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The Quintet benefited from Rimsky's onshore naval posting in 1865, when connection with the band's training establishment enabled him to acquire firsthand knowledge of wind instrument techniques and possibilities. The result is idiomatic writing that is a constant delight. And as the French were soon to discover, the playful precision of such an ensemble cannot long keep humour at bay. So Rimsky produces in the Quintet a score that is imaginative and exuberant. It gets off to a splendid start [listen -- track 1, 0:00-1:25]. The slow movement has a fughetta section that deploys Rimsky's newly-acquired skills with a light enough touch. The finale was probably altogether too much for the judges to stomach, casting as it does all solemnity to the four winds as they chortle their glee [listen -- track 3, 0:00-1:08]. It is an enchanting jeu d'esprit, suggesting nothing more portentous than a teddybears' picnic for the discomfiture of any jury member no longer possessed of his proper bedroom companion.

Copyright © 7 September 2003 Robert Anderson, London UK


Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

PRD 250 188 Stereo NEW RELEASE 61'18" 2003 Praga Digitals

Ivan Klansky, piano; Members of the Prague Wind Quintet; Kocian Quartet; Josef Kluson, viola; Michal Kanka, cello

Quintet in B flat for piano, flute, clarinet, horn and bassoon (1876); String Sextet in A (1876)



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