The diversity of the woodwind quintet in combination with piano is central to this colourful concert. The programme bridges 250 years of music for woodwinds in a great variety of styles.
Mozart (1756-1791) completed his quintet for piano and woodwinds at the end of March 1784. The combination of oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano was something unheard of in his time. Mozart succeeded in finding the perfect chamber music balance. Right away, in the slow introduction, we hear his equal treatment of all five instruments.
While still living in Hungary in 1953, Györgi Ligeti (1923-2006) composed the Six Bagatelles for woodwind quintet. The piece wasn’t performed completely at its first performance in 1956: the last part was cut because the regime deemed it too “dangerous”.
Gordon Jacob (1895-1984), was one of the most prolific British composers and wrote beautiful works for woodwinds. The five movements of his Sextet suggest a mix of sadness and humour and show an abundance of different tone colours.
Belgian composer Joseph Jongen (1873-1953) studied in Liège and Paris and left us a vast oeuvre. He managed to develop a sound of his own. The opening of his Rhapsodie opus 70 is reminiscent of a dreamy and impressionistic fairytale world. When the piano starts a habanera, the music speeds up and merges into a lively and rhapsodic piece. At the end calmness returns with beautiful solos for the different wind instruments.
G. Jacob - Sextet for Piano and Winds
W. A. Mozart - Quintet in E-flat major, K.452
G. Ligeti - Six Bagatelles
J. Jongen - Rhapsodie op. 70