Celebrated Wind Quintets
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George Onslow

George Onslow (1784-1853)

Nationality: French | English
Born: July 27, 1784, Clermont-Ferrand Died: October 3, 1853, Clermont-Ferrand (age 69)

Wind Quintet in F major, Op. 81

(for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon)
6:54 I. Allegro non troppo
3:46 II. Scherzo. Energico
6:18 III. Andante sostentuo. Molto espressivo
4:50 IV. Finale. Allegro spirituoso
Duration: 22 minutes (approximately)
Composed: (?) 1850-1851 (age 65-67)
Published: c. 1852 (age 67-68)
5 recordings, 20 videos
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7:51
Borealis Wind Quintet
I. Allegro non troppo
3:55
Borealis Wind Quintet
II. Scherzo. Energico
6:49
Borealis Wind Quintet
III. Andante sostentuo. Molto espressivo
4:39
Borealis Wind Quintet
IV. Finale. Allegro spirituoso
7:32
Les Vents Français
I. Allegro non troppo
3:10
Les Vents Français
II. Scherzo. Energico
5:39
Les Vents Français
III. Andante sostentuo. Molto espressivo
4:46
Les Vents Français
IV. Finale. Allegro spirituoso
5:27
Bläserquintett des Südwestfunks
I. Allegro non troppo
3:43
Bläserquintett des Südwestfunks
II. Scherzo. Energico
5:53
Bläserquintett des Südwestfunks
III. Andante sostentuo. Molto espressivo
4:47
Bläserquintett des Südwestfunks
IV. Finale. Allegro spirituoso
5:50
Stalder-Quintett
I. Allegro non troppo
4:10
Stalder-Quintett
II. Scherzo. Energico
6:22
Stalder-Quintett
III. Andante sostentuo. Molto espressivo
5:02
Stalder-Quintett
IV. Finale. Allegro spirituoso
7:49
Ensemble Initium
I. Allegro non troppo
3:52
Ensemble Initium
II. Scherzo. Energico
6:49
Ensemble Initium
III. Andante sostentuo. Molto espressivo
4:56
Ensemble Initium
IV. Finale. Allegro spirituoso
From Edition Silvertrust

George Onslow Perhaps no composer, more than George Onslow (1784-1853), illustrates the fickleness of fame. Onslow was born and lived his entire life in France, the son of an English father and French mother. His chamber music, during his own lifetime and up to the end of the 19th century, was held in the highest regard, particularly in Germany, Austria and England where he was regularly placed in the front rank of composers. His work was admired by both Beethoven and Schubert, while Schumann, perhaps the foremost music critic during the first part of the 19th century, regarded Onslow’s chamber music on a par with that of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. Mendelssohn was also of this opinion. However, after the First World War, his music, along with that of so many other fine composers, fell into oblivion and up until 1984, the bicentennial of his birth, he remained virtually unknown.

One is almost a little surprised that Onslow, a pianist and cellist, would write a wind quintet and quite a good one. But one should remember that Onslow's teacher was Anton Reicha, the man who virtually invented the modern wind quintet. The Quintet, written in 1850 at a time when Onslow was 66, shows a youthful playfulness. The opening Allegro non troppo begins with a formal introduction. The charming main theme is presented in a very plastic fashion. The second movement is a light and playful Scherzo. The melody is cleverly passed from voice to voice. The lazy trio section provides good contrast. The Oboe solo which begins the following Larghetto strikes a somber note. There is a certain Handel-like quality to this formal music. The finale, Allegro spirituoso. is a lively rondo.

© Edition Silvertrust. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Related Composers

1800 Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831) Jan Dussek (1760-1812) Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) Anton Reicha (1770-1836) Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Johann Baptist Cramer (1771-1858) Johann Hummel (1778-1837) George Onslow (1784-1853) Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Johann Baptist Cramer (1771-1858)
Teacher
Nationality: English | German
Born: February 24, 1771, Mannheim Died: April 16, 1858, London (age 87)
Jan Dussek (1760-1812)
Teacher
Nationality: Czech
Born: February 12, 1760, Čáslav, Czech Republic Died: March 20, 1812, Saint Germain-en-Laye or Paris, France (age 52)
Anton Reicha (1770-1836)
Teacher
Nationality: Czech | French
Born: February 26, 1770, Prague Died: May 28, 1836, Paris (age 66)