In the latt4er half of the 19th century, Alexander Borodin, a member of the Russian composer group "The Five", primarily pursued a career in chemistry. Despite the relatively small number of his works, many of his pieces remain widely performed and celebrated in classical music history.
His String Quartet No. 2 was composed in 1881 and premiered on January 14, 1882, dedicated to his wife, Ekaterina. This chamber music incorporates numerous folk elements and is considered a quintessential example of Russian music. I arranged the second movement, Scherzo, and the famous third movement known as "Nocturne." These have been rearranged for a different ensemble of woodwind septet, distinct from the already published first movement (Brain Ensemble Collection 371).
In the score, there are many dynamic indications such as "p" and "pp". Even when playing softly, maintain breath support and a steady tempo. In particular, the second movement requires careful articulation and precise piano to capture its brisk musical nuances, necessitating ample practice.
Do not interpret "p" as an absolute indication of dynamics since it may limit the expressive range. Instead, employ dynamics, tonal variations, and changes in breath speed to achieve rich expression.
Both movements adapt a down-ending. In the second movement, imagine a pizzicato where your fingertips lightly touch the strings, while in the third, maintain a beautiful resonance that gradually fades away to create a tranquil and serene atmosphere within the performance space.
This arrangement is fundamentally a transcription based on the string quartet, requiring thorough research of the original composition. Simultaneously, it seeks to incorporate the unique tonal qualities of a woodwind ensemble. Perform with a diverse range of musical imagery.
Given this mixed ensemble, it is essential to pay close attention to balance. Adequate adjustments during rehearsals are necessary. Note that for enhanced performance effect, the third movement has been transposed a semitone higher than the original. Additionally, when performing both movements, it might be effective to switch the order.
This woodwind septet was commissioned by the Ome City Izumi Junior High School’s wind orchestra in 2013 and was premiered by them at the 2013 TAMA Ensemble Festival on December 26, 2013.