Thťodore Dubois

Soundbite 1st Movement

Soundbite 2nd Movement

Soundbite 3rd Movement

Soundbite 4th Movement

Quintet for Piano, Oboe (Clarinet or Violin),

 Violin, Viola and Cello in F Major

Thťodore Dubois' Piano Quintet in F Major was composed in his 68th year, yet it shows the vitality of a younger man, though combined with the compositional excellence that only comes with long years in the service of music.


Thťodore Dubois (1837-1924) was born in the French town of Rosnay. After an impressive career at the Paris Conservatory, where he studied with Ambroise Thomas, he won the coveted Prix de Rome. Among the many important positions he held during a long career was that of director of the Madeleine, where he succeeded Saint-SaŽns, and later of the Paris Conservatory. Among his many students were Paul Dukas and Florent Schmitt.


Dubois wrote a considerable amount of music in nearly every genre. Like Saint SaŽns, he eschewed impressionism, and continued on in the French Romantic tradition which the former had helped to pioneer. It is characterized by, logic, clarity, fine melody, drama and a refined sense of taste. His music is finely crafted and clearly shows that he was a gifted melodist. It is truly a pity his chamber music is unknown because it is absolutely first rate.


Although Dubois composed the Quintet with the oboe in mind because of its special timber,   he nevertheless--without any prompting from his publisher--wrote in the score that the music could also be played with either a clarinet or second violin in lieu of the oboe, and he provided the parts which appeared at the time the work was released.  It begins with a joyful Allegro which radiates optimistic energy. The second movement, Canzonetta, provides a wonderful dialogue between the five instruments and is particularly clever in its use of timber. A highly expressive Adagio non troppo, full of sentiment, follows. The lively finale, Allegro con fuoco, reintroduces many of the themes which have appeared in the previous movements, while at the same time giving them a different treatment.


This Quintet is a highly original work not only because of its instrumentation, but also because of the way Dubois combines the timber of the oboe with the strings, using the former's lower registers and assigning it the role given to the second violin in a string quartet. It is a first rate work by any standard and another marvelous example of late French romanticism. Long out of print, it is with pleasure that we reintroduce it.


(A) Oboe, Violin, Viola, Cello & Piano $39.95
(B) Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello & Piano $39.95
(C) 2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Piano $39.95
(D) All Seven Parts $47.95





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