Woodwind quintets are a staple of the chamber music literature. The traditional grouping of flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and horn provide a variety of sonorities. Listed below is a small selection of the quintets the Albert Alphin Library has in its collection.
Samuel Barber was one of the most frequently performed American composers in Europe and America throughout the mid-20th century. Although his Adagio for Strings is one of his best-known works, he also wrote one wind quintet, titled Summer Music. This quintet is little known but can be considered a staple of the wind quintet repertoire.
Available at M557 .B252 op.31 1957b Cop.2 in the Albert Alphin Library.
Henry Cowell was a new music composer who adopted and advocated many of the main tenants in early 20th century music. His most famous piece is The Banshee, but he also composed a relatively unknown short woodwind quintet. There is no similarities between The Banshee and this quintet. He was notable in avoiding a personal style.
Available at M559 .C83 B3 1962 in the Albert Alphin Library.
Carlos Chávez was one of the major Latin American composers of his time, composing over 200 works that reflect his Mexican heritage. His Soli no. 2, composed for wind quintet, is one of his "most characteristic works" and gives each instrument a solo part in each movement.
Available at M557 .C47 S62 2014 in the Albert Alphin Library.
Some composers have begun tinkering with the traditional woodwind quintet grouping. American composer Marc Mellits is one such composer. In 2014, the quintet Splinter Reeds commissioned him to write a quintet for oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, and bassoon. The quintet, titled Splinter, is inspired by various types of trees.
Available at M557.2 .M45 S65 2014 in the Albert Alphin Library.