FROM THE HORSES’ MOUTH
Christoph Mueller writes of his vision for the Bläserphilharmonie Zug
I think that one important fact is that even the worst amateur orchestra plays Mozart and Haydn, and the best amateur wind bands all over the world play Michael Jackson and other arranged pop music stuff
I totally agree with your comments about the acceptance of the wind music in the 'classical' music scene - not much to celebrate. but i think that one important fact of this is that even the worst amateur orchestra plays Mozart and Haydn and the best amateur wind bands all over the world play Michael Jackson and other arranged pop music stuff. For being recognized as a serious medium of art, you just have to be serious in your behaviour (which means programming and the way of playing). And in this case it makes it hard also for the few ensemble trying to be serious with, high artistic standards concerning programming and playing.
Writing this is because I'm still trying to get a financial background for my ensemble, the Bläserphiharmonie Zug, which would allow me to do more concerts, with larger ensembles (not just 9 or 10 musicians). On every occasion we are talking with a person in a position of deciding to give money to a cultural group, we do have to explain very detailed that what we are doing is a very serious thing on the highest professionel level. Meanwhile I'm not to shy anymore to compare the Bläserphilharmonie Zug with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, then the people at least have some idea . . .but who am I telling this to? .
In fact there are some news i think you should know:
1. The Bläserphilharmonie Zug will start it's next concert season in January with a superb programm: Lenart Cossart's Suite for Wind and Harp, Jolivet's 2nd Concerto for Trumpet and Francaix's Le Gay Paris with Immanuel Richter as soloist and closing the concert with Reynaldo Hahn's Le Bal de Beatrice d'Este
The soloist has been principal trumpet with the Orchestra di Scala di Milano and is now principal trumpet with the orchestra in Basel and teaching at the Hochschule Luzern.
2. We are planing to record some of the wind music by Carl Rütti in 2014 celebrating his 65th birthday. the recording definitely will include his Marimba Concerto (commisioned by the Bläserphilharmonie Zug), his Piano Concerto, three songs for soprano and wind ensemble, his Concerto for organ and wind ensemble. and we will premier his Concerto for Saxophone and wind ensemble in 2013. Loads of fine music, but all of it very difficult.
3. In 2013 Bläserphilharmonie Zug also will feature young Cello-star Nicolas Altstaed with the Gulda concerto.
4 in 2012 and 2013 we are planning a small tour with a Mozart-opera (Serail) with two actors…. they will tell the story, we provide the music, this will be entertaining!!!
You see, I'm not giving up by now and there are many more programs up in my head, just waiting to be realized!
So if you are in need of a superb wind ensemble or if you know a festival in need of a superb wind ensemble, just call me :-))
Wish you all the best!!
christoph mueller [email@example.com]
Andy Bassey writes from Central England on the same theme:
I read your letter to Classical Music Magazine and I sent it to my advanced players for discussion.
After much discussion we concluded that the musical fraternity is suffering from snobbery. Although more children are playing in wind bands the music 'profession' is led by orchestral players not wind bands. It is regarded as something you do as a 'kid', but when you grow up you become a 'real' musician, and you join an orchestra. Wind bands are part of the process of learning and therefore cannot be considered worthy of any adult consideration.
Even very good amateur orchestral brass and percussion players would prefer orchestras and find it very hard to lower themselves to try wind bands. Some grade 8 + players would prefer to play great classical/romantic music with grade 5 string players and hardly play a note in rehearsals just to say they have played a Beethoven or Tchaikovsky Symphony than to play a modern wind band work with masses to play for everyone including wonderful percussion and brass parts.
The image of the English Wind Band is embedded in the mind as something you hear in the park on a summer's sunday afternoon, marching down the road, military, kids, and not very good amateurs.
My mind went back to Stephen Laurence and her mother's relentless fight for justice. It took 18 years to get 2 of her son's murderers behind bars. The struggle goes on till the other 3 are locked up too. The lack of justice was blamed on 'Institutional Racism' in the way the Police handled the matter. Although not anywhere near as toxic, one could describe the attitude to the wind orchestras of the BBC and the music profession as 'Institutional Snobbery'
We agree that taming the 'wild beast' wind band takes care and dedication, but when achieved it produces the most sublime and beautiful musical expression definitely on a par with the symphony orchestra. Maybe the majority of wind band conductors are not able to 'tame the beast' and this is why people manifest such prejudicial attitudes.
Musical Director of NOW