In their first album, the Ensemble Ouranos celebrate the wind quintet, bringing a breath of fresh air to the form with a hint of nostalgia.
Indeed, the common thread in the works of Ligeti, Nielsen and Dvorak is a strong influence from the folk material of each composer’s native country. Winners of the Concours International de Musique de Chambre de Lyon, Ensemble Ouranos brilliantly represent the French school of wind instruments.
“The spontaneity and the sheer virtuosity of Ligeti’s Bagatelles is amazing in this recording of Ouranos, and the musicians are likely to have only the sky as limit. So the quintet’s name is truly appropriate. On the disc, you can also hear a colourful and atmospheric account of the Nielsen Quintet. The transcription of Dvorak’s American Quintet works well, except for the Lento which becomes a little shrill. Yet, the playful Finale makes us quickly forget that.”
“In this performance by Ensemble Ouranos I am struck by the freshness and vivacity of the first-class playing.[…] Highly committed and assured, the Ensemble Ouranos plays splendidly throughout with an abundance of alertness, vitality and uplifting joie de vivre. […].As far as albums of wind music go, this is one of the finest I have had the pleasure of hearing for some time. Enthusiasts of wind music have absolutely no reason to hesitate.”