In the late 18th century Emperor Joseph II set a new trend with the so-called "Harmoniemusiken", a miniature orchestra consisting solely of wind instruments. Those who could afford it would acquire one at table for entertainment, social gatherings or simply accompaniment outdoors, and soon they became a status symbol. While Beethoven's Wind Octet, Op. 103 is reflecting the cusp between this period of feudal aristocracy and the Age of Enlightenment, Dvorak's Wind Serenade Op. 44 reveals the Mozart renaissance of the 19th century. The "Philharmonische Blaser", a wind ensemble consisting of members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, came together for this 1990 recording in the magnificent banquet hall (Jaspissaal) of Sanssouci, Potsdam.