Mahler V

About Natalia Ensemble

In 2013 we, that is, a group of old friends, got together for a week during the summer to play a chamber music concert. Mahler and Debussy were the protagonists of two concerts by 13 musicians for approximately 500 people. Two small concerts with big ambitions.

For nostalgic reasons we decided to call this group Natalia Ensemble, and after the concerts, the feedback we got from the audience was so heartwarming that we thought it was a pity to end it there. So we decided to continue with the ensemble.

That’s where things got complicated;

You see, founding an orchestra, or for this matter an ensemble, is something that often has to do more with politics than with music. One person, usually a conductor, has to search for funding, this usually comes from a municipality or regional funds. Then a concert venue is secured so that ticket sales can start, only after that, and after the repertoire is chosen, some musicians will get a call through some local network to come and play for a fee.

This is the way the classical music industry works, managed from above.

Concert seasons and festivals are born in meeting rooms lled with agents and managers who trade their conductors and soloists and sell them to the highest bidder. The audience and the musicians, who are the only people actually involved at the moment of the concert, are completely disconnected and have little to do with this process.

We did exactly the opposite.

This time it was the musicians who decided which repertoire to play, (which didn’t yet exist so we had to arrange it ourselves), then we asked for friends and family and venues to open the doors for us and after skipping the conductor, we were able to play some concerts that in several ways made us feel much more connected and engaged with what we were doing. A certain sense of belonging.

And this is our approach to making music. Since the rst time we played together everything has been planned in a bottom up way that gives us this special feeling, and as we take the responsibility for the whole process of music making, from the selection of the repertoire and the concept to the arrangements and the interpretation, we are much more able to convey a message to our listeners.

This was also the approach for this recording.

When we decided to record our Mahler 5 it wasn’t because we got a call from a record label, or the funds for the production, or even a hall to do it. This idea was born from within us and as an answer to our need to share this chamber version to a broader audience.
This is why this CD was crowdfunded, paid for and with the support of hundreds of people who just like us, wanted to take part in something bigger which a Mahler symphony certainly is.

We think this is the way, at least the right way for us, to face a musical challenge and music in general. From the bottom and with all the drive that comes from within us.

Mahler didn’t write his fth symphony, or any of them, in an executive meeting room and certainly not on a commission with a special concert in mind. He wrote his music because he had a message for the entire world and we are only trying to nd the best way to bring this message in the most direct way from his composing hut in Maiernigg to you.

José Andrés Reyes




DSD master


CD available jan 2017

Physical CD