DANZI Franz, Wind Quintet in B flat Op.56 No.1
Andante con moto
Danzi was brought up in Mannheim, where he joined the orchestra run by the Elector Karl Theodor while still a teenager, as a cellist. His father was principal cellist in the orchestra (which moved, with Karl Theodor, to Munich) and he was praised by Mozart for his playing in the first performance of Idomeneo in 1781. In 1784, he was succeeded by his son, who later became an assistant Kapellmeister in Munich, before taking on the role of Kapellmeister in Stuttgart and later Karlsruhe. Though Danzi was a fine cellist, his fame as a composer rests largely on his nine woodwind quintets – works which show a consistent understanding of idiomatic wind writing.
The Quintet in B flat was one of a set of three first published in 1821, with a dedication to Anton Reicha – Danzi’s most important predecessor as a composer of wind quintets. After an amiable and well-crafted first movement in B flat major, Danzi reveals a more pensive side to his nature in the short Andante con moto, in D minor, its main thematic material being heard first on the oboe, then the bassoon. The Minuet is sturdy, while in the Trio section Danzi creates a witty dialogue between all five instruments. The last movement is a jaunty rondo.
© Nigel Simeone