On Saturday night, my woodwind quintet Child’s Play
was premiered here. I wrote about the piece when I completed it last August
, and I’m happy with how it turned out. The concert hall was packed, but the occasion wasn’t my piece, it was the return of oboist Joe Robinson, who
taught here in the mid-70s before becoming Principal Oboe of the NY Philharmonic. Joe has retired from the Phil and bought a home @80 miles east of here. He has pulled together an all-star ensemble to tour the state. My piece, along with the rest of the program, was repeated last night at Duke University, although I didn’t attend.
As happy as I am with my piece, the find of the concert for me was Ludwig Thuille’s Sextet
for piano and winds. It’s a strong work from a contemporary of Richard Strauss. I had thought that Poulenc wrote the only listenable sextet for piano and winds, but this piece was outstanding: you can set it beside any work of Brahms – it was written at the same time as the latter’s C Minor Piano Trio and Double Concerto – and it will come across favorably.
I had never heard of Thuille before this concert, so I looked him up. Apparently this sextet is the only piece of his that is still performed. He seems to have focused mostly on chamber music and opera, fading from the scene at about the time that Strauss was becoming widely renowned. Doesn’t seem like he did much in his last 10 years, aside for teaching in Munich. He died in his mid-forties.
Wonderful to know that there are still great pieces from so long ago for me to discover.