Welcome the Woodwinds

Today’s pro­gramme fea­tures mem­bers of the wood­wind fam­i­ly — oboe, clar­inet, flute, bas­soon, recorder and more, includ­ing the gamut of Ear­ly Music wood­winds like the shawn (the pre­de­ces­sor of the oboe), cur­tal (a pro­to-bas­soon) and crumhorn. We will also be fea­tur­ing the clar­inet pieces of Eng­lish com­pos­er Ger­ald Finzi (1901–1956).

Of course, the major­i­ty of orches­tral music includes a wood­wind sec­tion, so the cri­te­ri­on for inclu­sion in today’s show was that a mem­ber of the wood­wind fam­i­ly is the lead instru­ment — a “wind band” is not suf­fi­cient (and they’re gen­er­al­ly usu­al­ly brass-heavy any­way), but a con­cer­to for bas­soon (yes there is at least one) counts.

Is the sax­o­phone a wood­wind or a brass instru­ment? Well, it’s a wood­wind! Says Wikipedia: “A wood­wind instru­ment is a musi­cal instru­ment that pro­duces sound when the play­er blows air against a sharp edge or through a reed, caus­ing the air with­in its res­onator (usu­al­ly a col­umn of air) to vibrate. Most of these instru­ments are made of wood but can be made of oth­er mate­ri­als, such as met­al or plas­tic.” So they are in.

The major­i­ty of today’s pro­gramme fea­tures music from the Baroque and Clas­si­cal eras (speak­ing broad­ly here), but there is some Renais­sance music too (and a lit­tle medi­ae­val) plus occa­sion­al­ly more recent works, includ­ing some light orches­tral com­po­si­tions and some mod­ern pieces by com­posers like Ger­ald Finzi, Chris Gun­ning and Richard Har­vey.

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. If you are in the Unit­ed States or Cana­da, please click here to launch the Stream Licens­ing play­er. To lis­ten from out­side North Amer­i­ca, click here to start your play­er .

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