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Beethoven: Sparks of Joy!

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy!

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy – Op. 4, Wind Quintet

Despite its high opus number (103), the Wind Octet was composed in 1792 when Beethoven was still in service to the Elector in Bonn. The Elector, Maximilian Franz, was a great lover of Tafelmusik – background music to be played at dinner – and maintained an excellent wind band. After arriving in Vienna, Beethoven revised the piece as a string quintet, published in 1796 as Opus 4. It’s a most enjoyable piece, featuring some furious virtuoso writing for the horns, especially in the fourth movement. This performance is from the University of Michigan Symphony Band, conducted by Michael Haithcock. [Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]

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