From the Philadelphia Enquirer, Dec. 7, 1972

Good Woodwinds Blow No Ill, Take Slaps in Stride at Premiere

By SAMUEL L. SINGER
Of The Inquirer Staff

The Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet gave local premieres of works by two living composers; and one of them, David Amram, was on hand to prove that not all good composers are dead.

Amram, a former Philadelphian, showed that he is very much alive not only by his long hair but by his music.

He accurately told the audience at the Free Library that the first movement of his Quintet for Winds "is in sonata form, the second movement is pastoral, and the third, a theme and variations - well, one of the variations is bizarre."

THE VARIATION is not exactly music, although it does have rhythm. It calls on the players to slap their instruments or music stands, or pop the mouthpiece. Hornist Mason Jones explained the players were just following the score. Everybody laughed.

Aside from this "bizarre" interlude, Amram's Quintet is fairly conventional. The first movement is slightly dissonant, sometimes perky; the pastorale is often like a lullaby, and the finale is melodic and syncopated by turn.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has played several Amram pieces. Five first-desk players of the larger ensemble performed his new work with affection and dedication, to say nothing of technical mastery. Besides Jones, the players are Murray Panitz, flute; Anthony Gigliotti, clarinet; John de Lancie, oboe, and Bernard Garfield, bassoon.


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