Quintet

ensemble: wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon)
duration: 8 minutes
written: summer 2017
written for: Brevard Music Center
premiered: July 14th, 2017; Brevard, NC

Program Note:

My new piece, Quintet, tackles two things that I have extremely mixed feelings about; travel and wind quintets. The odd grouping of instruments that makes up the standard wind quintet has it's own problems and potholes that makes it incredibly difficult to write for. Unlike a great deal of chamber music that lives in the canon which involves strings, the wind quintet doesn't naturally blend. The ensemble is made up of vastly different and unique timbres that need to be thought of in a different way than a string quintet. The piece also deals with traveling; traveling both in the sense of vacation and new residence.

The first movement, Flâner (french loosely meaning to get into something heedlessly), treats the oboe almost as a wide-eyed and slightly näive tourist as other members of the ensemble rush by first flowingly and eventually almost violently. The second movement, Rick Steves' Travel Log, passes around a simple sea-chanty like tune around the ensemble with the harmonic material constantly shifting below. The final movement, So Easy To See, could almost be described as a song without words. I always seem to get a lump in my throat at the act of saying goodbye whether it's someone going on a two month Europe trip or a more substantial (even permeant) move. 

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