Heinrich von Herzogenberg
Quintet in E flat Major, Op.43
For Piano, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn & Bassoon
"The Quintet for oboe, horn, clarinet, bassoon and piano, Op.43 in E Flat Major, dates from 1888, during the time Herzogenberg was a professor of composition in Berlin. This is an important work for several reasons, not the least of which is because there are so few works of any significance which have been written for this combination. It is also a substantial work. In the opening Allegro, we hear the triumphiant main theme which is sunny and martial. The instruments are used incredibly well. Herzogenberg demonstrates his compositional skill by avoiding the common solution used by less imaginative composers when writing for piano and winds, or piano and strings, i.e., the pitting of the piano against a massed chorus of the other instruments. The second theme of the Allegro has a dream-like quality to it. In this excellent movement of many moods, Herzogenberg integrates all of the instruments seamlessly. A long, leisurely, Adagio follows. After a short introduction by the piano and statement of the peaceful main theme, the upper winds reply. In the development, the bassoon, oboe and clarinet are given especially lovely phrases that have an almost string-like quality to them. Except for a very brief moment or two, quiet reigns. imagine if you will, a lily pond on a warm, lazy day. This is a gorgeous and appealing movement, a real achievement in view of the fact that the music is devoid of passion. The short third movement, Allegretto, is a real surprise, there is a French feel to it. The spirited main theme, given to the winds, is bouncy and humorous. Meanwhile, the piano provides very important rhythmic trim. The concluding Allegro giocoso is lively and jocular, a continuation in mood of the previous movement. With the horn in the lead, the music bounds forward full of good spirits. A wonderfully contrasting, march-like middle section has a Turkish or oriental military flavor to it." -----Armin Hochbauer writing in The Chamber Music Journal
The Austrian composer Heinrich von Herzogenberg (1843-1900) was greatly influenced by Brahms and while one can sometimes hear this influence, what is striking is the amount of original and fresh thoughts there are, notwithstanding the influence of Brahms. His chamber music is unquestionably first rate and some of it made Brahms envious.
Other works for this same combination which may be of interest to you and which we publish are Ernst Pauer's Quintet in F Major, Op.44, and Fritz Volbach's Quintet in E flat Major, Op.24.