In French, the word ensemble means “together, with one another, or combined.” This week’s music features examples of diversity together: ensemble.
In particular, a wind ensemble is a combination of difference unified. Wood and brass, single reeds, double reeds, metal mouthpieces, curved and straight shapes, all connected by individual breaths, to create ensemble. Other ensembles, like the brass groups in last week’s playlist, bring together different members of the same family of instruments. But the wind ensemble combines instruments from different families: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and french horn. These distinctions require a different kind of attention to playing together, and they define the sound of the ensemble. The players are not focused on their differences, however. Their energy goes into the music. Despite the diversity of their instruments, they create harmony, together.
Enjoy the videos of the Danish ensemble Carion Quintet, featured in this week’s playlist. Their combination of dramatic and creative music-making brings out even more of the elements of diversity within unity that the word ensemble inspires.