As a horn player in wind quintets over many years, I always enjoy writing for this combination of instruments.
Panda Dances is a set of five cheerful movements all roughly dance-like in character.
For my own amusement I put a short reference to Haydn's symphony "l'Ours" in the horn part as accompaniment to the second theme in the first movement.
The second movement is waltz-like.
The third is in an irregular meter, 5/8, with frequent exchanges of the beat groupings 2+3 and 3+2. I did this with humorous intent, even though it presents a challenge for the performers.
The fourth movement is slow and stately, rather pastoral in mood. The last is actually two short dances linked together without pause between them; the first in triple meter and the second in duple, after the old Renaissance formula of Tanz-Nachtanz.
Panda Dances (Wind Quintet No. 3) has been recorded by the Albemarle Ensemble on VIRGINIA ARTS RECORDING: VA-95216-CD.
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