David Van Vactor: Music for Woodwinds
[Notes from the printed edition]
In writing these thirty-six pieces for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon, my purpose has been to demonstrate characteristics of the instruments, alone and in all possible combinations of two, three, four, and five. Volume I includes a solo for each instrument, ten duos, and ten trios; Volume II includes five quartets, four quintets, and two double quintets: "Introduction and Allegro" and "Fantasia and Fugue." This last employs piccolo, English horn, bass clarinet, and contrabassoon, illustrating the vast range of the woodwind choir, actually that of the piano minus the lowest A.
It is not my intention to recommend a performance of this work complete unless the players have a very long weekend at their disposal! Rather, the pieces may be played separately, in small groups (the four quintets form a complete four-movement work), or as demonstrations to suit the occasion. Many of the pieces are suitable for teaching, and it is hoped that all are diverting. Any musician who plays a woodwind instrument can always find something to play among these pages. And if any member, or members, of a woodwind quintet should be absent or tardy, then those present can always go to work on some composition selected from the thirty-six.
With the hope that your instruments are in good repair, your reeds and embouchures in good order, I wish you pleasure.
David Van Vactor