Sunday, 19 August 2012

Thoughts on the Wind Quintet

Now here’s a question: what, in my opinion, is the dullest piece of music ever written?

Here’s a clue: it’s scored for a wind quintet.

Here’s a second clue: The Souza Winds are performing an exciting, innovative programme at the next Late Music concert (Saturday 1st September), but would have been unable to play this work as the composer is no longer with us.

What I found striking when trying to programme this concert was how little contemporary repertoire there is for this ensemble. There are quintets  by Arvo Part, Colin Matthews and James MacMillan (included in the concert), there is Harrison Birtwistle’s striking Refrains & Choruses (not included) and I’ll bet there will be one by Richard Rodney Bennett…So we decided to create one, and here’s what we came up with -

James Williamson: The Fith Element scored for the oboe (solo)

James Else: Forgotten Notes scored for flute & horn (duet)

Steve Crowther: Peter's Star scored for oboe, clarinet & bassoon (Trio)

Clive Wilkinson: Boats and Sheds scored for flute, oboe, clarinet & bassoon (quartet)

David Lancaster: Mosquito scored for the complete ensemble.

We also invited Michael Parkin to think outside of the box and he came up with  arrangements of Pink Floyd's Money  and Us and Them and The Great Gig in the Sky from The Dark Side of the Moon.

Anyway, back to that dullest of pieces. The first correct comment response will get a free ticket to the Souza Winds concert paid for by…me.


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