Suite for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet & Piano
Johan Amberg (1846-1928) was born in Copenhagen. He studied voice, violin and composition at the The Royal Danish Academy of Music. From 1877 to 1905 he served as a violinist in the Royal Danish Orchestra after which he devoted himself to composition. His chamber music compositions were premiered to acclaim and were often performed not only in Denmark but also in Germany, Austria France and England.
His Suite for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Piano dates from 1905. It is in three movements—–Seguedille, Devant la Cathédrale and Ronde villageois. The first movement takes its title from a poem by the French poet Jules Bois which Amberg quotes. A Seguedille is usually a sad song. This one recounts how a gypsy girl with nimble fingers has stolen his heart and then disappear. The second movement, "In the Cathedral", begins with the resonant tolling of bells in the piano, but each time the bells return, they get softer, as if they're moving away into the distance. The winds also enter with a very full sound each time, only to fade away. This music is very mysterious, and also very beautiful.With the last movement, "Village Dance", all the clouds disappear and the sun comes out. The first theme is light French "salon" music, but in the middle section the clarinet breaks out into a jazz theme and the other instruments quickly join in because he's having way too much fun by himself.
This very appealing work which is sure to meet with audience approval in the concert hall but will be a great treat for amateurs as well.