing to lovely audiences in Stamford, Skipton and York...Read More
Our 2017–18 season's programmes range from intimate chamber music to arrangements that chronicle the grand sweep of European history...Read More
August might seem like an odd time for an end-of-year roundup. But for musicians, the sight of September looming on the horizon always has the whiff of 'back to school' about it.Read More
Robert returns to the question of what a properly dressed, fully-historically informed Harmonie should wear; and are female players of historical instruments really an anachronism?Read More
How do you dress an 18th-century wind band... particularly when it's full of women? Robert Percival explores the highways and byways of Harmoniemusik fashion...Read More
In May 1810 the Viennese publisher S. A. Steiner’a Viennese publishing house Chemische Druckerei announced a new Journal for Harmonie, consisting of arrangements of works of “recognised and famous” masters, who he claimed would be correcting their own compositionsRead More
Though there are many fabulous original works for Harmonie from the late-18th and early-19th centuries, Boxwood & Brass spends much of its time playing arrangements. Why do we do it? Clarinettist Emily Worthington gives a player's perspective.Read More
It could be a question in a pointless TV quiz: which Beethoven symphony was the most frequently performed in Vienna in his lifetime; was it a) the Eroica, b) the Fifth, or c) the Ninth? In fact, it was none of these. The most frequently performed symphony was the Seventh Symphony. Composed in 1811-12, it lay unperformed for the best part of two years until...Read More
This year has seen a good number of new Harmoniemusik releases. We thought it would be useful to put them all in one place, for your perusal! Happy shopping...Read More
Stuck for last-minute gift ideas? Give the gift of Harmoniemusik for Christmas! We've pulled together our personal top 5 CDs from some of the big names in Harmoniemusik. Being Boxwood & Brass, however, we've combined our favourite ensembles with a bit of a 'repertoire explorer': so, no Mozart serenades here (much though we love them), but plenty of new sounds for curious ears...Read More
Boxwood & Brass’s Tausch odyssey started innocently enough, with a concert in September 2015 at the lovely St Peter’s Church in Streatham where we were ensemble-in-residence. We were fielding a slightly smaller team than normal, and needed to find repertoire for 2 clarinets, horn and bassoon. A bit of research led us to a Kunzelmann edition of ‘5 Stücke’ by Franz Tausch...Read More
Last Friday night Boxwood and Brass went to the ball!
We were invited by Sally Munday-Webb of Brackley Town Council to provide the music for their inaugural Georgian ball. This event, which we hope will become a regular fixture in the Boxwood and Brass calendar, was part of the very exciting plans to restore Brackley's beautiful Georgian Town Hall...Read More
How late can 'Historically-Informed Performance' (HIP) go? Well, pretty late. In 2014, as part of my British Library Edison Visiting Research Fellowship, I was lucky to be able to spend time studying an extraordinary collection of recordings made by the wind quintet of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra for the German Polydor label during the 1920s.Read More
Whilst it may appear to have been quiet lately on the B&B blog, it certainly hasn't been quiet with B&B in general!
We spent the first week of April in the Shropshire town of Ludlow. Renowned today as a destination for foodies, Ludlow is the perfect place for B&B history geeks...Read More
Here are Boxwood and Brass Towers we're cooking up various plans for the Harmoniemusik course we're holding in Benslow in September. It's a very exciting project and we're very music looking forward to it, hence spending a lot of time this evening shifting through repertoire, considering what music might work best.Read More
As we prepared for our recent concert for Music-at-Hill, we started musing about ensemble disposition. Normally, we follow the convention of standing in a horseshoe-shape, deep or shallow depending on the space and acoustic of the venue. But recently Robert our bassoonist discovered several references to bands playing in a closed circle...Read More
Why do concerts always start with the 'little' pieces and end with the 'big' ones? That's what we've been wondering this week as we plan programmes for next season. What if we put the biggest piece at the start of the programme? That way, it comes when we and the audience are at our freshest, with the added advantage that we get a nice substantial piece to settle us into the programme. Then, after the interval, the audience can settle down with a glass of wine and enjoy some lighter fare! Think of is as a 'front-loaded' programme, rather than one 'based fundamentally on the idea of crescendo' (to misquote Tony Pay)
The idea isn't new, by the way: in the 19th century, it was common to have the substantial music in the first half. This Proms programme from 1896 features the Wieniawski Violin Concerto AND Dvorak Symphon No. 9 (or No. 5 in the old numbering) in the first half, followed by a second half of fantasias and songs. Maybe they recognised something obvious: no-one's concentration gets better as the evening wears on!