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For Piano and Winds

It seems curious that one of Mozart's finest and most innovative chamber works should not have encouraged composers from later generations to write further pieces for the same combination of instruments. Stravinsky notably brought the piano together with the large wind ensemble (his teacher Rimsky-Korsakov composed a large-scale Piano Quintet but replaced the oboe with a flute). Francis Poulenc and John McCabe wrote substantial sextets. But mostly we hear Mozart's Quintet KV 452 and occasionally Beethoven's early essay in the medium.
‘I have composed two grand concertos and then I composed a quintet, which produced the very greatest applause. I consider the (piano) quintet to be the best work I have ever composed. It is written for oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and pianoforte. I wish you could have heard it yourself. And how beautifully it was performed!'

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, from a letter of 10th April 1784 to his father in Salzburg

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Nigel Morgan, Prudential Buildings, 55 Westgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1BW, United Kingdom Tel: 01924 383017 e-mail: tonalitysystems@mac.com

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