Franz Danzi's 9 Wind
by Charles-David Lehrer
© International Double Reed Society:
Boulder, Colorado, USA - 2003
With the publication of Franz Danzi's 9 Wind Quintets, I hope to fill
a major void in the repertory of many oboists and bassoonists. While it
is true that all of these wonderful works are available in a variety of modern
publications, most are not easy to obtain. Initially, Danzi's quintet production
was marked by the haphazard issuing of individual items, some with scores,
some without. The Op. 56, Nos. 1-3 and 67, No. 1 were made available in
20th-century editions by Leuckart, while the Op. 67, Nos. 2-3 and Op. 68,
Nos 1-2 were issued by Kneusslin. The remaining quintet, Op. 68, No. 3,
was brought out by Musica Rara. In addition, the score of Op. 67, No. 2
appeared in Das Erbe Deutscher Musik within Vol. 14. Finally, Edition Peters
Leipzig published scores and parts to all nine quintets in 1980; the editor
of this remarkable series is Klaus Burmeister.
Franz Danzi (1763-1826) was, in a word, born into the Mannheim
School, as his father, Innocenz, was principal cellist of its famous orchestra.
At age 15, Franz also became a member of the orchestra as a cellist. When
the court of the Elector Palatine of the Rhine moved from Mannheim to Munich
in 1778, Franz remained behind to play in the Nationaltheatre orchestra
and study composition with the celebrated pedagogue, Abbé Georg Vogler
who had established at Mannheim the first of his three schools for the teaching
of musical composition.
In 1784 Danzi moved to Munich to replace his father as principal cellist
of the Elector Palatine’s orchestra. During that period Franz become intensely
involved in the composition of German opera, and eventually rose to the
position at court of vice-Kapellmeister. By 1807 he had moved to Stuttgart
to fill the position of Kapellmeister to the King of Württemburg. Finally,
in 1812 he became Kapellmeister to the Grand Duke of Baden at his magnificent
Schloss in Karlsruhe. He remained in this position until his death in 1826.
It was during this time that Danzi’s nine wind quintets were published.
The Op. 56 Wind Quintets
Danzi published his first set of quintets, Trois Quintetti Op. 56, with
the House of Maurice Schlesinger in 1821, the plate numbers being 1140-1142
/ 1-3e.Qto. This series would be among the first works published by Schlesinger.
The instruments are given French names on the frontispiece: flûte,
hautbois, clarinette, cor, and bassoon; but Italian pervades the actual parts
insofar as tempo and dynamics are concerned. There are no printed scores.
The Op. 56 Quintetti are set in the following keys:
No. 1: Si b majeur
No. 2: Sol mineur
No. 3: Fa majeur
These three works are dedicated to Antoine Reicha, who had composed
a series of 25 wind quintets during the years c.1810-1820. The publication
of Reicha's quintets was still in process when Danzi brought out his first
set, the Op. 56, in 1821. Each of Danzi's quintets follows the same four-movement
scheme as Reicha's: sonata form, slow movement, scherzo, finale. In Danzi’s
quintets, the length of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th movements balance the length
of the 1st movement. In the case of the three quintets of the Op.
56, their overall structure may be summarized as follows:
1st Movement: sonata form constructed with at least one contrasting
theme and a set of closing themes. Theme 1 is omitted from the recapitulations
of quintets Nos. 1 and 2. None have slow introductions.
2nd Movement: No. 1 ternary form with a trio at the center; No. 2 sonata
form; No 3 ternary form.
3rd Movement: petit minuetto and trio, both set in binary form, with
a da capo. All three are affected in one way or another by the Ländler.
4th Movement: rondo-sonata form without a development section, in which
three statements of the refrain enclose two couplets: R C R C R, with the
exception of No. 2, which is closer to sonata form.
It is significant that Danzi chose the Parisian publisher Maurice Schlesinger
to present his first three quintets, for it was in Paris that Reicha's superb
quintet players were in residence at several of the most prominent theatres
in town. Covering all bases, the same series was issued concurrently in
Berlin, the capitol of Prussia, by the father of Maurice, Adolf Martin Schlesinger
who was the founder of Chez Schlesinger. The latter house became legendary
eight years later in 1829 through its publication of Johann Sebastian Bach's
Matthew Passion, which followed quickly upon the first 19th-century performance
of that great work by Felix Mendelssohn.
The Op. 67 Wind Quintets
Danzi published both the second and third sets of quintets, Trois Quintetti
Op. 67 and Trois Quintetti Op. 68, with the House of André in Offenbach
during the latter part of the year 1823 or early in 1824. The Op. 67 quintets
all carry the plate number 4751, while each of the Op. 68 quintets contain
the plate number 4752.
The Op. 67 Quintetti are set in the following keys:
No. 1: Sol majeur
No. 2: Mi mineur
No. 3: Mi b majeur
The three quintets comprising Danzi's Op. 67 maintain the same basic
Classic four-movement structure as the Op. 56 set. In each work, the length
of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th movements continue to balance the length of the
1st Movement: sonata form constructed with two contrasting themes and
a set of closing themes. The first movement of No. 3 in the Op. 67 contains
a slow introduction which returns near the end of the movement: Danzi might
have learned this concept from hearing a performance of Reicha's six Op.
2nd Movement: sonata form without a development section, constructed
with two contrasting themes and a set of closing themes, though the slow
movement of No. 2 in the Op. 67 is set in ternary form.
3rd Movement: miniature minuetto and trio, both set in binary form,
with a da capo. The minuetto of No. 3 in the Op. 67 is a scherzo.
4th Movement: sonata form without a development section, constructed
with two contrasting themes and a set of closing themes. It is significant
that the use of the rondo is not found among any of the finales within Danzi's
The Op. 68 Wind Quintets
The IDRS on-line edition of Franz Danzi’s Op. 68 is based upon a late
19th-century manuscript of the parts located in the Département
de la musique of the Bibliothèque Nationale under the call number
L.2561. The individual parts contain an additional number 1 through 5 depending
upon the instrument. The flute and oboe parts are each dated August 1888
and are signed by the copyist K. Larles.
The question is: why was this manuscript made when the parts were readily
available in published form? Perhaps by 1888 the Danzi quintets in question
were out of print, although the House of André was still operating
and in good financial health. Penciled-in rehearsal letters indicate that
the parts were actually used. But by whom? It so happens that in the year
1879 Paul Taffanel (1844-1908) formed his famous group for the performance
of music for wind ensembles, the Société des Instruments à
Vent; and this series of works by Danzi might have been part of its repertory,
at least repertory that members of the ensemble could read through. Laila
Storch reports that few quintets were ever programmed by the Société;
so, perhaps the copy was made for student use at the Paris Conservatoire.
The instruments are given French names on the frontispiece for each
individual part: flûte, hautbois, clarinette, cor, and bassoon; but
Italian pervades the actual parts insofar as tempo and dynamics are concerned.
There are no scores extant.
The House of André in Offenbach, equally as famous as the house
of Schlesinger, and chosen by Danzi for the publication of his Op. 68,
was headed by Johann Anton André. It was under his leadership that
Mozart's personal thematic catalogue, which he owned, was published in
The Op. 68 Quintetti are set in the following keys:
No. 1: La majeur
No. 2: Fa majeur
No. 3: Ré mineur
The three quintets comprising Danzi's Op. 68 continue to maintain the
basic Classic four-movement structure of the Op. 56 set. And in each work,
the length of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th movements maintain their balance with
the length of the 1st movement:
1st Movement: sonata form constructed with two to four primary themes
and a set of closing themes. All have excellent development sections. No.
3 has a slow introduction.
2nd Movement: No. 1: ternary form; No. 2: theme & variations; No.
3rd Movement: minuetto and trio, both set in binary form, with a da capo.
4th Movement: No. 1: rondo; No. 2: rondo-sonata form; No. 3: sonata form
The mannerisms found in the ninth and final quintet published by Franz
Danzi make it appear to be a tribute to Antoine Reicha. In fact, it may
be the only quintet among Danzi’s nine to have been composed under the influence
of Reicha’s works. With the exception of Op. 67, No. 3, the quintets preceding
it are so akin to late 18th century music, insofar as their style is concerned,
that they might have actually been composed without any knowledge of Reicha's
quintet compositions, the latter which first appeared in print around 1818.
In fact, by 1811 Danzi was supervising the instruction on wind instruments
in Stuttgart at an institute for music established by the King of Württemberg,
and he could have easily produced his first wind quintets at that time.
The following year, 1812, he was appointed to the court of the Grand Dukes
of Baden in Karlsruhe, were he remained for the rest of his days.
I should like to acknowledge the assistance of the following persons
in helping to make this IDRS on-line publication of Franz Danzi’s Wind Quintets
Yoshi Ishikawa: IDRS On-Line Publications Editor
Nancy Lehrer: Senior Architect: JumpStart Wireless Corporation
Felix Skowronek: Professor of Music: University of Washington
Laila Storch: Professor Emeritus: University of Washington
Peter Alexander: Arts Center Relations: University of Iowa
Michael Fling: Music Librarian: Indiana University
Father Odo Lang: Chief Librarian: The Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln
Brother P. Lukas Helg OSB: Music Librarian: The Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln
Uta Schaumberg: Music Librarian: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Catherine Massip: Directeur: Dèpartement de la Musique: Bibliothéque
Nationale de France
Jean-François Chanal: Chef du Service Reproduction: Bibliothéque
Nationale de France
Alf Hartlow Sollie: Bassoonist: Narvik, Norway
Marie-Louise Göllner: Professor Emeritus: University of California
at Los Angeles
Thousand Oaks, February 12, 2003
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