Intercontinental Ensemble

Traveling Light


We grow with our challenges.

Ours was: How can we expand the repertoire for nonet, uncover the chamber music in orchestral pieces, while also working our own group sound?

This CD is a proud first step in this direction.

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About the album

We grow with our challenges.

Ours was: How can we expand the repertoire for nonet, uncover the chamber music in orchestral pieces, while also working our own group sound?

This CD is a proud first step in this direction.

Making a musical arrangement is best compared with translating a book, and I imagine that a translator must answer the same questions before he goes to work. How do I transform the original into a new form, whilst keeping the message of the work clear? Which bits and pieces have to be cut, and what new space is created through this process? Which notes must stay?

Armed with the orchestral score and a sharpened pencil, I started my operation. In the beginning, I mumbled “sorry, Ludwig…” under my breath every time I crossed out a note, but after a while I started to get into the swing of things, and before I know it I was two symphonies in.

The result was interesting for us: It turned out that we couldn’t really treat these arrangements as orchestral works anymore. Their new form posed a new, different set of challenges for us than the original orchestral parts. The symphonic versions that we all know and love had to make way for a more transparent, flexible approach, with open ears and sharp eyes for our fellow players.

The title “Traveling Light” has a double meaning: on the one hand it refers to the arrangements themselves, which have been slimmed down from a full orchestral setting to a version for nine individual players. On the other hand, it has a special, extra meaning for us, as we have come together from all corners of the earth, driven by our love for music. That this happened in Amsterdam – a city that counts more than 180 nationalities amongst its residents – is, of course, a happy coincidence.

Travel isn’t just about packing a suitcase small enough to be hand luggage. We also see it as the cultural luggage that everyone takes with them. What happens to your own, personal luggage when you’re constantly moving from place to place, or when you meet people from different backgrounds? When nine people with different pasts and backgrounds make music together, how many of your original convictions and ideas remain intact?

Another thing we noticed was that an enormous number of interpretative possibilities became available to us, and that this great freedom came with great responsibility. No conductor to cue for an entrance or to tell us how we should phrase something. No concertmaster or section leaders for us to hide behind. We were all required to know the score by heart, and to ensure that we knew what the others were doing without getting lost in our own notes.

This democratisation of the symphony helped us all grow, both as musicians and as people. In the end, it’s all about the music, and we hope that you will enjoy rediscovering these symphonies through our arrangements as much as we did.

Tracklist click to play/pause

  • Ludwig van Beethoven (arr. Ernst Spyckerelle)

    Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36

    1. I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio
      12:52 Play button Pause button 12:52
    2. II. Larghetto
      11:03 Play button Pause button 11:03
    3. III. Scherzo. Allegro
      3:49 Play button Pause button 3:49
    4. IV. Allegro molto
      6:48 Play button Pause button 6:48
  • Franz Schubert (arr. Ernst Spyckerelle)

    Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759

    1. I. Allegro moderato
      14:25 Play button Pause button 14:25
    2. II. Andante con moto
      9:57 Play button Pause button 9:57
  • Johannes Brahms (arr. Ernst Spyckerelle)

    Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90: III. Poco allegretto

    6:43 Play button Pause button 6:43

More information

Weight 100 g
Dimensions 190 × 135 × 12 mm
Genre(s) Classical – Classical (1750-1830)
Classical – Romantic (1830-1920)
Artist(s) Intercontinental Ensemble
Composer(s) Beethoven, Ludwig van
Brahms, Johannes
Schubert, Franz
Recording location(s) Lutheran Church, Haarlem (NL)
Recording date(s) April 2018
Cat. No.

TTK 0021

Release date

September 14th, 2018

Additional links

Download Booklet(PDF)

"Fantastic recording as usual from TRPTK!"


"Lush full sound. Wonderful double bass reproduction. Every instrument shines in this interpretation. […] So smooth. Forget looking elsewhere."


"My favourite TRPTK release to date."

Srajan Ebaen, 6moons

"With the Intercontinental Ensemble, and quite honestly much to my surprise, all the pre-cited qualities are there: the brilliance, the emotion, the drama. But not only that. What seems to me of paramount importance is to discover what each individual player was able to contribute to the overall result, and […] how they manage to keep symphonic coherence without apparent conductor."

Adrian Quanjer,

Further reading

SKU: TTK 0021 CD Category:
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