For the title of this work Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) returned to the original meaning of ‘symphony’ - a group of instruments playing, or sounding together. And so the title of this single-movement work is 'Symphonies of Wind Instruments', not Symphonies for Wind Instruments.
The work is dedicated to the memory of Claude Debussy, who died in 1918, and Stravinsky composed it in Brittany during the summer of 1920. The Russian composer had a great admiration for Debussy, whom he once referred to as ‘my father in music’.
The 'Symphonies of Wind Instruments' developed from a chorale for piano which Stravinsky was invited to contribute for a memorial to Debussy. It is now considered one of the major 20th-century works for wind ensemble.
Recorded 24 August 2018, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ Concert
Sound engineer: Graham Kennedy