Wind Quintet enchants with skilled performance

The Geneseo Wind Quintet performed in Doty Recital Hall on Sunday Nov. 8 for a a mix of students and older spectators scattered across the auditorium. The quintet consisted of five adjunct lecturers in music: Glennda Dove-Pellito on flute, Ernest Lascell on clarinet, Megan Kyle on oboe, Marthal Sholl on bassoon and Mary Hunt on horn. Together, they carried out an engaging performance that seemed to captivate audience members. The first composition the quintet played was Paul Valjean’s “Dance Suite,” which is comprised of five different movements, each with its own personality. The composition maintained an upbeat rhythm throughout, though the tempo changed in each movement. “Dance Suite” combined many harmonious melodies to create a beautiful, stimulating piece.

The quintet transitioned to a very different composition for their second piece “Two Pieces for Wind Quintet and Piano: 1) Ballad on the Ground 2) Romp,” composed by professor of music James Walker. The composition differed greatly from “Dance Suite” in that it had dissonance throughout the entire piece. Rather than working in harmonious melodies, Walker’s composition pitted tones that directly contradicted each other and sounded uncanny to the ear.

The two movements in the second piece—“Allegretto” and “Allegro giocoso”—differed in the amount of notes that were being played. “Allegro giocoso” was more bustling, with busier movement and many different ideas at once, while “Allegretto” had a simpler tone.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Quintet in E flat major” was the third piece the quintet played after a brief intermission. The first movement, “Adagio-Allegro,” was a sweet, calming movement that continuously divided the quintet into two separate groups; giving one the melody and the other the accompaniment and then switching the two. It was a fascinating movement to listen to and seemed like a tricky piece to learn.

The concert finished with the amusing, lighthearted “The Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare.” A titled composition is a form of program music: instrumental compositions that are titled in order to coax the audience into imagining a narrative to go along with the music. The piece tells the classic tale of a race between a tortoise and a hare, with the timeless lesson, “slow and steady wins the race.”

In the composition, the heavy, lagging tones of the oboe and bassoon represented the tortoise’s steps, while the light and fast melody of the flute and clarinet represented the swiftness of the hare. With the music created by five instruments, it was incredible how a story could be told to the exact detail—from the start of the race to the hare’s nap to the tortoise’s victory.

The Geneseo Wind Quintet performed a wide variety of pieces unique in tonality, texture and tempo. With the talent and graciousness the five performers exhibited, the afternoon was certainly one to remember.