Music Monday: Villa-Lobos: Quintette en Forme de Chôros

Very few standard chamber groups are as heterogeneous as the wind quintet. From the brassy outbursts of the horn to the breathy whispers of the flute at the bottom of its range, the ensemble covers a broad timbral range, and one that is not easily unified — even in the most perfectly balanced performances it’s still immediately obvious which instrument is carrying which line. If the string quartet presents a seamless façade of timbral similarity, the wind quintet is more of a menagerie, bursting with brilliant, uncompromising colors. Some people see this as a defect, others as a delight.

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