The Wind Quintet of 1967, written when Patterson was still a 20-year old student composer at the Royal Academy of Music, was first performed by the Nash Ensemble at the San Remo Festival in August 1967 and won second prize in the National Composers’ Competition. A cheerful work full of youthful vitality, it consists of two lively movements enclosing a sombre but transparent adagio, all three movements dealing in intervals – both melodically and harmonically – of high tension. Quasi-ostinato figures are called upon to hold together widely disjunct lines; the supporting figures themselves deal mainly in minor seconds and major sevenths. The melodic lines are founded on tritones and often come as successive instrumental entires that seem almost fugal. The writing for the instruments is idiomatic and effective and the composer’s trademark wit and imagination shine through, notably through unexpected rhythmical twists and the variety of sparkling and biting sounds demanded of the players.
Commission: Nash Ensemble
Dedication: ‘To Amelia Freedman’
Publisher: Josef Weinberger