Quintet in e minor
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
For Woodwind Quintet
Arranged by Mordechai Rechtman
Published by Emerson Wind Editions
Includes score and parts in manuscript form
Originally for string quartet.
Verdi must have composed his string quartet at his leisure in 1873, practically his only instrumental music. It was first published in 1877, and the first performance took place on 1st April 1873 in Verdi's hotel apartment in Chiatamore. The first public performance was on 19th December 1875 in the Milan Conservatoire.
Alfredo Casella (1883-1947) analysed this chamber work in Cobbett's Cyclopaedic Survey of Chamber Music. The work was written in 1873, and is conceived along strictly classical lines; this seems quite natural in view of the fact that Verdi's intellect was so absorbed with problems concerned with opera that he had little time to experiment in other directions.
The first movement is embellished with an extemely dramatic theme, and suggests 'the impetuous vitality characteristic of certain parts of Aida', to quote Casella. The second movement is a theme and variations far removed from the spirit of Verdi's operas, but the third movement is indelibly in itself as to require very little development. The Finale – a scherzo fugue – is the finest movement, revealing a compactness of design, and a spontaneous vitality which heralds the dawn of a new era in Italian chamber music composition.
— Mordechai Rechtman 1994