German ensemble performs at Alhamra

Published October 24, 2023
White Star
White Star

LAHORE: For the first time, the Annemarie-Schimmel-Haus, the German Cultural Centre of Lahore, has partnered with the All Pakistan Music Conference 2023 to bring the renowned Ensemble 4.1 to Lahore.

The ensemble, consisting of a pianist and four wind instrument players, graced the stage with compositions by the likes of Ludwig van Beethoven and Walter Gieseking on Monday at Alhamra. This concert marks a pivotal moment in Ensemble 4.1’s Pakistan tour, during which they will perform in Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, and Islamabad.

The Hall 1 of Alhamra witnessed a large gathering of music enthusiasts. The stage was adorned with vibrant flowers, setting the scene for an enchanting evening of musical renditions. Naureen Zaki from the German Cultural Centre delivered a brief introduction, acquainting the audience with the talented musicians from Germany. The audience responded to each musical piece with resounding applause, clearly appreciating the performance.

A decade ago, an invitation from the former director of the Goethe-Institut Karachi to perform in Pakistan served as the catalyst for the creation of ‘Ensemble 4.1’, the world’s sole piano windtet of its kind. The celebration of this anniversary would not be complete without holding concerts in Pakistan, marking a return to the ensemble’s “birthplace.”

Featuring four wind soloists and pianist Thomas Hoppe, the ensemble dedicates itself to this often-overlooked classic musical genre. As repeatedly stated by critics, the ensemble’s unique communication and the electrifying atmosphere on stage have become its distinctive hallmark.

Besides performing the principal works for this instrumentation by the likes of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven, Ensemble 4.1 primarily focuses on unearthing rarely heard compositions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Quintets by composers such as Walter Gieseking, Theodor Verhey, Heinrich von Herzogenberg, and Gustav Holst are being reintroduced to an enthusiastic audience after an extended absence.Paul-Gregor Straka (solo bassoonist), born in Berlin, received his first bassoon lessons at the Carl-Philipp-Emanuel-Bach conservatory (Musikhochschule) and became a junior student at the Berlin University of Music. There he was supported through additional lessons by the International Music Academy by master classes and by taking part in numerous concerts at home and abroad.

Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2023

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