Kannannaq – a fabulous Norfolk based Wind Quintet

22/06/2019 @ 19:30 – 21:30
Wymondham Abbey
Church St
Wymondham NR18 0PH
£10.00, Under 18s Free

Kannannaq – a fabulous Norfolk based Wind Quintet

The members of Kannannaq, a newly formed Norfolk based Wind Quintet, are well known to Norfolk music audiences and beyond.

Anna Hopkins wows with her brilliant fluency on the flute whether with piano, in trios, quartets, quintets and in the Norwich Phil. Is there anything involving flute she hasn’t performed?

Neil Johnson has played oboe in all the main Norfolk orchestras and, as a trained medic, will revive you when you swoon.

Susie Thomson‘s dulcet clarinet playing belies many years teaching the instrument and working in music therapy.

Derek Oldfield, as ex-Liverpool Phil player and RSC music director, brings experience and finesse with his horn playing.

John Mason, free-thinking bassoonist, for many years ran the concert series in Trunch and looks forward to presenting a fabulous programme to the Wymondham audience in our wonderful Abbey.


Detailed programme and background:

During the late eighteenth century orchestras, which had been built around standardized combinations of stringed instruments, began also to include a standard set of wind instruments: pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons and horns, and sometimes other instruments, such as trumpets. Most of these instruments were also considered to be ‘outdoors’ instruments and, at a time when no public address systems for performance or for advertising were possible, these instruments played a significant role in the promoting of larger, more expensive musical productions. For example, most of Mozart’s operas exist in contemporary arrangements for wind octet, so that people on the street could hear what they might be in for if they attended the opera. Symbiotically, a successful opera might also have provided wind players with opportunities for performing ‘favourites’ from these operas. Mozart and Haydn, among others, wrote much fine original music, too, for wind sextet and/or octet, a genre known as ‘Harmoniemusik’.

During the same period string players were being asked to play quartets for more intimate, indoor gatherings. It was not until early in the nineteenth century, from the Biedermeier period on, that wind players, too, were brought in from the cold outdoors and invited to perform chamber music.  The string quartet cannot not be emulated by four wind players, as these need more gaps in their playing to be able to physically sustain a musical work of, say, 20-minute duration. It fell to Beethoven’s almost exact contemporary Antonín Reicha, to find the solution to this problem: namely using five wind instruments – one each of flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn. The music largely uses 3- or 4-part harmony, but gains, from the stamina perspective, by giving periods of rest in turn to the wind players and, from the musical perspective, by having the interweaving colours of five heterogenous instruments (as opposed to the four homogenous instruments of the string quartet). Reicha wrote 24 quintets and the younger Franz Danzi followed suit.

Whereas the modern string quartet concert reflects a repertoire based on original compositions for the genre, the modern wind quintet concert reflects the greater diversity of origin, usually with a mix of original quintets and arrangements, the latter often having a slant towards more popular, vernacular styles. This blend is reflected in tonight’s programme. We have arrangements of the Magic Flute Overture (albeit from 1984), a Poulenc piano solo and Beethoven’s Trio for Two Oboes and English Horn. We have added our own arrangements of music by Dowland and Berkeley (pieces which have distinct Norfolk connections). We have original wind quintets works by Danzi and the Magyar-American Denes Agay. Finally, we have two works utilising folk song, by Gilbert Vinter and South Norfolk’s own Sir Malcom Arnold, which show strongly the cross-fertilisation of original composition and arrangement and which make the wind quintet repertoire such a vibrant part of playing a wind instrument.

Kannannaq  (abbey concert 22nd June 7.30)

Franz Danzi (17 63 – 1828):  Wind Quintet in G minor  ( Allegretto – Andante – Menuett & Trio – Allegro)

Francis Poulenc (1899 – 1963) arr. G Emerson:  Novelette no 1 in C

John Dowland (1563 – 1626) / Giles Farnaby (1563 – 1640 ) arr. J Mason: Lachrymae

Sir Malcolm Arnold (1921 – 2006):Three Shanties (Allegro con brio – Allegretto semplice – Allegro vivace)


Wolfgang Amade Mozart (1756-91) arr. D. Carp: Overture to ‘Die Zauberflöte’ KV 620

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) arr. N Johnson: ‘Allegro’ from Trio in C Op 87

Sir Lennox Berkeley (1903 – 89) arr J. Mason: Short Piece Op 4 no 3 (Moderato)

Denes Agay (1911 – 2007): Five Easy Dances (Polka –  Tango – Bolero – Waltz – Rumba)

Gilbert Vinter (1909 – 69): Two miniatures (‘from Norfolk’;  ‘from Devon’





names will appear here

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