Woodwind quintet

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The woodwind quintet , also known as the (classical) wind quintet , is a standard instrumentation for the woodwind instruments flute ( flute ), oboe , clarinet , bassoon and the brass instrument horn . The term refers to both the ensemble and the corresponding compositions .


Until the end of the 18th century, chamber music for wind instruments consisted of harmony music in which oboes , clarinets , horns and bassoons were played in pairs. With the decline of aristocratic society, the need for this popular music decreased, and with the development of a bourgeois musical culture, the desire for works of "upscale" chamber music that could stand alongside the dominant string quartet arose .

The earliest known wind quintet comes from Antonio Rosetti (also known as Anton Rösler; 1750–1792), whose E flat major quintet, written around 1780, uses the waist , a type of tenor oboe, or an English horn , instead of the horn . Three more quintets by Nicolas Schmitt († 1802) are missing. In 1802 Giuseppe Cambini published his Trois Quintetti Concertans .

In 1808 Anton Reicha moved to Paris, where he found himself with Joseph Guillou (1787–1853, flute), Gustave Vogt (1781–1870, oboe), Jacques-Jules Bouffil (1783–1868, clarinet), Louis François Dauprat (1781–1868) , Horn) and AN Henry (1777–1842, bassoon) presented outstanding musicians. For them he composed 4 episodes of 6 quintets, which are considered to be the style for this line-up. The success of these works helped the musicians to become famous as the Reicha quintet , and other ensembles were soon founded outside of Paris. On the other hand, Reicha served as a model for other composers, so that numerous other quintets were created in the first half of the 19th century. In the second half of the 19th century only a few woodwind quintets were composed; in the course of the 20th century the genre was increasingly taken up again. These include the Kleine Kammermusik op. 24/2 by Paul Hindemith , the quintet op. 43 by Carl Nielsen (both from 1922), the quintet op. 26 by Arnold Schönberg (composed in 1923/24), two quintets by Jean Françaix (1948, 1987) and the wind quintet from 1960 by Josef Schelb .

Famous works

Well-known woodwind quintet ensembles


  • Miroslav Hosek: The Wind Quintet . Bernhard Brüchle Edition, Grünwald 1979, ISBN 3-921847-01-X .

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