Composed by

Victor Ewald (Nov 1860 - Apr 1935) in 1890


Approx. 23 mins


Brass Quintet

Ewald’s Quintet No. 1 is a challenging piece packed with fantastic melodies that exude dark, rich, melancholic sounds, which is exemplified by the tuba in the opening theme. In the third movement, the lovely Russian-folksong theme that emerges would have made his Nationalist musician friends proud. Although he never wrote in the larger orchestral genres, he could be considered the “Russian Sixth” for the rich lyricism and inventiveness in this piece.

This composition is divided into 3 movements:

Movement I – Moderato

This movement is written in the sonata form in the minor key. It starts with a staggered entrance, with the tuba entering first, followed by the second trumpet. The first theme is articulated on a strong note before moving to the more lyrical second theme.

Movement II – Adagio (non troppo lento)

The 5/4 time in the second movement is composed of two adagios around a scherzo. The allegro section is especially hard to play because it goes through 5 beats per measure at an extremely fast-paced tempo.

Movement III – Allegro Moderato

The third movement builds on motives from the preceding movements, creating a fantasy-like atmosphere. It contains an arc-like structure – ABCBCBA – and a coda, with a fanfare-like first theme and a lyrical second theme. This movement is written in the major key.

Victor Ewald

  1. Was a Civil Engineering professor at St. Petersburg.
  2. As a cellist with the Beliaeff Quartet for 16 years
  3. Received several lessons in cornet, piano, horn, cello, harmony and composition at the St. Petersburg Conservatory at age 12
  4. Had his musical training at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where some of the well-known composers, such as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Dmitri Shostakovich, graduated from
  5. Born on 27 November 1860, the same year as Gustav Mahler.


photo credit: Wikipedia


Trumpets: Adolph Herseth, Vincent Cichowicz
French Horn: Richard Oldberg
Trombone: Frank Crisafulli
Tuba: Arnold Jacobs

Recorded in Auditorium Theatre, Chicago on 1966