Continuity is rare nowadays, and I think we lose much more than we know with the stream of fragments and isolated new starts. My Quintet for Piano and Winds is the fourth chamber music piece I’ve composed for the Santa Fe Music Festival, and I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity the Festival has given me to write for small ensembles, to try and understand the dynamics of chamber music better for each of them.
This new quintet has no less than Mozart and his K. 452 as its starting point. To have an oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon with an accompanying piano is by no means a usual setup for chamber music. Beethoven—here comes another monumental figure in classical music—wrote his own work inspired by Mozart’s unusual ensemble, and now here I come to follow in their footsteps!
The dialogue between the winds and the piano is one feature of this quintet, but what we have here is also like a miniature orchestra. And, on top of that, there are these four instruments in the wind section that act like a choir with soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.
Let me add one more name from the canon of classical music here. I’ve been curious to explore why just two chords of Purcell are enough to immediately identify a piece of music by this master. So, by studying his use of harmony for many years now, I’ve come to solutions and key elements that can somehow work the same way they did in Purcell’s music 400 years ago. One can say that I’ve spent my time composing chamber music in good company!
Writing this quintet has also given me the chance to spend time with my esteemed colleague and dear friend Marc Neikrug, mainly when in Santa Fe and sometimes elsewhere. Sharing thoughts has been an important inspiration throughout all these years. Like classical music, friendship also needs, and thrives through, continuity, giving each layer of it more and more meaning and joy!
The piece is dedicated to Marc.
Magnus Lindberg, 2023 Instrumentation
ob, cl, bsn, hn, pno Category
Chamber Works Premiere
Katia Skanavi, piano, Liang Wang, oboe, Todd Levy, clarinet, Julia Harguindey, bassoon, Stefan Dohr, horn, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, August 9, 2023, Santa Fe, USA Commisioned by / dedications
Commissioned by Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Dedicated to Marc Neikrug.
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