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.
10/25/21 Einojuhani Rautavaara Wind Octet
Rautavaara’s 1962 octet features four woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon) and four brass instruments (trumpet, trombone, and two horns).
10/26/21 August Walter – Octet in B-flat for strings and winds, Op.7
Walter’s 1849 octet features an unusual scoring. It’s for four winds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon) and four strings (violin, viola, cello, bass). Most mixed octets use three wind and five stringed instruments.
10/27/21 Louis Spohr – Octet in E major, Op. 32
Spohr wrote his octet in 1814. It was part of a collection of chamber music he composed for exclusive distribution by Johann Tost. For a 3-year period, Tost retained the only copy of the music and was the only person who could approve performances of it.
10/28/21 Louis Ferdinand – Octet Op. 12
Louis was a respected composer, although better known as a prince of Prussia. He died leading troops into battle against Napoleon in 1806. This is one of 13 published compositions he left behind.
10/29/21 Heitor Villa-Lobos – Bachianas Barsileiras No. 1
The first of Villa-Lobos’ nine Bach-inspired suites was written for eight cellos, and dedicated to Pablo Casals. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 also uses eight cellos, but addes a soprano.