Wind Quintet in g minor
Paul Taffanel (1844-1908) was born in Bordeaux. He studied flute and composition at the Paris Conservatory and enjoyed a brilliant multi-faceted career. He served as principal flutist of the Paris Opera Orchestra and later as its conductor. He was also a professor at the Paris Conservatory where he was instrumental in revising its curriculum.
His Wind Quintet in g minor dates from 1876 and is in three movements. The opening theme of the first movement, Allegro, is upbeat and full of forward motion. A second subject, dreamier and more lyrical. The middle movement, Andante, begins with a long, lugubrious though charming horn solo. The mood is relaxed and somewhat reflective. However, when the others join in, the tempo picks up and the music becomes livelier. The exciting finale, Vivace, is a kind of tarantella.
This wind quintet is a first rate work with fine writing for each instrument. It makes an attractive program choice for both professinals and amateurs.