Reicha published a total of 24 wind quintets for the “classical” scoring of flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon; op. 88 no. 2 is one of the best-loved and most played. “If it were possible to surpass Haydn in the composition of quartets and quintets, Reicha would have succeeded with these quintets”, thus raved the “Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung” on a performance of Reicha’s quintets, “it seems to me that it is impossible to unite more correctness and clarity with more inventiveness and originality.” This work exudes inspiration and spirit from every note. In addition to the parts, we have also produced a handy study edition of the score.
- Quintet for Wind Instruments E flat major op. 88,2
In his autobiography (Notes sur Antoine Reicha, printed in Jiri Vysloužil, Zápisky a Antonínu Rejchovi, Brno, 1970), Anton Reicha (1770 –1836) claimed that he invented the classical wind quintet for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon. In actual fact, however, quintets for this scoring had been written previously by Nikolaus Schmidt and Giuseppe Cambini. The … more
About the composer
Composer and music theorist, whose wind quintets are especially important; popular to this day, they were already by far his greatest successes during his lifetime. He also achieved fame through his highly respected writings on music theory. Along with a multitude of works for winds in different groupings, his oeuvre comprises operas, symphonies, overtures, concerti, and keyboard works.
|1770||Born in Prague on February 26.|
|around 1780||He is adopted by his uncle Joseph Reicha in Wallerstein, where his education includes piano, flute, and violin.|
|from 1785||He is engaged as a violinist and flautist at the court chapel of the Cologne Prince-Elector Maximilian Franz in Bonn. There he meets Beethoven, with whom a lifelong friendship develops.|
|from 1794||He teaches in Hamburg. Writes several compositions, including operas, chamber music, and symphonies. He meets Joseph Haydn and Pierre Rode.|
|1802–08||A second attempt to establish himself as an opera composer fails. He meets Empress Marie Therese, who commissions the opera “Argene Regina di Granata” from him. He makes efforts to publish his works.|
|from 1818||He becomes professor of counterpoint and fugue at the Paris Conservatoire, his pupils including Hector Berlioz, Charles Gounod, Henry Vieuxtemps, and Franz Liszt.|
|1831||Becomes a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur.|
|1835||Member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts.|
|1836||Dies in Paris on May 28.|