Boxwood & Brass was formed in 2013 to recreate ‘harmoniemusik’.
In the late eighteenth century, wealthy patrons and nobles in German speaking lands in central Europe, who had previously employed small orchestras, adopted the harmonie as their resident musicians.
A harmonie was a wind band based around pairs of clarinets (and/or oboes), horns and bassoons, sometimes supplemented by flutes, basset horns, trumpets, trombones, contrabassoons and serpents.
As a result, composers, including Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn, wrote as many as 12,000 original works for the harmonie to meet the demand from their patrons. Other works based on string sections were arranged for harmonie, so that these too could be heard economically and at home without the need for a full orchestra.
In order to give a true impression of what a harmonie concert would have sounded like, the programme includes pieces by Beethoven and Weber written specifically for harmonie, and two pieces of Mozart, including the Symphony No. 39, arranged for this group of instruments.