Although he is starting to gain the attention he deserves, Joseph Bologne,
Chevalier de Saint-Georges has been largely unrecognized in the modern classical
music environment. During his lifetime, the violinist, composer, and conductor
was a leading musician in Paris during the late 18th century. His career led him to
interact with other leading European composers of the time, including Wolfgang
Amadeus Mozart (whom he neighbored with in the Chaussee d’Antin in 1778),
Antonio Salieri and Franz Joseph Haydn (Bologne commissioned and premiered
the Paris symphonies). In his final years, he led an all-black regiment in the French
Revolution. After his death in 1799, no less than Beethoven championed his works.
Much of his music was written for strings, and most of the music he wrote for
winds has been lost. With this in mind, I set about to arrange some of his string
music for wind quintet, as I thought it unfair that wind players would not have the
ability to experience this gem of the Classical era. The three works I have arranged
(The Overture from his opera Amant Anonime, the Andantino from Violin Sonata
No. 2, and the Rondo from Harpsichord Quartet in G Minor) have been altered as
little as possible and left in their original keys.