String and winds

The next concert  of our Musical Offering season is a program I’ve wanted to do for a while, as the Mozart Piano and Wind Quintet and the Beethoven Septet were the first works of their genre and had an influence on many other composers.

The Mozart Quintet (1784) influenced Beethoven to write his Quintet for Piano and Winds in 1801, and the Beethoven Septet (1800) had a direct influence on Schubert when he wrote his great Octet for Strings and Winds (1813).

Other composers would later write for these combinations, but Mozart and Beethoven were the first.

The first piece on the program, Beethoven’s Variations on “La ci darem la mano” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, originally for two oboes and English horn, is another homage by Beethoven to Mozart.  He uses the theme from this duet between Don Giovanni and Zerlina and puts his own unique mark on each of the variations.

(For a consideration of Beethoven’s influence on later composers, see this brief discussion.)

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