Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chopin, Mazurka - Op. 50, No. 3 - Wind Quartet

This transcription excerpt is by composer Damjan Rakonjac who graciously agreed to transform a classic in the solo piano literature for an unyielding combination; wind quartet! Without the added depth of sound and dynamic range that a wind quintet's horn player provides, the wind quartet can prove challenging, especially in the area of transcription. I was thrilled to see some very strategic uses of the "low-A" in this piece and it is a nice opportunity for the group to perform a work with such pianistic musical demands. This "Mazurka" comes off as a very natural fit with the instrumentation.

Damjan created this short work for the Midnight Winds, specifically for a concert on the Polish Artists Series in San Diego in honor of Chopin's 200th anniversary. Amusingly, today happens to be Haydn's birthday and this made me think of all the times that our ensemble has been asked to perform and requested that we include works by composers like Haydn, Chopin and Mozart. One would think that our combination of instruments would have been a natural pairing for some of the great Classical and Romantic composers, but alas, we are totally reliant on today's generous contemporary composers to transcribe these works for us.

Midnight Winds, 2010

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