Home > Projects > Wind Quintet (1996)

I love wind quintets.

I played clarinet in orchestras and bands when I was in high school. My favorite classical ensemble wasn't a proper ensemble at all, but the wind section of the orchestra. Sectionals (breaking the orchestra into sections to rehearse separately) were the best part of orchestra rehearsal.

Wind quintets are the ultimate expression of this. They combine the elegance and versatility of a string quartet with the color and personality of winds.

This wind quintet was written during my year working at Amherst following graduation. I was applying to graduate school, and needed another piece to fill out my portfolio. It is similar in many ways to my saxophone quartets: short and dense. The initial version took this too far, and my advisor (Lew Spratlan) suggested I add a thinner section to the second movement. This part (the short series of duets) is probably my favorite.

I had written a slow middle movement as well. When I was well into it, I realized that the theme of the movement was almost identical to the theme from "Knight Rider". I was hugely demoralized and decided that two fast movements would be just fine.


This live recording is the work of five freshmen at Amherst and various other Five Colleges. I have forgotten all of their names except for the clarinetist, Whitney Lyman.

  • The first movement (mp3)
  • The second movement (mp3)
  • Parts

    I have a full score if you are interested; just ask.

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet
  • Horn
  • Bassoon