Quintet in E minor Op 41 No 1
for flute,violin, 2 violas and cello
Edition HH 52060
This work by Romberg is a wonderful find for those of us who are constantly looking for works for flute and strings that can in any way equal the quartets of Mozart. The addition of the second viola to the regular flute quartet instrumentation adds considerably to the richness of the texture, and all five instruments are given melodic interest. This will come as a particular pleasure to cellists, who so often have little beyond pure accompaniment.
The first movement is built initially from a very simple figure, but the second subject is quite virtuosic, especially for the flute and violin, and there is much drama. The second movement is a Menuetto in E major, with two Trios, one in E minor and the second in A major. This is followed by a very beautiful Larghetto, in which the flute is very definitely the soloist, and the quintet ends with a short Finale, which is a typical late Classical rondo. Here there is considerable melodic interest in all five parts, leading to an exuberant finish in E major.
We are grateful to the editor of Pan for permission to reproduce this review.