Episodes of WLRH Programs

Brass, Reeds, and Percussion: June 6, 2020

Why does a woodwind quintet have a brass instrument, the French horn? A brass quintet has all brass instruments including a French horn. (The other instruments are two trumpets, one trombone, and one tuba.) A woodwind quintet has four true woodwind instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon. But it also has a French horn.

That means French horn players have the privilege of playing in both types of quintets. This privilege is related to how the instrumentation of the orchestra developed. Horns, without keys by the way, were one of the first wind instruments added to the orchestra, which had previously consisted of only strings: violins, violas, cellos, and bass viols. During the late 1700s, before most brass instruments were invented but after the horn had already been added to the orchestra, newly perfected woodwind instruments were gradually added to the orchestra in roughly this order: oboe, bassoon, clarinet, and flute. Around 1775, the wind section of the orchestra therefore contained four types of instruments: oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon. By approximately 1800, the flute was added.

So at that point, the wind section of the orchestra contained the five instruments found in the woodwind quintet. This wind section was referred to as the harmonie of the orchestra. In essence, "harmonie," at this point, means "wind section." Hence, when you hear compositions for a harmoniemusik, it typically consists of two oboes, two clarinets, two horns, and two bassoons. A bit later flutes are added to harmoniemusik, as well as an occasional trumpet beging thrown in.

Today’s edition of Brass, Reeds, and Percussion explores the woodwind quartet before it became the woodwind quintet. Today's edition features Quartet 2 by Vincent Gambaro with four instruments: flute, clarinet, horn, and bassoon. Note that even in the woodwind quartet, the French horn is present, because it was part of the orchestra's harmonie or wind section.

  1. Children of the Regiment
    Composer:  Julius Fucik (1872-1916)
    Performer:  U.S. Marine Band
    Album:  Sound Off
     
  2. Quartet 2: Allegro Brillante
    Composer:  Vincent Gambaro (1785?-1828?)
    Performer:  Consortium Classicum
    Album:  Vincent Gambaro Wind Quartets
    Vincent Gambaro was apparently the brother of Giovanni Battista Gambaro (1785-1828), an Italian clarinettest who moved to Paris and became a music publisher.
     
  3. Quartet 2: Menuetto
    Composer:  Vincent Gambaro (1785?-1828?)
    Performer:  Consortium Classicum
    Album:  Vincent Gambaro Wind Quartets
     
  4. Quartet 2: Agitato
    Composer:  Vincent Gambaro (1785?-1828?)
    Performer:  Consortium Classicum
    Album:  Vincent Gambaro Wind Quartets
     
  5. Concerto 11: Allegro & Grave
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), arranged for organ by J.S. Bach, arranged for brass quintet by David Baldwin
    Performer:  Elbeblech
    Album:  As Good as Bach
     
  6. Concerto 11: Fugue
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi, arranged for organ by J.S. Bach, arranged for brass quintet by David Baldwin
    Performer:  Elbeblech
    Album:  As Good as Bach
     
  7. Concerto 11: Largo & Spiccato
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi, arranged for organ by J.S. Bach, arranged for brass quintet by David Baldwin
    Performer:  Elbeblech
    Album:  As Good as Bach
     
  8. Concerto 11: Allegro
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi, arranged for organ by J.S. Bach, arranged for brass quintet by David Baldwin
    Performer:  Elbeblech
    Album:  As Good as Bach
     
  9. Conquest of Paradise
    Composer:  Vangelis (1943- )
    Performer:  Royal Band of Belgian Air Force
    Album:  Film Music, Vol. 1
     
  10. Something to Live For (recorded 1965)
    Composer:  Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967)
    Performer:  Ella Fitzgerald & Studio Musicians
    Album:  Billy Strayhorn Songbook
     
  11. Pepita Greus
    Composer:  Pascual Perez Chovi (1889-1953)
    Performer:  U.S. Marine Band
    Album:  Sound Off
     
  12. Purple Pageant (1933)
    Composer:  Karl L. King (1891-1971)
    Performer:  Texas A&M University Band
    Album:  Marches of Karl L. King
     
  13. March Ponderoso (1910)
    Composer:  Karl L. King
    Performer:  Texas A&M University Band
    Album:  Marches of Karl L. King
     
  14. Cinematic Marches
    Composer:  Various, arranged by Dominique Wyckhuys (1964- )
    Performer:  Hafabra Ad Hoc Wind Orchestra
    Album:  Film Music, Vol. 1
     

Air Date: 

Saturday, June 6, 2020

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