Reicha’s Wind Quintet op 91 No 3 in D major

cropped-east-windies-logo-small-jpg3Anton Reicha Anton Reicha (1770- 1836)

Anton Reicha’s 24 wind quintets were composed in Paris between 1811 and 1820.  They were a conscious attempt to fill a void in the repertoire for wind chamber works.  Reicha later wrote  “…there was a dearth not only of good classic music, but of any good music at all for wind instruments….”   In general, the Quintets combined three major elements:  1.  virtuoso display;  2. popular elements (Bohemian folk melodies, marches, etc.); and 3. an academic interest in variation form and counterpoint.

Published by Simrock in 1818-1819.  Opus 91 number 3 (D major) was conceived as a lighthearted composition (with a complicated structure!); highlights from the various movements include:

First movement:  A substantial flute cadenza in the slow introduction (Reicha’s first instrument was the flute); followed by a 6/8 scherzo theme. Overall homophonic tone.  Second movement:  Bel canto feel; operatic ritornello form (2 episodes); Third movement:  Imitative counterpoint in the Trio; Fourth movement:  a rondo with sonata form overlay.

This post is paraphrased from two articles: 1) Anton Reicha, Wikipedia, accessed 19.7.16;  2) Charles-David Lehrer, The Opus 91 wind Quintets of Antoine Reicha;



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