Ensemble 4.1 was founded in Germany in 2013 by four leading orchestral wind players and pianist Thomas Hoppe to perform quintets for piano and wind instruments alongside pieces for smaller combinations. The first half of this concert is devoted to chamber works by Francis Poulenc, whose music for wind instruments is some of the most delightful of the 20th century. From the ebullient Trio written in 1926 to two works from the 1950s: Elégie for horn and piano written in memory of the great horn player Dennis Brain, and the Clarinet Sonata, commissioned by Benny Goodman. The final work on the program is a rarity: the 1919 Quintet for Piano and Wind by the great pianist Walter Gieseking.
Please note that this concert takes place at the Cosmos Club, 2121 Massachusetts Ave., NW.
Four wind soloists from top German Orchestras and one unmistakable pianist, Thomas Hoppe, devote themselves to this still undiscovered wonderful musical genre. The communicative powers through its music and the intoxicating atmosphere the ensemble creates on stage has repeatedly been praised by critics and has become a hallmark of Ensemble 4.1. In addition to the original masterworks for this instrumentation by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven, the ensemble is devoted to discovering rarely played compositions from the Romantic and Modern periods. After many years of silence, composers like Walther Gieseking, Theodor Verhey, Herrmann Zilcher, and Arne Oldberg are again being performed for an enthusiastic public.
The beginnings of the group were overseen and fostered by the renowned Goethe Institute, who assisted with the initial concerts and worldwide tours. Since its inception in 2013, Ensemble 4.1 has already crisscrossed the globe and performed recitals in China, Pakistan, Austria, Germany, Algeria, Canada, and the US, in cities such as Berlin, Istanbul, New York City, Toronto, Ottawa, Karachi, Shanghai and Chengdu. They have appeared with great success at festivals in Denmark and in Malta, as well as at the Kotor Festival in Montenegro.