Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Enough of strings, let's hear brass and winds

Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Poulenc, Copland

Aaron Copland listens to Leonard Bernstein conduct his music.
Aaron Copland listens to Leonard Bernstein conduct his music.

Last week I unfairly accused the brass and winds of forcing Covid-19-laden breath through their instruments. I venerated the strings section for their safer approach to music. None of that is accurate. I was having some fun at the expense of the winds and brass.

Video:

Mozart Wind Serenade in C minor

Omega Ensemble, City Recital Hall, Sydney, Nov. 16, 2015

Omega Ensemble, City Recital Hall, Sydney, Nov. 16, 2015

To make up for my accusations, let’s look at some music for winds and brass. For whatever reason, this music isn’t as well-known as the string music we looked at in the previous article.

The greatest piece of wind music is Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 Gran Partita. You might be thinking that I’m wrong with this because it has a string instrument, the double bass.

In practice, the piece is often performed with a double bass but Mozart composed the Gran Partita to include a contrabassoon. Finding a contrabassoonist is more difficult compared to finding a double bassist, hence the substitution.

Video:

Octet for winds in E-flat, Op. 103 (1792) - Beethoven

Round Top Festival Institute

Round Top Festival Institute

Mozart wrote his next two serenades for winds. He liked No. 12 so much that he transcribed it for string quintet four years later.

In addition to the serenades, Mozart wrote four divertimentos for winds. As is the case in almost every genre, Mozart delivered more high-quality wind music than any other composer.

Beethoven, for instance, wrote an octet for winds. However, he wrote it while he was still a young man in Bonn and it is nowhere close in quality to his septet which is written for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello, and double bass.

Video:

Octet D. 72 en F major par Franz Schubert

By Otto Venti and amateur adults in Montréal

By Otto Venti and amateur adults in Montréal

Franz Schubert was inspired by Beethoven’s Septet when he wrote his Octet for clarinet, a bassoon, a horn, two violins, a viola, a cello, and double bass. It’s the same instrumentation as Beethoven’s except Schubert adds a second violin.

Earlier in his career, Schubert wrote an octet for winds. It is not close in popularity to the other Octet. We need only look to YouTube for verification. The top video of the Octet for Winds has 6,556 views. The more famous Octet has 1.1 million views.

Video:

Francis Poulenc - Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

Michel Portal (clarinet), Jacques Février (piano), 1976

Michel Portal (clarinet), Jacques Février (piano), 1976

Most courts in Europe employed a wind octet with two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and two clarinets. So why isn’t there more music for winds? These wind ensembles usually played arrangements of popular music from operas and symphonies. The tradition of wind arrangements continues to this day.

There are a few pieces for winds from the 20th Century that get some attention. Stravinsky’s Symphony of Winds is one, even though the audience laughed at the music during the London premiere. Stravinsky composed it to honor the death of Claude Debussy.

Video:

Leonard Bernstein conducts Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man"

New York Philharmonic,  1985.

New York Philharmonic, 1985.

Francis Poulenc wrote some good wind music. Many of those pieces such as his Wind Sextet also include piano. I adore his Clarinet Sonata which includes piano.

If piano is included, then the repertoire for wind music is much broader. I’ve opted to focus primarily on music written for only winds.

The most famous piece of wind music, not written by John Philip Sousa, is Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. The piece was commissioned, along with several fanfares by other composers, during World War II. Copland’s is the only one to stay in the concert repertoire.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Ellen Sturgis Hooper: cited as the most gifted of the Transcendentalist Movement

Ralph Waldo Emerson often commissioned her to write verse for The Dial
Next Article

Antebellum: Janelle Monáe’s Moment

If one must remake a movie, make sure it’s a bad one.
Aaron Copland listens to Leonard Bernstein conduct his music.
Aaron Copland listens to Leonard Bernstein conduct his music.

Last week I unfairly accused the brass and winds of forcing Covid-19-laden breath through their instruments. I venerated the strings section for their safer approach to music. None of that is accurate. I was having some fun at the expense of the winds and brass.

Video:

Mozart Wind Serenade in C minor

Omega Ensemble, City Recital Hall, Sydney, Nov. 16, 2015

Omega Ensemble, City Recital Hall, Sydney, Nov. 16, 2015

To make up for my accusations, let’s look at some music for winds and brass. For whatever reason, this music isn’t as well-known as the string music we looked at in the previous article.

The greatest piece of wind music is Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 Gran Partita. You might be thinking that I’m wrong with this because it has a string instrument, the double bass.

In practice, the piece is often performed with a double bass but Mozart composed the Gran Partita to include a contrabassoon. Finding a contrabassoonist is more difficult compared to finding a double bassist, hence the substitution.

Video:

Octet for winds in E-flat, Op. 103 (1792) - Beethoven

Round Top Festival Institute

Round Top Festival Institute

Mozart wrote his next two serenades for winds. He liked No. 12 so much that he transcribed it for string quintet four years later.

In addition to the serenades, Mozart wrote four divertimentos for winds. As is the case in almost every genre, Mozart delivered more high-quality wind music than any other composer.

Beethoven, for instance, wrote an octet for winds. However, he wrote it while he was still a young man in Bonn and it is nowhere close in quality to his septet which is written for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello, and double bass.

Video:

Octet D. 72 en F major par Franz Schubert

By Otto Venti and amateur adults in Montréal

By Otto Venti and amateur adults in Montréal

Franz Schubert was inspired by Beethoven’s Septet when he wrote his Octet for clarinet, a bassoon, a horn, two violins, a viola, a cello, and double bass. It’s the same instrumentation as Beethoven’s except Schubert adds a second violin.

Earlier in his career, Schubert wrote an octet for winds. It is not close in popularity to the other Octet. We need only look to YouTube for verification. The top video of the Octet for Winds has 6,556 views. The more famous Octet has 1.1 million views.

Video:

Francis Poulenc - Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

Michel Portal (clarinet), Jacques Février (piano), 1976

Michel Portal (clarinet), Jacques Février (piano), 1976

Most courts in Europe employed a wind octet with two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and two clarinets. So why isn’t there more music for winds? These wind ensembles usually played arrangements of popular music from operas and symphonies. The tradition of wind arrangements continues to this day.

There are a few pieces for winds from the 20th Century that get some attention. Stravinsky’s Symphony of Winds is one, even though the audience laughed at the music during the London premiere. Stravinsky composed it to honor the death of Claude Debussy.

Video:

Leonard Bernstein conducts Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man"

New York Philharmonic,  1985.

New York Philharmonic, 1985.

Francis Poulenc wrote some good wind music. Many of those pieces such as his Wind Sextet also include piano. I adore his Clarinet Sonata which includes piano.

If piano is included, then the repertoire for wind music is much broader. I’ve opted to focus primarily on music written for only winds.

The most famous piece of wind music, not written by John Philip Sousa, is Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. The piece was commissioned, along with several fanfares by other composers, during World War II. Copland’s is the only one to stay in the concert repertoire.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Jackslacks releases Billy Bacon tribute EP When Pigs Fly

Bacon passed away in August 2019
Next Article

One or two puffs for the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health

And so starts the procession of questions.
Comments
1

The image to that French Horn shown: would SDR define it in the same way as Wiki*** text says? As the Wiki text relates the French Horn to "Germany"; back in time. HUH? What get along relationship did Germany have with France in past? Rather had a dis-relationship.

Aug. 28, 2020

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close