Assembling A Wind Quintet Is Like Binding Planks Of Sand


I had recently written a string quartet and was gasping at how easy the process of getting it played was when a wind playing colleague rolled her eyes and let me in on a little secret: getting a group of winds to play together is not easy.

There are actual articulate reasons why it’s easier to put together a string quartet rather than a wind quintet but not all are equal. After all, the paroxysm that oboists are assholes is only true in some mumbledy-mum of mumbledy-mum cases.

Flute players are the best when you sit right next them. They are only second to clarinet players who practice and bassoons who exist. Speaking of which, they are nigh impossible to find. You’d have better luck finding a percussionist with lung capacity and training them from the ground up. The only downside to that approach is that as soon as they strike that sweet golden vein of competence they are whisked away to second chair in someone’s orchestra and are never heard from again.

French Horn is like a unicorn of unicorns. You know they exist because they leave little puddles of moisture everywhere but to actually see one – let alone harpoon one and get it to sit next to you – is about as easy as dividing seventeen by Thursday.

It feels good to be informed!