Danzi – Quintet in B-flat Major, Op. 56, No. 1

by Max Derrickson

Franz Ignaz Danzi
(Born in Schwetzingen, Germany in 1763; died in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1826)

Quintet in B-flat Major, Op. 56, No. 1
1. Allegro
2. Andante con moto
3. Menuett – Trio
4. Allegro

After Giuseppi Cambini “invented” the wind quintet ensemble in the early 1800’s, two composers in particular took a keen interest in it and were influential in the genre getting established in the concert hall.  First was Czech composer Anton Reicha (1770 – 1836) who [. . .]  Franz Danzi and his 9 Quintets that were written most likely between 1820-24.  These 33 works have become the foundation of the repertoire.  Danzi was a highly respected cellist, composer and [. . .]  Most impressive and most memorable are his Quintets, and[. . .] Opus 56 have remained deservedly popular.

The Wind Quintet No. 1 (of Op. 56) is an impressive and sparkling little masterwork in its genre,  imbued with that wonderful late Classical spirit, light and airy, masterfully balanced [. . .].  The harmonies are clearly looking forward to [. . .]  Then the double reeds begin to hand the baton to the flute and clarinet, which creates a wonderful changing of light and color in the ensemble.  Likewise, [. . .]   Most impressive still is how Danzi, the cellist, captured the capabilities of each wind instrument with remarkable idiomatic wisdom.