Zéphyros played with impeccable precision and rapt lyricism.
— The Chicago Sun Times
Is there a more inherently colorful ensemble than the wind quintet? The players infused this reading with unified phrasing, feathery releases, meticulous intonation, and mellifluous execution of the meandering lines. They played with the depth of sound and the assured, communicative élan that you expect from a seasoned chamber ensemble. Overall, the playing was persuasive, cohesive, and overflowing with mature artistry. This is a special ensemble.
— San Francisco Classical Voice
On the heels of Richard Wagner’s 200th anniversary, Zéphyros presents a program to commemorate the sesquicentennial of one of his most famous disciples, Richard Strauss. The 150th anniversary of Strauss’ birth presents an opportunity to explore the composer of grandiose orchestral scores and scandalous opera on a more intimate level.
The profound and continued influence of Johann Sebastian Bach is most artfully presented with performances of music by the composers on which he had so great an effect. This program frames music of devotees Mendelssohn, Villa-Lobos, and Hindemith with seminal works of the master himself.
In 1887, Saint-Saëns invited three celebrated French wind soloists, flautist Paul Taffanel, oboist George Gillet, and clarinetist Charles Turban, to join him for a series of performances in St. Petersburg. Zéphyros takes these Russia programs as a starting point for an exploration of the sophisticated world of Parisian wind playing.
The wind quintet had its quiet birth in 1803, with the publication of three works for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn, by Giuseppe Maria Cambini. However it wasn’t until the 20th century that the wind quintet gained widespread recognition from composers and audiences. Zéphyros’ program is drawn largely from the first half of the last century, a period that was the “Golden Age” of the wind quintet.
The prolific German composer, Wolfgang Rihm, is one of the truly important compositional voices of our time though many of his important works have yet to be heard in the United States. Written in 2003 for Ensemble Wien-Berlin, Rihm’s Quintet for Winds is a major contribution to 21st-century chamber music. Zéphyros presented the American premiere of Rihm’s Quintet for Winds in 2016.