Woodwind Quintet

Composition Date: 1986
Duration: 00:12:15
Genre: Woodwinds, Solo / Ensemble, Quintet (Flute / Oboe / Clarinet / Horn / Bassoon)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Oboe
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Bassoon
  • 1 x Horn
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Programme Note:
This work was written for Essex Winds and premiered on February 1, 1986, and it has been played by many woodwind quintets since. For the 2001 recording and subsequent performances of A Beckett Miscellany, I was fortunate to have four of the five original Essex Winds perform. The group was originally based in Windsor Ontario, but its players had since spread out to many disparate locations in North America. I was always impressed by this group’s technical skill and sense of style, as well as by the humour that they brought to their live performances. I wanted to write for them a work that would highlight all of those qualities. In the opening Allegretto, the parts are arranged in groups of twos and threes in various combinations. Two parts carry the main theme, with the second sounding a mirror image of the first; three parts join in a light-hearted accompanimental fanfare. The full nostalgic quality of the horn is drawn upon to depict a spacious landscape in movement two; the scherzo then provides the humour in movement three. The third movement is a palindrome. Both the minuet in A-flat and the slightly more agitated trio in f-minor will reveal the same pieces when played backwards. After a horn pedal and a brief false reprise on the flute, the minuet then recurs in da capo. The quintet’s virtuosity is fully capitalized upon in movement four. All in all, this quintet might be the happiest piece I have ever written.

Premiere Information:
1 February 1986
Essex Winds


  • Call Number:
  • MI 5151 B396woo
  • Genre:
  • Woodwinds, Solo / Ensemble, Quintet (Flute / Oboe / Clarinet / Horn / Bassoon)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • August 2, 2016
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (32 p. ) ;
    32 Pages
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 23 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • I. Allegro -- II. Andante -- III. Scherzo: Canon in Palindrome -- IV. Allegro
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Woodwind Quintet by Ronald A. Beckett (Score)
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Woodwind Quintet : Score
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Woodwind Quintet
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