Pentaèdre plays great works by 20th century and living composers on this new recording that evokes summertime. The music chosen for this new CD sounds playful, joyful, and dance-like. The wind quintet is a form particularly well-suited for music that entertains while cleverly drawing from popular sources.
Dos Tropicos, by Canadian Mathieu Lussier, makes heartfelt allusion to the habañera, the Cuban dance that has never ceased to charm since it first appeared in a serious work (Bizet’s opera Carmen). Better known today as a bandeonist, Canadian Denis Plante has also played oboe for many years. It is not surprising, then, that his composition for winds should recall South American music.
Summer Music by Samuel Barber belongs squarely in the tradition of the nocturne. We can hear a little of Ravel’s influence—not to mention that of Bartók—but the rhythm remains truly American. Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Quintette en forme de choros was inspired by the musical idioms of Africa and Brazil. The Aspen Woodwind Quintet commissioned to Paquito D’Rivera the suite Aires Tropicales, which they premiered in 1996.