Quintet in E flat Major, Op.3
For Piano, Violin, Cello, Clarinet & Horn
Thomas Dunhill (1877-1946) grew up in London and was part of the Dunhill family which founded the famous tobacco shop in that city. He studied composition at the Royal College of Music with Charles Villiers Stanford. After graduating, he enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a teacher and composer, eventually serving as a professor at the Royal College. He was especially fond of chamber music and wrote a considerable amount.
The Quintet was composed in 1898 as the result of a competition which offered a cash prize for a work written for an ensemble consisting of piano, violin, cello, clarinet and horn. Some long forgotten composer and not Dunhill was the winner of the competition but Dunhill's Quintet was premiered to considerable acclaim the following year. It is dedicated to Stanford. The opening movement, Allegro ma non troppo, consists of a theme and set of very engaging variations. Just placing such a movement as the opening pieces was in and of itself quite unusual. Quite assuredly handled, each successive variation yet more interest than the one preceding it. The middle movement, Allegretto, is full of passion and has a very exciting climax, while the finale, Prestissimo is jovial and holds one's interest throughout.
This is a first rate work and now you can make and evening of it becaue we offer two other superb works for this rarely assembled ensemble: Zdenek Fibich's Quintet in D Major Op.42 and Robert Kahn's Quintet in c minor, Op.54.