Concert

Ensemble Mini

Joolz Gale, conductor
Bartók | Stravinsky

Large orchestral works arranged for a small ensemble – with Ensemble Mini, it’s all in the name. In keeping with the festival's central theme, the ensemble will perform two of Stravinsky’s symphonic works, composed under difficult conditions during the Second World War.

Joolz Gale

Joolz Gale

© Gavin Evans

Past Dates

Programme booklet Ensemble Mini 12.09.2021 PDF, 2.4 MB

Concerts online
Live stream of the concert in the Digital Concert Hall,
available 12 September 2021, 11:00
Recording of the concert at Musikfest Berlin on Demand,
available 13 September 2021, 16:00 – 23 September 2021, 16:00

When he founded the Ensemble Mini in 2010, conductor Joolz Gale set out to bring large scores to life with small ensembles. He wanted to perform with fewer than 20 musicians what would otherwise require 60, 80 or even more musicians. For his venture, he enlisted leading members of the best orchestras. While many were sceptical about his plans, audiences were amazed by the results. The arrangements of massive works such as Mahler's Tenth not only sounded more transparent, allowing many a detail to appear vividly that might have been lost amidst the large sound; they also captured the play of colour that contributed to the original's effect, and they captured its atmosphere. These transcriptions have nothing pedagogical about them, but rather verve, knowledge, and intellectual enjoyment. The musicians hold the original form in their mind's ear and they know how to apply the art on which the effect of music is essentially based: that of suggestion.

After Mahler, Strauss, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Bruckner and Bartók, the ensemble now turns its attention to the final two of Stravinsky's five symphonies. Both were written during critical times. The Symphony in C in four movements was begun in Paris after his sister-in-law, daughter, wife and mother had died within the space of eight months; it was continued in an Alpine lung sanatorium and completed in the USA. Stravinsky later said that he still remembered in which phase of World War II each respective movement was composed. The power of art is proven in its independence from the disastrous course of history: encouraging those who arrange the music to highlight its poignancy, a quality close to Stravinsky's heart in any case.

Concert Programme

Igor Stravinsky (1882 – 1971)
Symphony in C (1938 – 1940)
arranged for chamber orchestra by Joolz Gale based on the original version for orchestra (2020),
commissioned by Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin.

Béla Bartók (1881 – 1945)
Violin Concerto No. 1 Sz 36 (1907/08)
arranged for chamber orchestra by Joolz Gale based on the original version for orchestra (2021),
commissioned by Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin.

Igor Stravinsky
Symphony in Three Movements (1946)
arranged for chamber orchestra by Joolz Gale based on the original version for orchestra (2021),
commissioned by Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin.

A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event.