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Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) Quintet Op. 26
Composed between April 1923 and August 1924, the Quintet Op. 26 was presented to the public for the first time on September 13 of the same year, in Vienna. It's the first work in which the composer uses his method of dodecaphonic composition, applied to a larger form.
Previously, one meets drafts of dode-caphony in the Five Piano Pieces, Op. 23 and in the Serenade Op. 24 but especially in the Piano Suite Op. 25, which is characterized by the importance of its more brilliant colour and its writing based on the counterpoint. Moreover, the structure of the themes and the form of the work is more evident, compared to Schoenberg's former compositions.
In the Quintet Op. 26, the polyphonic texture is prevailing in the whole work, which makes the identification of the principal theme sometimes difficult. Conscious of this problem, Schoenberg introduces specific signs to differentiate the principal and secondary parts of the accompaniment. As for the form, the structure of the Quintet is clearly based on the traditional model: a first movement in* sonata-form with repetition of the exposed theme; the second movement is a Scherzo with a central trio; the third one follows the ternary form of the Lied (A-B-A) and the last movement is a Rondo. These four movements have a traditional thematic organisation and an "expressivity" that some consider as inconsistent with the rigid system of dodecaphonic composition.
The present Quintet, written for a traditional wind quintet - flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon - was created the very day of the composer's fiftieth's anniversary.
Robert Gerhard (1896-1970) Wind Ouintet
The Spanish composer, Robert Gerhard was born in Vails (Cataluna) and studied in Barcelona, piano with Granados and composition with Pedrell, from 1915 till 1922. Then he will be the pupil of Schoenberg in Vienna, from 1924 till 1928.
Following the Spanish Civil War, he emigrates to England in 1939, where he will teach at the University of Cambridge, until the end of his life. The present Wind Quintet, composed in 1928 and created in Barcelona, the year after, is articulated in 4 movements: Moderato; Andante cantabile - Sostenuto; Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo mosso; Vivace Scherzando.
It's the first serial oeuvre of Gerhard, written through his contact with Schoenberg, though he doesn't use the dodecaphonic series but a suite of seven sounds.
The Quintet can be considered as making part of the Catalan nationalist tendency in music, of before the Civil War, tendency of which Pedrell was a pioneer.
Created in 1981 in Valencia, Spain, the Quintet Cuesta takes its name from the composer Francisco Cuesta, from Valencia, whose premature death made him fall into oblivion very soon.
Its members have big experience in Chamber Music and as soloists. Besides this, they all are Conservatory teachers in their corresponding specialities and are active members of the Orchestra of Valencia.
All of them studied at the Conservatory of Music of Valencia and abroad (Vienna, Paris, Brussels, London, Rotterdam). From its creation on, the Quintet Cuesta has taken part in different International Festivals (Santander, Monserrat, Barcelona, Granada) and toured extensively throughout the Spanish and European geography.
The Quintet Cuesta has developed a close collaboration with other European Chamber Ensembles and many composers dedicated their works to the Ensemble.
They also are involved in the elaboration of the chamber music programme of the Palau de la Musica of Valencia and of the Auditori de Torrent.
The Quintet Cuesta has been awarded at the "Concurso Internacional Monserrat Alavedra", "Academia Chigiana di Siena" and has recorded for "Radio Nacional de Espana", Television Espanola" and "Radio 9".