by Daniel Hathaway
Downsizing seems to be one of the buzz concepts of our era, but the ever-game-for-a-challenge Imani Winds took the idea to a new level of miniaturization on Sunday afternoon in Oberlin’s Finney Chapel, when that excellent woodwind quintet, performing on the Artist Recital Series, impressed the sox off a good-sized audience with their ear-boggling performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in an arrangement by Jonathan Russell.
Well, OK, not the whole piece, but Russell gives the quintet a good twenty-minutes worth of Stravinsky’s score redeployed for flute (and piccolo), oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon, and it worked. In her introduction, oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz noted that the audience would be able to hear inner details that had heretofore been “covered up by loud percussion and obnoxious brass — you know who you are!” she joked to the balconies where some of those blushing conservatory offenders were sure to be found. [Read more…]