This suite for brass quintet adapts material from the opera upon which much of the German composer Engelbert Humperdinck’s reputation is based. The opera takes as its harmonic influence the music dramas of Richard Wagner, which is perhaps unsurprising given that Humperdinck’s early career was spent as Assistant Conductor at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, designed specifically for the performance of Wagner’s work.
The piece opens in the same way as the orchestral overture, with a hauntingly beautiful chorale taken from the Evening Prayer sequence at the end of the Second Act. The music then goes through some extraordinarily turbulent harmonic movement. It is by turns playful, representative of the young protagonists, threatening and finally triumphant, before the original B-flat Major chorale returns, this time played by the whole ensemble.
- Trumpet 1 in B-flat
- Trumpet 2 in B-flat
- Horn in F