Wind Quintet in F Major Opus 81: Background Info on George Onslow

George Onslow’s homes in Clermont-Fernand:

ONSLOW'S HOMES Clermont-Ferrand 1  Chateau de Chalendrat
ONSLOW'S HOMES Clermont-Ferrand 2  Chateau de Bellerive, Perignot
  • Born 1784, Onslow lived comfortably in chateaux around Clermont-Fernand, with regular sojourns to Paris.
  • He composed Wind Quintet Opus 81 late in life, aged 66 (1850).  He wrote only two further compositions before his death in 1853.
  • Opus 81 was one of a very few quintets written in the 19th c after the celebrated quintets of Anton Reicha (Onslow’s composition teacher in 1808).
  • Opus 81 was dedicated to five eminent musicians of the early 19th c, who had each been important in the evolution of their instrument:   Louis Dorus (flute); Stanislas Verroust (oboe); Charles Verroust (bassoon); Adolphe Leroy (clarinet); and Joseph Mengal (horn).
  • Onlsow’s music was widely celebrated during his lifetime yet virtually unknown following WWI until modern times.
    This post based on http://www.widipedia.org/wiki/George_Onslow.  Photo by User:Gegeours.  Accessed 22.08.2016

George Onslow (1784-1853)

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GEORGE ONSLOW  George Onlsow (1784 – 1853)

George Onslow was dubbed “the French Beethoven”. Descendant of an aristocratic English family he was educated in France as a privileged gentleman, taking up composition in his twenties as an amateur cellist (and pianist who never performed publically).  He studied composition with the famous Anton Reicha in 1808 (before Reicha wrote his own celebrated series of wind quintets).  Onslow went on to become hugely popular, writing 36 string quartets and 34 quintets, with a strong following in Germany and England.  He also wrote a number of piano trios, several operas, and four symphonies .  As for wind quintets, he wrote only one (opus 81), rather late in his career (1850) aged 66.  His music embodied the traditional school, announcing a rich Romanticism in harmony and lyricism.  He received many public honours, and as his portrait above suggests, he was respected and appreciated for his very generous personality.

Post based on website http://www.classical.net/music/com.1st/acc/onslow.php;  Photo credit:  http://www.musicalics.com

Homophony: All About It

cropped-east-windies-logo-small-jpg3.png   Our bassoonist came across a great website that tells all (with audio examples) about the construct musical homophony:  Columbia University’s Sonic Glossary.  Go to:

http//ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/sonicg/terms/homophony.html

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Sonic Glossary posts this image (“The Food of Love”,  National Gallery London) with their first example of homophony:  Haydn’s Surprise Symphony, mvt.2. The author Elaine Sisman considers 11 more varieties within the construct.  Well worth a visit!