Sextet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn & Piano in B flat Major
Huber finished the Sextet for Piano and Winds in B flat Major in 1898. It did not receive its first performance until 1900 in Basel. Karl Nef, the reviewer for the Schweitzerische Musikzeitung (Swiss Music Paper) had this to say:
The Sextet for Piano, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn in B flat Major by Hans Huber unmistakably uses the themes from Swiss folk music. The first movement begins with an Adagio non troppo introduction and leads to a Con fuoco main section which is brilliant and fresh. The second movement, Allegro molto vivace, is a little miracle, graced with agility, charm and clever contrasting sections. The short third movement has three brief sections beginning with an Adagio ma non troppo followed by an agitated Con fuoco middle part and concluding with a calmer Un poco piu andante. An Allegro vivace con brio tops off this first class piece.
Hans Huber (1852-1921) was born in the Swiss town of Eppenberg. Between 1870-74, he studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Carl Reinecke and Ernst Richter. After graduating he held a number of positions before being appointed a professor at the Basel Conservatory, where he served as director between 1889-1917. Huber’s music was firmly rooted in the Romantic movement inspired at first by Schumann and Brahms and then later by Liszt and Richard Strauss. He was widely considered Switzerland’s leading composer during the last quarter of the 19th and first decade of the 20th century. He composed in virtually every genre and many of his works were for long years part of various repertoires and the only works by a Swiss composer that were regularly performed outside of Switzerland.
Although acknowledged as a composer of the first rank, as a Swiss, his music made little headway outside of Switzerland. Had he been German or Austrian, he would certainly have been much better known. This work along with so many others of his is the equal of some of the best known piano quintets and truly deserves to be heard in concert and to sit on the stands of amateurs. Long out of print,, we are pleased to make it available once again.
We also offer Ludwig Thuille's Sextet, Paul Juon's Divertimento, Albert Roussel's Divertissiment and Theodor Blumer's Sextet for this same instrumental combination. They make excellent and contrasting and companion works.