An Evening in Georgia
Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon & Piano, Op.71
Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov (1859-1935) was born in the town of Gatchina, near St. Petersburg. He studied composition with Rimsky-Korsakov at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. After graduating, he obtained the position of Director of the Tiflis (Tbilisi) Music Academy. He spent the next seven years in the Georgian capital, also holding the post of conductor of the city's orchestra. It was during this time that he developed his life-long interest in the music of the Georgian region and many of his compositions reflect this, the most famous being his Caucasian Sketches. In 1893, he became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory and later served as its director for two decades. He composed in all genres.
An Evening in Georgia was composed in the mid 1930's toward the end of Ippolitov-Ivanov's life and it appears to be a fond recollection of the time he spent there. It was composed as a one movement divertimento and is rich in folk melodies and rhythms with hints of the exotic. He shows his mastery of technique in his expressive handling of each instruments timber.
Hard to obtain, this short work can be used on a program between two longer ones or as a charming encore. Amateurs will certainly enjoy it as well.