Only gradually has the music world come to realize how individual George Perle's music is, what a flexible musical language he has developed, and how different that language is from serialism. Perle never writes down to an audience and never worries about "accessibility," but he is a firm believer that "a piece that 'makes sense' will reach one, at some intuitive level, even at first hearing." Perle's divergence from mainstream twelve-tone music came early. In 1937 he borrowed the score to Alban Berg's Lyric Suite through which he discovered Schoenberg's twelve-tone system; but instead of regarding the row as an inviolable ordering of the twelve pitches, he considered it a modified scale that the composer could move around in at will. By the time he realized his mistake, he had discovered so many possibilities in his own, more flexible system that, as he said, "Schoenberg's idea of the series seemed so primitive compared to mine." Perle persevered in developing a "twelve-tone tonality," method of using the entire chromatic spectrum that corresponds closely to the major/minor system of traditional tonality.
The young Thalia Ensemble erupted into the public spotlight with their being chosen as winners at the prestigious biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition. Their debut release spotlights the compositions of Antoine Reicha. Regarded as a pre-eminent composer for winds, Reicha , a flautist had an uncanny gift of melding the various wind instruments into a rich sonic tapestry in his compositions and the Thalia Ensemble’s inspired and dynamic playing proves to be a perfect match with the lively Wind Quintets.
Kuijken was born in Dilbeek, near Brussels. He was a member of the Alarius Ensemble of Brussels between 1964 and 1972 and formed La Petite Bande in 1972. Since 1971 he has taught Baroque violin at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium in Brussels. He is noted for using the older technique of resting the violin on the shoulder without a shoulder rest, rather than held under the chin. He is a member of the Kuijken String Quartet, which he formed in 1986. In recent years, he has also performed as conductor of symphonies of the Romantic era.