Click image above to zoom

Quintet, op. 14 (score & parts) - BSN/STG4

Composer: Platt, Russell

Publisher: TrevCo

Edition: 2852 - 68543


Quintet, op. 14
for bassoon and string quartet
by Russell Platt, b. 1965 - American composer  
I. Slow
II. Still Slow

Composed in 1996 and 1997 for the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota. This work is in two movements, the first flowing quite naturally insto the second; the second movement's meditative introduction features a cadenza for the bassoon. (While the stringed instruments have interesting parts to play, the powerfully contrasting timbre of the bassoon makes a solo role inevitable; the composer brought this to the fore by transcribing an extended version of the piece into a Concerto for bassoon and strings, premiered by Peter Kolkay with Alexander Platt and the Wisconsin Philharmonic in 2008.) The first movement molds its melodies into the structure of a twin-towered suspension bridge, while the second goes on a jumpier, more varied journey. In addition to the influence of Copland, Schoenberg, Bartok, and John Adams, listeners might also notice the tendencies of the composer's own linear style, which emphasizes the patient expansion of tightly-packed melodic cells.


Deeply rooted in the legacy of Romanticism, the music of Russell Platt (b. 1965) is narrative- driven, formally dynamic, intellectually active, and frequently engages with works from other mediums. His “Symphony in Three Movements (For Clyfford Still)” (2019-20), for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and JoAnn Falletta, is a response to four paintings by the legendary Abstract Expressionist artist held by Buffalo’s beloved Albright-Knox Art Gallery. “Mountain Interval (String Quartet)” (2014-16, premiered by the Borromeo String Quartet) is a seven- movement double tribute to Beethoven’s String Quartet in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131, and several beloved poems by Robert Frost. “Trio by Night” (2018, commissioned by Premiere Commission and premiered by Blair’s Blakemore Trio) is a paean to the work of three Getty photojournalists imprisoned by the Egyptian government.

Platt currently serves on the faculty of the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music in Nashville. An alumnus of Oberlin College, the Curtis Institute of Music, St. Catharine’s College Cambridge, and the University of Minnesota, Platt’s principal teachers were Ned Rorem, Dominick Argento, Judith Lang Zaimont, Alexander Goehr, and Edward J. Miller. The recipient of several composer residencies at Yaddo, he has also had the privilege of working at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His music has been honored with both the Charles Ives Scholarship and Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Copland House Fellowship, a McKnight Fellowship from the American Composers Forum, and an ASCAP Young Composers Award.

His works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and vocalists have also been performed by such distinguished ensembles and soloists as the Escher String Quartet, the Horszowski Trio, the New York Festival of Song, the Knights, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Ensembles, Locrian Chamber Players, Mirror Visions Ensemble, Brooklyn Art Song Society, American Modern Ensemble, the Wisconsin Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera tenor Paul Appleby, the flutist Molly Barth, the violinist Frank Almond, and the bassoonists Peter Kolkay and George Sakakeeny. Upcoming performances include the world premières of “Madrigal” for alto flute and violin (at the New Year’s New Music concerts at Bargemusic) and of his Robert Frost song “After Apple-Picking” (at Brooklyn Art Song Society); commissions include a work for the Blair Woodwind Quintet and a piece for solo bassoon to commemorate the centenary of the Curtis Institute.

Before joining the Vanderbilt faculty, Platt was a senior editor and critic for classical music at The New Yorker (2000-2018). He won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Music Criticism in 2010.