MUSIC FOR WIND QUINTET.
Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Wind Quintet, Op. 43.
Otto MORTENSEN (1907-1986)
Wind Quintet. Jorgen JERSILD
(b. 1913) Serenade. Henning
WELLEJUS (b. 1919) Wind Quintet.
Wind Quintet of the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Dacapo 8.224151 [DDD] [71'44]
Placing Nielsen's Quintet with pieces by three of his Scandinavian compatriots
only serves to confirm its stature amongst twentieth century wind music.
This disc places it in the context of more contemporary efforts in the field
an, sensibly, it is placed first. Nielsen seems to raise and ennoble the
form of the wind quintet in this extended composition. It receives a committed
performance from members of the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, who enjoy
a close rapport and understanding of the musical language. In particular,
the bring off the disjointed finale well They are supported by a spacious
recording whose only fault seems to be that it picks up the occasional key
The remaining three quintets could not wish for a more committed advocate
that this Danish group. Mortensen's Quintet (1944) is more archetypal, 'pleasant'
wind music: it is relaxed, but never outstays its welcome. His use of a cor
anglais has the effect of 'warming' the texture. Jersild's Serenade has a
spiky, spicy third movement, while Wellejus' happy Quintet (1966, but a million
miles from the avant-gardism of the 'sixties) has an ending which will delight.
Alternatives for the Nielsen are variously coupled, and it is this that will
determine choice more than anything. The Bergen Wind Quintet on BIS CD428
present an all-Nielsen chamber programme and the Swiss Wind Quintet on Koch's
budget Discover label enterprisingly couple it with Hindemith (Kleine
Kammermusik, Op. 24 No. 2), Janácek's Mladi and Ligeti's Bagatelles.
The present disc, however, is certain to provide pleasure for all those curious
about twentieth century Danish wind music.