"We're not trying to be just another ensemble," says William Neil, organist for the National Symphony Orchestra as well as cofounder and codirector of the new Chamber Soloists of Washington. The group will make its debut performance 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Washington Cathedral.
Composed primarily, but not exclusively, of members of the NSO, the Chamber Soloists are "trying to take a fresh look at virtuoso chamber music," says Neil. In terms of style, he says, "we will be trying both to achieve a certain degree of authenticity and possibly explore new ways." Of the group's decision to program Handel's "Water Music," director Edward Carroll says, "I don't think there is any point in adding another reading of Handel's 'Water Music' unless you can present it with a learned but fresh point of view."
As time is a precious commodity for any NSO member, the commitment of the Chamber Soloists "says a lot about the will and desire on the part of the people involved," says Neil. "If you believe in what you are trying to do and enjoy it as much as we do, you will make the time."
The program, "The Heroic Mr. Handel," celebrating Handel's tercentenary, will feature smaller chamber works in the first half, among them the Suite in D Major for Trumpet, Strings, Winds and Continuo and the Organ Concerto in G Minor, and conclude with the Concerto Grosso No. 25 -- the "Water Music."