The Classics a Day team decided October was the month to feature octets. Granted, it is the tenth month of the year, but the word “detects” isn’t as alliterative. The mix of instruments that make up an octet varies. Some composers wrote for double string quartet, some for wind instruments, and some for a blend of instruments.
10/18/21 Johan Svendsen – String Octet in A major Op 3
The Norwegian composer Johan Svendsen was a close friend of Wagner. This 1865 octet was one of the works that made his reputation as a composer.
10/19/21 Reinhold Glière – String Octet in D Major, Op. 5
Glière dedicated his 1903 octet to his violin teacher, Jan Hřímalý. Originally from Bohemia, Hřímalý taught at the Moscow Conservatory for 46 years.
10/20/21 Josef Myslivececk – Wind Octet No. 1
Myslivececk’s octet was written in 1178. It features two each of clarinets, oboes, horns, and bassoons.
10/21/21 Howard Ferguson – Octet Op. 4
Ferguson’s 1933 octet combined wind and stringed instruments. It was scored for a string quartet plus clarinet, horn, bassoon, and double bass.
10/22/21 Jean Francaix – Octet
Francaix completed his octet in 1972. It’s scored for 5 strings (2 violins, viola, cello, bass) and 3 winds (clarinet, bassoon, horn).