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Name of Work

Buchman, William (-)
Serenata for nine winds, after Brahms: String Quintet No. 1 in F, Op. 88

Movements:
Allegro non troppo ma con brio

Performances:


Mar 15, 1998



Mary Stolper, Flute
Alex Klein, Oboe
Michael Henoch, Oboe
Larry Combs, Clarinet
Julie DeRoche, Clarinet
Gail Williams, Horn
Daniel Gingrich, Horn
William Buchman, Bassoon
Lewis Kirk, Bassoon


Mar 16, 1998



Mary Stolper, Flute
Alex Klein, Oboe
Michael Henoch, Oboe
Larry Combs, Clarinet
Julie DeRoche, Clarinet
Gail Williams, Horn
Daniel Gingrich, Horn
William Buchman, Bassoon
Lewis Kirk, Bassoon

BUCHMAN - Serenata for nine winds, after Brahms: String Quintet No. 1 in F, Op. 88

Johannes Brahms composed the first of his two string quintets (two violins, two violas, and cello) in 1882 at one of his favorite summertime retreats, a resort called Bad Ischl. It was first performed at Christmastime that same year, at the Frankfurt home of his great friend, Clara Schumann, who described it as "a magnificent work." Few who have heard the quintet in the 115 years since have disagreed.

Chicago Symphony and CCM bassoonist William Buchman first encountered the F Major Quintet when he was working in the music library of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. "The work somehow reminded me of Brahms's woodwind writing in his other works," Buchman says, "and I thought it could possibly be transcribed for five winds. But that instrumentation forced me to leave out too much of the music, since the piece involves a number of multiple lines, plus double-stops [two notes played at once, with the string player's bow being drawn across two strings simultaneously]. Wind players can't play double stops, and can't convey multiple lines, and they also have to rest more often than string players do, because of breathing. My solution was to expand the transcription from five instruments to nine, duplicating the scoring of a wind piece I already knew and liked, the Petite Symphonie by Gounod."

Buchman worked on his transcription off and on for about 10 years, having started it while still a university student. He found it easier to complete after acquiring computer software that allowed him to make his notations and revisions directly onto a screen. He was also inspired to finish his project by the example of a former CSO colleague, Willard Elliott, the orchestra's longtime principal bassoonist, now retired, and an enthusiastic transcriber who has created a number of arrangements to enrich the woodwind repertory.

Mr. Buchman's "Serenata" is receiving its world premiere at these concerts.

Program notes by Andrea Lamoreaux

Performed on March 15 & 16, 1998



Performance Audio