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"Small" Quartet for Woodwinds (1946 - Unfinished)


Valery Zhelobinsky


"Small" Quartet for Woodwinds:

  1. Allegretto (D Major)

  2. Andantino (B Minor)

  3. Moderato Grazioso (G Major - Incomplete)

(Above) Excerpt from the autograph manuscript, beginning of 1st mvmt. Obtained with cooperation of the State Archives in St. Petersburg: 


Woodwind Quartet - Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in C, and Bassoon.

Date Information:

The autograph manuscript dates the first two movements as February 24th, 1946. The third movement is incomplete and not explicitly dated.

(Above) Excerpt from the site owner's typeset edition, beginning of 3rd mvmt.

Published Editions:

No professionally published editions exist. The score has been typeset by the site owner Chris Mansi, with as minimal editing as possible, to as closely match the autograph as is feasible.


Unsurprisingly, given the date, the composition is unfinished. The title of "small" quartet is very accurate - the two extant movements are very brief. A third movement is started, and cuts off abruptly 18 measures in. It is safe to assume four movements were envisioned - the first is a moderately fast opening movement in the home key of D Major, followed by a slower movement in the parallel B Minor, both movements in 4/4. The third movement changes key to G Major, and is bright, uptempo, scherzo-like, and in 3/4. Presumably if it had been finished, at minimum a fourth movement of moderate tempo would conclude the piece in D. The music itself is bright, fresh, tuneful - the instrumentation is intelligently laid out, the melody frequently changes hands between the various instruments and it creates a very pleasant sound. He had clearly begun to start maturing as a composer to some extent, and it's a terrible shame that the work is unfinished and that he passed so shortly thereafter.

Notable Performances:

Assumed to be unperformed.

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