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Wind Quintet in G minor


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This is a wind quintet I've just finished (my first attempt at writing for wind quintet).  It incorporates more "modern" (20th century) harmonic techniques than much of what I write, particularly an emphasis on quartal and quintal harmonies, but it's still firmly tonal and based (loosely) on Classical formal structures.  It's in four movements, and the whole thing's about twenty minutes long, but even if you just listen to one movement, I'd really appreciate any comments or feedback.  Thanks!


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Very enjoyable listen! Structurally and harmonically, it's magnificent, and the motifs were memorable and well developed. The main problem I have is with the engraving, but of course that for the longest time was not the composer's job so it's not a big deal, but just to give a summary: the tempo markings are a little small. There is some overlapping text. Page numbers should be continuous from the first to the last movement, since if it were to be published the whole piece would be in one book. And in my opinion, the 64th notes in movement 3 would work better as acciaccatura, both for the sake of a cleaner score and easier reading, but I can see why one might not want to make this change. Great music regardless.

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Hey @Aiwendil,

Finally get the time to review this one!

First movement: 

The movement is motivically cohered. B.21 reminds me the opening movement of your string quartet in C with the texture building up in quite a similar way. In the middle section the alla breve figure (even though it's not alla breve here) dominates and I love the climax in b.97. This movement shows crafty counterpoint and motivic skills!

Second movement:

I love this movement! The interplay between instrument is great. You have a very strong sense of ensemble playing when each instruments take turns to share melodic a, counter-melodic accompanying role. The figure of fifth certainly comes from the first movement. I enjoy the middle pastoral section very well with all those quintal and quartal harmonies and polyrhythm.

Third movement:

B.1 oboe is from b.21 first movement, and the stepwise melody shares similar feature with b.22 bassoon in 1st movement. As a motivic person myself I think the b.1 figure is quoted too obviously from first movement and it's not varied enough throughout the movement with basically the same rhythm and intervals. Maybe you can retain the intervals and change the rhythm and vice versa for it!

Fourth movement:

The beginning shares the same harmonic progression of the first movement. It seems that in b.10 the main melody of this movement is combining the intervallic contents of both motives: the fifth and the stepwise. I like in b.94 you try a four part fugato, and the energy here is good.

This piece, with the setting of wind quintet and the quartal/quintal harmonies and different change of moods, again reminds me of Vince's A Verdant Dawn:

Thx for sharing!



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  • 3 weeks later...

1st movement - I like how you develop the quintal theme first rising and then descending in inversion!  It works really well imo.  And in the end you use augmentation to increase the speed of that theme all while continuing the original theme underneath.  Great job!

2nd movement - I love scherzi and this piece is no exception.  It's very motivic and almost neo-baroque in its approach to motives and the types of sequences it uses.  I also love the big quintal chords you stack towards the end.

3rd movement - You bring back themes from previous movements but set contrapuntally against each other at a slow tempo.  This gives this movement an almost medieval feel.  And again you finish the movement with a stack of 5ths which seems to be a trope you're consistently employing throughout the whole work.

4th movement - The dactylic or cretic rhythms in this movement give it a kind of pastorale feel.  Or perhaps it makes it more dance-like - like a Siciliana?  The long set of consecutive 16th notes towards the end don't seem to give the players any good place to breathe though.

Overall quite an enjoyable 20 minutes!  Not a dull moment to be found.  It could probably become a staple in the wind quintet literature!  Are you intending to get this performed at some point?  Thanks for sharing!

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Thanks very much for listening, and for your comments!  It's a good point about not much place to breathe in the coda of the last movement.  Despite being a (former) flute player, I seem to keep neglecting the need for breathing when writing for winds.

I would love to get this performed, but I cannot imagine how that would ever happen.  I imagine hiring five professional wind players to record a 20 minute piece would be prohibitively expensive.

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