Quintet in E-flat Major

From Wind Repertory Project
Anton Reicha

Anton Reicha

This work may be found under its title in German Blaserquintett Es-dur, op. 88, nr. 2. It bears the designation op. 88, no. 2.

General Info

Year: 1818 / 1937
Duration: c. 32:15
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Leuckart
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


1. Lento. Allegro moderato – 11:15
2. Menuetto: Allegro – 5:30
3. Poco Andante – Grazioso – 9:35
4. Finale: Allegretto – 5:45


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet
Horn in F


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

It is difficult to present a coherent list of Reicha's works, because the opus numbers assigned to them at the time of publication are in disarray, some pieces were supposedly lost, and many works were published several times, sometimes as part of larger collections. His surviving oeuvre covers a vast array of genres and forms, from opera to piano fugues. He is best known today for his 25 wind quintets, composed in Paris between 1811 and 1820, which were mostly premiered from 1817 in the foyer of the Théâtre Favart by some of the world's finest wind soloists, to such effect that they were played all over Europe shortly afterward.

Reicha claimed in his memoirs that his wind quintets filled a void: "At that time, there was a dearth not only of good classic[al] music, but of any good music at all for wind instruments, simply because the composers knew little of their technique." Indeed, Reicha's experiences as a flautist must have helped in the creation of these pieces, in which he systematically explored the possibilities of the wind ensemble and invented an extended sonata form variant that could accommodate as many as five principal themes.

Reicha wrote his first experimental quintet in 1811; the 'incomparably superior' first two of the later published quintets of Opus 88 were written by 1814 after further study of the instruments and collaboration with his players, with the remaining four completed before publication in 1817.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

The quintet Opus 88, No. 2, in E flat, is a long-standing favourite with wind-players but is usually played in a cut version which also omits the traditional repeat at the end of the first movement exposition. The manuscript is lost, but the cut passages have been restored … by reference to an early printed edition, and the repeats are played, as their omission is probably a printer's error. Other features of the first movement include a quotation from Beethoven's horn sonata -- a work which was well known among the many fine players of the instrument in Pars – and Reicha's free interpretation of traditional sonata form: the ideas from the exposition play very little part in the development, and are then played in a different order in the recapitulation. A graceful minuet with two trios is followed by a slow theme with four variations, and the quintet ends with an irrepressible finale.

- Program Note by John Humphries for the Naxos CD Antoine Reicha: Wind Quintets Op. 88, No. 2& Op. 100, No. 5

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Anton Reicha, Wikipedia Accessed 2 May 2021
  • Reicha, A. (1937). Quintets Wind, Op. 88, No. 2, E Flat Major [score]. Leuckart: Munich.