Featured Selection: Ludwig van Beethoven /Music for Wind Instruments
The MHS Review 403, VOL. 12, NO.7 • 1988
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Sextet in E-tlat Major for Two Clarinets,
Two Horns and Two Bassoons, Op. 71
Quintet in E-tlat Major for Three Horns,
Oboe and Bassoon
Rondino in E-tlat Major for Two Oboes,
Two Clarinets, Two Horns and Two Bassoons Octet in E-flat Major for Two Oboes, Two Clarinets, Two Horns and Two Bassoons, Op. 103
Wind Soloists of The Chamber Orchestra of Europe:
Douglas Boyd, Mark Pledger, Oboes
Richard Hosford, Nicholas Rodwell, Clarinets
Matthew Wilkie, Christopher Gunia, Bassoons
Jonathan Williams, Stephen Stirling, Christian Rutherford, Horns
Ludwig van Beethoven wrote most of his works for wind instruments before he reached the age of 30; therefore, they were confined within the 18th century's boundaries, albeit through no conscious decision of the composer's. Beethoven's assertion that he wrote the Sextet in one night is untrue; the work was completed in 1796, but the first two movements may bear an earlier composition date, and sketches existed for the last two movements.
The Quintet seems to have begun as a sextet with clarinet, but the clarinet part never panned out. The Rondino and Octet date from 1796 and are "table music" designed for the court of Elector Maximilian Franz of Cologne; they ended up being among the last works Beethoven wrote for the elector.