It’s Franz Danzi for Term 2

EAST WINDIES LOGO small.jpgOur East Windies study-repertoire for Term 2 includes some of Franz Danzi’s wind quintets. Edition Silvertrust comments that Danzi wrote for  “everyman – the average player – and not for players of a virtuoso calibre”. (1)  This is in immediate contrast to Reicha’s quintets, which can seem virtuosic by comparison.  Our initial plan is to compare Danzi’s first quintet written in 1821 (Opus 56, no. 1) with his last one, written possibly in 1824 (Opus 68, no. 3).  We’ll be looking for melodic and structural changes as Danzi settled in to composing in the quintet genre.  Of the final quintet, Edition Silvertrust writes:  “In many ways it is the summation of his art with respect to this type of composition: appealing melodies, concisely wrought with excellent part writing”. (2)  A very nice performance of Opus 68 by the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet is available on iTunes.

Franz Danzi Colour 
Coloured version of Danzi’s Portrait.  
Search by Image – Franz Danzi. 10.03.16
  1. “ Franz Danzi – Wind Quintet in d minor Op.68 No.3”.                     accessed 10.3.2016.
  2. Ibid.



More a Matter of Getting in on the Act….


We were fairly confused about which composer (Danzi or Reicha) published first in the new wind quintet genre of the early 19th century. In separate articles, the Double Reed Society indicates that 1) Danzi published first in 1821 (1); and 2) that Reicha finished publishing his series by 1820 (2).  Possibly an article in Editions Silvertrust has the right idea:  That Danzi “chose to write wind quintets after witnessing the tremendous financial success of Anton Reicha’s first set of such works published in 1817.” (3)    Looks like a matter of getting in on the act….(certainly reinforces our suspicion that Danzi was a cheeky fellow….see previous post “Pipped at the Post”)

Logo from Edition Silvertrust’s Facebook site: 8.03.2019
  1. “The Opus 56 wind Quintets of Franz Danzi”. 8.03.2016.
  2. “The 24 wind quintets of Anton Reicha”. 8.03.2016
  3. “Franz Danzi – Wind quintet in d minor, Op. 68 No.3” 8.03.2016

Pipped at the Post, but not Second Best.


If Mozart had good reason to hate Guiseppe Cambini (see our post, 25.02.2016), what about Antoine Riecha and Franz Danzi? In a case of “Pipped at the Post”  Danzi the continental outsider managed to publish three new wind quintets in Paris,  just months before Reicha produced his own version.  Riecha was “king” in Paris, however, and riding a great wave of popularity he went on to write a total of 24 quintets.  Today Reicha is widely accepted as establishing the wind quintet form in the 1820’s.  Danzi eventually produced nine quintets but was seemingly much more interested in other musical forms.  He did know his business though, especially how to get noticed in Paris in the 19th century.  He was cheeky, too:  He dedicated those first three quintets (Opus 56, 1821) to Reicha himself! (1)

 Franz Danzi (1763– 1826)   (2)
 Maurice Schlesinger Publisher
Maurice  Schlesinger  (1798 – 1871)  (3)
Paris Publisher of Danzi’s Opus 56 quintets
(1  )“The Opus 56 Wind Quintets of Franz Danzi”. 3.03.2016
(2)  “Franz Danzi Pictures”. 3.3.2016;
 (3) “Portrait of Maurice F Schlesinger”.  3.03.2016.


Speaking of Reeds


These are the best images we’ve found yet of the early chalumeau:   descendant of the recorder and predecessor of the clarinet.  Notice the unusual position of the reed:  played against the upper lip, rather than the bottom lip as today.  On the left is a chalumeau in C (by Liebav) and on the right, one in F (by Klenig) from the early 18th century. (Musikmuseet, Stockholm).chalumeau in C Grove Music Online

For the full story, see:

Colin Lawson. “Chalumeau”.  Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.  Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

How many names can a bassoon have?


First there were the Medieval and Renaissance Shawms, later to become bassoons.  But depending on what 16th century European country you were in, there were plenty of different names.  Try matching up these names with the correct countries ( 29.2.2016):

Curtal/Curtail                       Germany

Basson/Fagot                        England

Dulcian/Fagott                     Spain

Fagotto                                   Italian

Bajon                                       France


Sopranino Dulcian 29.2.2016