Monday, March 5, 2012

Victor Ewalds 3rd quintet

This morning we are listening to one of my favorite pieces for brass quintet.  Victor Ewalds 3rd quintet in D flat Major was written in 1912.  The first movement is Allegro Moderato.  The Intermezzo serves to slow the energy of the piece by opening with a lyrical somber theme and provides excellent contrast between the first and third movements.  The tempo and energy are brought back to full stride in the middle of the movement.  A new playful motive propels the music forward until the original theme is brought back and the movement closes with a melancholy yet powerful section.  The lively andante section follows the intermezzo.  Ewald expands on the playful theme and develops his idea into a powerful motive which is continually contrasted with beautiful lyrical playing throughout the quintet.  To me, Ewalds music finds a perfect balance between beautiful lyrical writing and powerful moments of brass playing that the quintet is so capable of.  This delicate contrast, which remains tonal, keeps his music interesting through out and attributes to the staying power of his quintets for more than a century.

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