The rich sonority of ten winds is perfect for large halls and outdoor concerts! Here’s a representative program:
- JOSEF TRIEBENSEE: Echostücke
A contemporary of Mozart (and oboist in premieres of some of his operas) makes delightful use of an “echo” effect in this charming piece for two wind quartets, one onstage, one off.
- ARTHUR BIRD: Suite in D (1889)
Romanticism at its glorious best in this American work for double quintet.
- WILLIAM BYRD: The Earle of Oxford’s Marche (from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book)
Our virtuoso version of this classic was arranged for wind sextet by Winds’ bassoonist and composer-in-residence, R. James Whipple.
- ERNST TOCH: Geographical Fugue
Audiences love the fascinating percussive effects in this spoken-word piece in fugue form!
- W.A. MOZART: Serenade #12 in c minor, K. 388
Mozart’s masterpiece for wind octet.
The Beo Quartet, a vibrant young touring ensemble based in Pittsburgh, joins the Winds for Hidden Gems, featuring two wonderful but neglected works for winds and strings. The first is the Oktett by Egon Wellesz, commissioned by the Vienna Octet for string quintet (including double bass), clarinet, horn, and bassoon. Wellesz, of Jewish descent, was well into a highly successful career in Austria when the advent of Nazism forced him to permanently flee to England. The second work – written exactly one hundred years earlier – is the Nonet in E-flat Major, Op. 38, by French composer Louise Farrenc, the only full-time female professor at the Paris Conservatory during the 19th Century. Her nonet, from 1849, was so successful that it allowed her to bargain for pay equity with the male teachers at the Conservatory.
Completing the program are two short works: Umoja (2003) for wind quintet by Valerie Coleman and Enthusiasm Strategies (2019) for string quartet by Missy Mazzoli.
Beethoven and Beyond
Beethoven’s spirited Octet provides a virtuosic finale to a wonderfully varied program that includes a sampler from Handel’s Water Music, a Romantic work by Gounod or Gouvy, and two striking contemporary works: Nancy Galbraith’s Dos Danzas Latinas, written for Sinfonietta Ventus in Mexico City, and R. James Whipple’s Lunch With Amadeus, written for the Winds and WQED-FM, Pittsburgh’s classical music radio station.
The “economy” version of our harmoniemusik programs, for just six musicians. Pairs of clarinets, bassoons, and horns perform festive music by Beethoven, J.C. Bach, and David Moritz Michael, a Pennsylvania composer of the early 1800s.