In Greek mythology, Zephyr – ZEFIRO in Italian – was the gentle, kind god of the West Wind. In 1989 oboists Alfredo Bernardini and Paolo Grazzi and bassoonist Alberto Grazzi, members of some of the most outstanding Baroque orchestras, founded ZEFIRO, a versatile music group specialising in the eighteenth-century repertoire that gives particular prominence to wind instruments.
Since then, ZEFIRO has performed at many major European festivals, including those of Amsterdam, Aranjuez, Barcelona, Bonn, Geneva, Graz, Helsinki, Innsbruck, London, Liege, Lyons, Malmö, Manchester, Milan, Munich, Palma de Mallorca, Paris, Potsdam, Prague, Ravenna, Regensburg, Rome, Salzburg, Stuttgart, Stresa, Utrecht and Vienna. They have also played in Israel, Egypt, Japan, Korea, USA, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil and have always received enthusiastic responses from both audiences and the press.
In 1999 Zefiro realized a documentary-film on Antonio Vivaldi for the Belgian broadcasting company RTBF. ZEFIRO’s recordings include the six Sonatas for two oboes and bassoon by Jan Dismas Zelenka, the complete works for wind ensemble of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and their own arrangements for 12 winds and a double bass of excerpts from the three Mozart operas to librettos by Lorenzo da Ponte, Concertos for oboe, bassoon and strings and Concerti per vari strumenti by Antonio Vivaldi as part of the project by Opus/Naïve for the complete recording of Music by this composer from the University Library of Turin.
The ensemble has also rehabilitated two remarkable composers of the late eighteenth century, Georg Druschetzky and Luigi Gatti, and its recording of Handel’s Water Music and Telemann’s Wassermusik has established ZEFIRO’s reputation also as a Baroque orchestra.
The recordings for the label Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/Sony Bmg also include wind music by L.v.Beethoven, the Divertimenti for winds and strings by W.A.Mozart, “The Musick for the Royal Fireworks” by G.F.Handel and “Concerti & Ouverture” by J.F.Fasch.
More recent recordings all published on the “Arcana” label include the concerts for bassoon by Vivaldi, the Ouvertures by Telemann, the Venetian concerts for oboe, the CD “Harmonie & Turcherie”, the Bach Ouvertures/Suites and the Brandenburg Concertos.
All these CDs have received several international awards, including the coveted Grand Prix du Disque, the “Premio Nazionale Classic Voice” and the “Choc du Monde de la Musique de l’année 2007”, the “Editor’s Choice – Gramophone”, the “Diapason d’Or de l’année 2009”, the “Premio Franco Abbiati 2016”; ZEFIRO is now a reference worldwide, famed for its virtuoso performances of the wind repertoire on period instruments.
Zefiro’s activity is divided into three formations: chamber ensemble, wind group (“Harmonie”) and baroque orchestra to cover a vast part of the baroque repertoire from Vivaldi Concertos to Handel Operas, from Bach Cantatas and Haydn Masses to wind music by Mozart, Rossini and Beethoven.
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