The musicians of the ensemble are portrayed with their reed instruments

From hobbits to Cruyff, with the Municipal Band and the Calefax Reed Quintet

The Barcelona-based ensemble pays tribute to the Dutch composer Johan de Meij at the Auditori.

One of the most well-known and performed orchestral conductors and composers in the Netherlands, Johan de Meij, fills the Pau Casals Hall of L'Auditori with his music, where the Municipal Band and the Dutch ensemble Calefax Reed Quintet pay tribute by performing his creations. Listen to how Gandalf sounds or reminisce about a football legend on Sunday, September 3.

De Meij is a celebrity in the wind orchestra scene (he is a trombonist himself and started playing in an orchestra), so, to accompany the orchestra, the Barcelona Municipal Band has chosen the Calefax Reed Quintet, an ensemble that knows the composer's repertoire perfectly and shares his innovative character. They are a quintet of reed instruments, an unconventional choice. They consider themselves, in their own words, "a classical ensemble with a pop mentality."

The band and quintet, under the direction of maestro Björn Bus, perform three compositions by the author. First, the opening piece "Continental" will sound, followed by a musical tribute in the form of "Concerto Grosso for wind quintet and wind orchestra" to the late Johan Cruyff, an athlete who stole the hearts of a generation of Barcelona fans and football lovers worldwide with a creative, rebellious, and innovative style of play. Someone has said that these same qualities can be attributed to Johan de Meij, who would be something like a Cruyff of wind symphonic music. You can judge for yourself if you listen to this composition premiered in 2020. It has a title appended that gives it its name and that the then Barça player often used: "Un momento dado" (At a given moment). The quintet has already performed it in recent years on various occasions, in the Netherlands and the USA.

It won't be the only surprise if you are not familiar with this composer. His best-known and earliest work is the Symphony No. 1 "The Lord of the Rings," a piece inspired by Tolkien's novel cycle in which the various movements describe with astonishing precision the personalities and characteristics of the different characters in the work. You can hear it in a concert by the Barcelona Municipal Band that, true to its principles, brings compositions and artists not well-known enough to the public.

If you want to know what Johan de Meij's music sounds like, come to L'Auditori on December 3, but first, check the concert information on the website.


Publication date: Thursday, 30 November 2023
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