Arcturus Quintet's 2019-2020 season features a performance of three delightful Scandinavian wind quintets. Written in 1971, Johan Kvandal's Quintet, Op. 34 captures the ever-changing beauty of a northern landscape, from darkly brooding dawns to swirling snowflakes. A more recent addition to the repertoire, Esa-Pekka Salonen's 2003 composition Memoria is a slow arc through different textures, requiring three of the musicians to double on their darker, lower auxiliary instruments (alto flute, English horn, and contrabassoon). Wrapping up the program is Carl Nielsen's eponymous Quintet, Op. 43, which was written in 1921 for the musicians of the Copenhagen Wind Quintet. The piece captures the different personalities of each of the instruments – the chatty flute player, the sultry oboist, the practical joker who plays clarinet, the stoic horn player, and the grumpy bassoonist – and has since become a favorite of the wind quintet repertoire.
Arcturus Quintet is a new star in the chamber music universe. Created in 2018 as a part of the 45th Parallel Universe expansion, Arcturus features five musicians from the Oregon Symphony who just freakin' love chamber music. Arcturus wants to play it all – standard quintet repertoire, new works by our friends and colleagues, arrangements of Disney tunes for kids – and allow audiences to hear the beauty of this mismatched ensemble.