Wind quintet

From Academic Kids

A wind quintet, also sometimes known as a woodwind quintet, is a group of five wind players (most commonly flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon). The term also applies to a composition for such a group.

Unlike the string quartet with its homogeneous blend of color, the instruments in a wind quintet differ from each other considerably in technique, idiom, and timbre. The modern wind quintet sprang from the ensemble favored in the court of Joseph II in late 18th century Vienna: 2 clarinets, 2 horns, 2 oboes, and 2 bassoons. The influence of Haydn's chamber writing suggested similar possibilities for winds, and advancements in the building of these instruments in that period made them more useful in small ensemble settings, leading composers to attempt smaller combinations.

However, it was Antoine Reicha's 24 quintets, begun in 1811, and the 9 quintets of Franz Danzi that established the genre, and their pieces are still standards of the repertoire. Though the form fell out of favor in the latter half of the 19th century, there has been renewed interest in the form by leading composers in the 20th century, and today the wind quintet is a standard chamber ensemble, valued for its versatility and variety of tone color.

Contents

Wind quintet composers

Nineteenth Century

  • Antoine Reicha (1770 – 1836) Wrote 24 wind quintets, as well as some independent movements
  • Franz Danzi (1763 – 1826) Wrote 9 wind quintets

Twentieth Century

External Links

Woodwind Quintet Database (Joanna Cowan White) (http://personal.cmich.edu/~white1jm/WWQ_Database_JW_.html)

IDRS Survey of wind quintet literature (http://www.idrs.org/Publications/Journal/JNL18/JNL18.Pugh.Survey.html)

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