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DUNHILL: Quintet for Piano, Bb Clarinet, French Horn, Violin and Violoncello in Eb Op.3 Thomas Frederick Dunhill (1877 – 1946) wrote his Op.3 quintet between 1898 and 1913. For most of this long gestation period he was a composition student of Charles Villiers Stanford at the Royal College of Music, London. He had entered the R.C.M. in 1893 to study piano with Franklin Taylor, counterpoint with James Higgs and W.S.Rokstro, and harmony with Walter Parrattt. After attaining the required high degree of competence in these studies he commenced studying composition in 1894 with C.V.Stanford. He left the R.C.M. in 1899, but remained a private pupil of Stanford's until 1901. From 1899 to 1908 he was assistant music master at Eton College, (where one of his pupils was Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock) ). He also joined the staff of the R.C.M. in 1905, as professor of harmony and composition. During the years that this quintet was being worked on (1898 - 1913), he produced many other works, for instance; Op.6 Quintet for Horn and String Quartet (1899 – 1900) Op.15 Tubal Cain (ballad for S.A.T.B. Chorus & Orchestra) (1903) Op.18 Variations for Violoncello & Piano (1905) Op.16 Quartet for Violin, Viola, Violoncello & Piano (1908) Op.25 Sonata for Violin & Piano (1908) These and many others were published by various music publishers. Dunhill was most prolific in producing apt and delightful music in many genres, but he was also productive in the literary side of music, for instance producing a ground breaking hand book for students (1913) “Chamber Music – a treatise for music students”, published by Macmillan and Co.. which appeared in the same series as Stanford's well known book on musical composition of 1911. No doubt that Dunhill's small but pithy hand book was used by most of the composition students at the R.C.M. from 1913 onwards. It still is a most useful guide over 100 years later! Dunhill was heavily involved as an organizer and pianist on the London chamber music scene during the early years of the 20th century. By 1907 he had inaugurated the Dunhill Chamber Concerts, with the aim of giving contemporary composers their first or second chance to have their works performed. The present Quintet Op.3 was published by Rudall Carte and Co. in 1914. It is strange that Rudall Carte took the work on, as it involves no Flutes, which was their forte - very few of their published works do not involve flute(s). It was printed in Leipzig, Germany and probably note-set in Germany as well. No record of its first performance has come to light – although this might have been at one of the Dunhill Chamber Concerts. The original printed score and parts (printed by Oppenheimer Bros, Leipzig) are poorly proofed, being full of errors, which must have made rehearsal and performance very difficult. It is possible that Stanford advised Rudal Carte and Dunhill to have the work printed in Germany, due to his personal connections from his earlier years in Germany (he had studied for 2 years in Leipzig). He would have been most disappointed at the careless way in which the work was produced. Whether Dunhill saw any proofs is doubtful given the number of mistakes that appear. However, this new edition attempts to correct the errors of the 1914 version and thus breath new life into the work, which deserves to be available to todays players in a performable and accessible form. As much help as possible has been given to the players in this new edition, such as precise hairpins instead of rather vague cresc. and dim. where possible, editorial metronome markings where there were none, or suggested MM markings when the original printed score suggests impractical speeds (specifically the first and last movements), rehearsal letters and bar numbers are also included for quicker reference. Of course the speeds are up to the performers after careful consideration!
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Reviews of Dunhill - Quintet in Eb. Op.3, for Violin, Violoncello, Clarinet, Horn & Piano (original scoring in new corrected edition). 39 page score and all parts.
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