The name of your ensemble ‘Houthandel’ translates in English to something like ‘timber trade’. This is certainly a distinctive identity for woodwind instruments, but your attitude to performing is also a refreshingly modern alternative to the usual concert-hall conventions, including choreographed movement and performances in unusual locations. Perhaps you can tell us more about this, and perhaps also how your energetic concept transfers itself into the recording studio?
Houthandel is an organisation which is based on three pillars: music, musicians and audience. Whatever the programme, the ensemble looks for the best possible form and content to create an optimal production. Houthandel uses various forms of expression to play for and with its public, and the result should therefore always be a powerful meeting between music and audience. Scenography, choreography and costume are an integral part of the performance, and the musicians also frequently play from memory, which brings a great deal of freedom. This provides flexibility for visualising the music in a space; gaining contact and interaction with audiences unencumbered by the physical and mental barriers which can often be thrown up by sheet music on a stand.
The challenge is indeed to create an intimate atmosphere through a studio recording, and to minimise the distance between listeners and musicians. We feel that a varied programme supports us in this aim. The repertoire that we chose for Into the Woods will amuse, surprise and fascinate the listener from start to finis