String Quintet Op. 78

by Paavo Heininen

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Paavo Heininen

String Quintet Op. 78

Fennica Gehrman


The string quintet op. 78 by Paavo Heininen was commissioned for the 2001 Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and premiered by the Danel Quartet with Roi Ruottinen at Kuhmo last July.

Unlike Heininen’s earlier works for chamber ensemble the quintet is, in the composer’s own words, written for a single instrument, as it were. It continues in the same calm, lyrical, meditative vein as the violin concerto (1999), a mood that also pervades the fourth piano concerto now nearing completion. The quintet breaks with the conventional generic mould in other ways, too, tracing long sections for a solo instrument, for example.

In the opening movement, Punctus, there is considerable distance between the musical strands, thereby enhancing the independence and airy polyphony of the various instruments. The second movement, Ludus, is quick, quiet and light, or as Heininen puts it, it has “tranquillity shrouded in gentle, misty rainfall”. The quintet ends with a slow movement titled Cantus.

- Fimic 2002


2vln, vla, 2vlc


Chamber Works


Danel Quartet, Roi Ruottinen, cello, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Kuhmo, 29 July 2001.


1. Punctus: Affettuoso ed espressivo, 2. Ludus: Vivacissimo, leggiero, 3. Cantus: Largo appassionato

Commisioned by / dedications

Commissioned by the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival.

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