Project Description

for wind quintet: fl.[+picc.]/ob.[+eng.-hr.]/clar.[Bb & A]/bsn./horn

  • composition date: 1997-98/rev.2000/new rev.2003/corr.2016
  • duration: ca. 11:30 min. (2’+4’30”+2’+3’)
  • movements:
    I – Preludio
    II – Lamento
    III – Humoresque (intermezzo)
    IV – Finale
  • pre-premiere (partial presentation – only Preludio and Lamento): 14/07/2004 | Fundação Oriente, Lisbon (Portugal) | Artziz Quintet [Iwona Saiote (fl.)/ Pedro Ribeiro (ob.)/ António Saiote (cl.)/ Abel Pereira (hr.)/ Hugues Kestman (bs.)]
  • official premiere (complete version): 16/02/2008 | Instituto Franco-Português, Lisbon (Portugal) | Diaphonia Quintet [Natália Monteiro (fl.)/ David Costa (ob.)/ Iva Barbosa (cl.)/ Thomas Gomes (hr.)/ Ricardo Paraíso (bs.)]
  • international premiere: 10/06/2012 | Igrexia Parroquial de Mantuas, concello de Silleda, Galicia (Spain) | Pentafonía Quintet [David Martínez Lombardía (fl.)/ J. Manuel Abal Rosales (ob.)/ Martín Baleirón Frieiro (cl.)/ Samuel Pérez Llobell (hr.)/ Alejandro Valcárcel Moura (bs.)]

The Quinteto for wind instruments (flute/oboe/clarinet/bassoon/horn), written in 1997-98 with revisions in 2000-03 and corrections in 2016, derives from a clarinet quartet I wrote back in 1992-93, while still a student in the Oporto Conservatory of Music. The thematic material, both melodic and harmonic, are, for the first, second and fourth movements, basically the same as that earlier version, although intensely developed. The third movement, an intermezzo, was conceived exclusively for this quintet version, albeit it had for a time also been planned for the clarinet quartet original version.
The initial Preludio is in variations form, and two very short motives (one more rhythmic, the other more melodic – but both limited to two bars) are freely and constantly varied throughout the movement.
The Lamento is a very free fugatto, where the general mood reveals echoes of Hindemith. The harmonic use of open fourths and fifths, either by superposition or by parallel motion, creates also a kind of stylized Renaissance sound.
Humoresque, in turn, is a ternary form (ABA’), where the contrasting middle section is a kind of satirize waltz presented in the horn. The recapitulation of the initial section is in free retrograde form, meaning that the order of the notes is inverted in relation to the original, though this feature is used mainly in the accompaniment.
Lastly, the Finale is also a ternary form (ABA’), but with two distinct themes both very lively and energetic (the first in the clarinet mainly on the higher register, the second also in the clarinet and the bassoon and mainly on the low register). The quite contrasting intermediate section is based again on the thematic material of the “waltz” of the third movement (presented here also by the horn), but this time the accompaniment evokes the harmonic mood of the Lamento, with its parallel motion of perfect fourths. The recapitulation of the initial section (A) is here considerably shortened, becoming almost a mere “coda”, and in fact, only a part of the first theme (clarinet/high register) is clearly repeated. The low second theme, in turn, when it reappears in the bassoon is, as to say, “smashed” by the superposition of other four themes from previous movements, functioning this section as a kind of summary of the whole work. To conclude this last movement all the players are instructed to play fff stridente, brutale the very same three chords that had opened it.

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