Sample Programs

Zéphyros presents insightful programs drawn from the wide spectrum of chamber music featuring winds. Please browse a selected list of sample programs to the right.

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

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 frequent bleakness and sweeping landscapes dotted with color and motion of Scandinavia and Finland influenced music of grand scale and unique tonal imagery. Nordic composers, past and present have written generously for winds. Zéphyros’ program includes favorites by Jean Sibelius and the eternally popular quintet of Carl Nielsen, along with new works by international superstars Esa-Pekka Salonen and Anders Hillborg.

Zéphyros Winds celebrates the “American Dream” with a program highlighting the diverse compositional styles of the 20th and 21st centuries. Samuel Barber’s lush and expressive Summer Music sets the tone for the program while Irving Fine’s Partita provides a neo-classical counterpart to the avant-garde duo of Elliott Carter. Closing out each half are works by contemporary composers that borrow from and pay homage to jazz, America’s premier art form.

From the pioneering figures of Beethoven and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, to the fantastical imagery of Mendelssohn and Strauss, Zéphyros Winds presents a program of masterworks of the wind literature from the 18th and 19th centuries. In this program with piano, we feature Beethoven’s early Quintet for Piano and Winds and David Carp’s colorful arrangement of Richard Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks.

Drawing from luminary German composers Mendelssohn and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and masters of the wind quintet repertoire Franz Danzi and August Klughardt, this program puts on display the full array of colors, textures, and emotion of which the wind quintet is capable. An arrangement of Clara Schumann’s Fugues on Themes of JS Bach and Wolfgang Rihm’s monumental quintet from 2003 round out the program.