Astria Oboe Trio had already performed works of Ralph Vaughan Williams (Five Pieces on cd Variations) when Dimitri Mestdag discovered his vocal music. Dimitri had the idea to turn a selection into a production with a soprano. Erik Desimpelaere, who was contacted for the arrangement, pointed out the need for an additional instrument to introduce more colour and harmony. He set to work after Dimitri’s suggestion to go for a harp. This is how Love Bade Me Welcome was born. The harpist is Anouk Sturtewagen, who a.o. was a laureate of the Music Competition of Rotary Gent in 2005. The harmonious interplay of the feather light sounds of the harp with those of the melancholic ones of the oboes grant an extra dimension to the wonderful songs and folksongs performed by Lore Binon.
As early as in 2016 Dimitri Mestdag played with the idea to combine baroque and minimalistic music. He was convinced the confrontation of Bach’s oeuvre with that of Glass and Reich would generate a surprising added value; he made a selection and chose percussion in addition to the oboes for the performance of the music. The confrontation of the music on the one hand and the instruments on the other yields an unknown rhythm and enchanting richness of sound.
At the outset the percussionists were Dimitri’s collegues of Antwerp Symphony Orchestra; when they left Belgium, As One joined in, a Flemish percussion duo.
In the mean time the repertoire has matured and developed: work of Koetsier, Tabakova and Brossé have enriched this production.