Ignaz Pleyel’s Ignaz Pleyel’s numerous chamber compositions include a set of three quintets for the infrequently encountered ensemble of flute, oboe, violin, viola and cello/bass. First published in 1788 as the composer’s Op. 18, the quintets were quickly taken up by various publishers throughout Europe. Today they are all but forgotten.
As one might expect of music by Pleyel, the Op. 18 quintets are imbued with appealing melodies and pleasing harmonies. They are also surprisingly inventive in terms of their combination of instrumental timbres, despite the limits imposed by the reduced scoring. Technically, they are not especially difficult, although a number of solo episodes for the flute, oboe, violin and viola are not without challenge.
These works are highly suitable for programmes featuring mixed wind and string chamber music, and would make perfect companion pieces to Classical quartets or quintets by, for example, Mozart, Haydn, Boccherini or Cambini.