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New York Woodwind Quintet Performs Works by Francaix, Kurtag, Reicha, and Machaut on Tuesday, February 8 at 8 PM in Juilliard's Paul Hall

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New York Woodwind Quintet by Christian Steiner
New York Woodwind Quintet by Christian Steiner

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The New York Woodwind Quintet (Carol Wincenc, flute; Charles Neidich, clarinet; Stephen Taylor, oboe; Marc Goldberg, bassoon; William Purvis, French horn) performs works by Françaix, Kurtág, Reicha and Machaut on Tuesday, February 8 at 8 PM in Paul Hall as part of Juilliard’s Daniel Saidenberg Faculty Recital Series. The program features Kurtag’s Quintet, Op. 2; Reicha’s Quintet in C Minor, Op. 91, No. 6; Machaut’s Five Ballades (arranged by William Purvis); and Françaix’s Quintette (1948). Last season, the New York Woodwind Quintet premiered Elliott Carter’s work Nine by Five on the occasion of the composer 101st birthday, and that work will remain a staple in the woodwind quintet repertory.

FREE tickets are available at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard, located at 155 West 65th Street. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM. For further information, call the Juilliard Box Office at (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.

György Kurtág was born in Romania in 1926 to Hungarian parents. He moved to Budapest in 1946 where he adopted Hungarian citizenship and studied composition with Ferenc Farkas, Sándor Veress and chamber music with Leó Weiner. He studied in Paris from 1957 to 1958 with Olivier Messiaen and Darius Milhaud and was influenced by the music of Anton Webern with which he had not known in Hungary. He returned to Hungary and composed his Wind Quintet, Op. 2 in 1959. The work is in eight movements.

Mr. Purvis writes in his note on Anton Reicha’s Quintet in C Minor, Op. 91, No. 6: “The Quintet in C Minor, Op. 91, No. 6, the last of Reicha’s series of quintets, is one of his more unusual and experimental exercises in this genre. The first movement opens with a slow Marcia funebre introduction, followed by a virtuosic Allegro Vivace in triple meter. The second movement is a lovely aria in C Major, which is followed by a quirky Menuetto (actually a scherzo) in C Minor containing many surprising twists and turns and some eccentric contrapuntal writing. The finale is a wild C Minor movement ending in C Major. Despite the primary key of C Minor, the work overall is more characterized by brilliance, eccentricity and wit than any darker effect. The work’s ebullient ending almost veers off into Rossini.” 

Mr. Purvis has arranged Guillaume de Machaut’s Five Ballades for the ensemble and the Five Ballades the Quintet will be performing are: Rose, liz, printemps, verdure; Sanzcuer m’en vois; Doulz viaire gracieus; Hélas tant ay dolour et peine; and Se quanque amours. Machaut was born in about 1300 in Rheims and studied there and in Paris and later returned to serve most of his life in his home area as a cannon. He was widely respected both as a poet and composer. While best known for his work, the Mass of Notre Dame, most of his music consisted of secular songs about idealized love and longing. He explored and established the French fixed forms, including ballade, rondeau, and virelai. Mr. Purvis notes that the most striking ballades would be the middle and final ones, Doulz viaire gracieus for its unusual tonality, and Se quanque amours for its complex structure and interweaving of voices.

Jean Francaix’s Wind Quintette was written in 1948 for five musicians from the French National Orchestra. The work displays the elegance, wit, and technical mastery that are the hallmarks of Françaix’s music. Mr. Goldberg adds in his note: “An expert orchestrator, Françaix combines these five instruments in a way that moves quickly between colors and moods, at once light and nostalgic, elegant and playful.”

About the New York Woodwind Quintet

Now in its seventh decade, the New York Woodwind Quintet has maintained an active performance schedule in the United States and abroad while also teaching the next generation of woodwind performers. The Quintet has commissioned and premiered over 20 compositions, some of which have become classics of the woodwind repertoire. They include quintets by William Bergsma, Jon Deak, Ezra Laderman, Evis Sammoutis, Gunther Schuller, William Sydeman, Wallingford Riegger, Alec Wilder, and Yehudi Wyner. The Quintet has featured many of these in recordings for such labels as Boston Skyline, Bridge, Last season on the occasion of composer Elliott Carter’s 101st birthday, they performed his work Nine by Five, which will remain a staple in the woodwind quintet repertory, as will his 1948 woodwind quintet. New World Records, and Nonesuch, and has just released Schoenberg’s Wind Quintet on the Naxos label.

The Quintet’s members also honor the legacy of departed members, including the late Samuel Baron, by continuing to perform his transcriptions of works such as Bach’s Art of the Fugue and the Scherzo from Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the late Ronald Roseman, by performing his Wind Quintet No. 2 and Sextet for Piano and Winds which was dedicated to the New York Woodwind Quintet and completed just before he died. Continuing that tradition, the group regularly performs numerous transcriptions by William Purvis and several compositions of Charles Neidich. Current NYWQ members flutist Carol Wincenc, clarinetist Charles Neidich, oboist Stephen Taylor, bassoonist Marc Goldberg, and French hornist William Purvis, all internationally recognized performers and teachers, continue the Quintet’s now 19-year-long residency at The Juilliard School, where they present eight seminars each year for student woodwind quintets and give regular coaching sessions. 

FOR LISTINGS:

Tuesday, February 8, 8 PM, Juilliard’s Paul Hall (155 West 65th Street, 1st Floor)

New York Woodwind Quintet

Carol Wincenc, Flute

Charles Neidich, Clarinet

Stephen Taylor, Oboe

Marc Goldberg, Bassoon

William Purvis, French Horn

György Kurtág: Quintet, Op. 2

Anton Reicha:  Quintet in C Minor, Op. 91, No. 6

Guillaume de Machaut (arranged by William Purvis): Five Ballades

Jean Françaix: Quintette (1948) 

FREE tickets are available at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard, located at 155 West 65th Street. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM. For further information, call the Juilliard Box Office at (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.