Wind Quintet No.8 in C Major, Op.68 No.2
Franz Danzi chose to write wind quintets after witnessing the tremendous financial success of Anton Reicha's first set of such works published in 1817. Danzi, who had a gift for writing melodies, lavished considerable care on his quintets, but, unlike Reicha, composed them for Everyman--the average player--and not for players of a virtuoso caliber. The result was works full of attractive melodies with excellent part-writing that was well within the ability of the average player.
Franz Danzi (1763-1826) was born near and grew up in Mannheim. Danzi studied cello with his father and composition with Abt Vogler before he joined the famous Mannheim orchestra of the Elector in 1778. His career spanned the transition from the late Classical to the early Romantic styles. Danzi knew Mozart and mentored Carl Maria von Weber. In 1783, Danzi succeeded his father as one of the conductors of Elector’s orchestra. He eventually rose to the position of Kapellmeister at the courts in Munich and later Stuttgart. He was a prolific composer who wrote works in virtually every genre. Danzi's chamber music includes sextets, quintets, quartets and trios, some for strings, some for wind instruments and some for a combination of the two. These works are generally in a style that reflects his own early experience in Mannheim.
The Wind Quintet Op.68 No.2 in C Major is the second of Danzi's of three such works from Danzi's last set of wind quintets. After the success of his Op.56 in 1821, Danzi followed it up with two more sets a few years later. Op.68 No.2 has a very Mozartean quality to it in the chromatic and melodic writing. This can be immediately heard right from the opening notes of the charming first movement, Allegro. Wolfgang himself might have penned this lovely music. The Andante-Allegretto is a theme and set of variations. Beginning with the Oboe, each instrument is given a chance to shine. Again we feel the influence of Mozart in the Menuetto, allegretto which follows. In the finale, an Allegretto, the horn gives out the jovial and leisurely main theme soon all of the others join in.
Our edition is based on the original edition by Andre of Offenbach, however, we have entirely reset the work, added rehearsal numbers and corrected mistakes. This is a tuneful work which should be enjoyed by quintet groups be they professional or amateur.