Carion’s unique and fresh approach to chamber music has brought acclaimed performances in Europe’s most prestigious festivals, including the Rheingau Festival, Kissinger Sommer, Beethovenfest Bonn, Bergen Festival and Tonhalle MAAG, as well as earning standing ovations from audiences in the USA, South America and the Far East. Carion has released six highly critically acclaimed CDs – including stellar reviews from Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine, awards from Danish radio, and the Best Classical Album of 2015 on iTunes. But nothing compares to their trend-setting music videos on YouTube that continue generating views counted in the millions, the landmark performance of Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles being used as an example and reference recording to music students worldwide.
By forgoing the customary chairs and music stands, Carion brings fresh and daring new interpretations to the stage. Like actors in a play, they freely move around, changing places and engaging in almost theatrical scenes with each other and the audience. At moments of musical conflict, the bassoon and clarinet literally butt heads, only to recede into the background a minute later to support a forlorn flute solo. It is precisely this new freedom of communication and ability to visualise the architecture of a piece of music that characterises Carion, and which has brought the ensemble to the world stage.
Carion presents a varied and interesting repertoire. The ensemble is well rooted in the established wind quintet works, but has received the most favourable critiques for its interpretations of Carl Nielsen, Jacques Ibert, Paul Hindemith, Pēteris Vasks and especially the Six Bagatelles by György Ligeti. Carion has worked with contemporary composers such as Jeppe Just, Renāte Stivriņa, Andris Dzenītis, Britta Byström and Anders Nordentoft. One of the most notable and well-received projects of late has been Carion Tryptich – a concerto for Carion and symphony orchestra that saw them give a world premiere with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and Odense Symphony Orchestra. The innovative and colourful programming of the ensemble is made possible by the talent for arranging music for this wind quintet by Carion’s own horn player, David M.A.P. Palmquist.