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Abbreviations (PDF)

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
Philharmonie, Köln
Heinz Holliger, ob / Elmar Schmid, cl / Klaus Thunemann, bn / Radovan Vlatkovic, hn / András Schiff,
Composer's Notes

When I accepted the commission by Heinz Holliger and Köln Musik to write this quintet for these remarkable performers, the thought of the masterpiece by Mozart for this combination led me to consider very seriously its range of expressive possibilities. TO heighten the dialectic interplay between the instruments, I decided to treat the group as having three contrasting elements: piano, horn, and trio of woodwinds. Each is assigned to its own musical vocabulary and its own type of expressivity and character, derived from its instrumental capabilities. Thus the interplay of commentary, answer, humorous detail, ironic, supportive of self-effacing were considered as part of the musical thought and expression. Although the quintet is in one continuous movement, there are frequent changes of mood, sometimes within one instrument’s part, at other times by groups.

The work was composed in Southbury, Connecticut, during the summer of 1991.

Elliott Carter

Recommended Recording

András Schiff/Radovan Vlatkovic/Klaus Thunemann/Elmar Schmid/Heinz Holliger
Philips 4460952

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