The Quintet in D for clarinet, horn, violin, cello and piano also dates from 1898 and had its first performance in the Queen’s (small) Hall on 5 June 1901. It is a slightly shorter work than the string quartet. If it only fitfully contains elements of the mature VW, it is a delightful work in its own right, with playful touches and more than a ration of charm. The writing for the piano is very accomplished and torpedoes the myth, much propagated by the composer himself, that he lacked technique and was clumsy. It is like anglicised Brahms with a sense of humour, notably in the Intermezzo. There is even an allusion to the slow movement of Brahms’s Fourth Symphony in the Andantino. A feature of this movement is how the third bar of the horn’s opening phrase is repeated for nineteen bars as coda before it passes to clarinet and violin to bring the movement to a quiet ending. The first modern performance was at The British Library Conference Centre on 20 February 2001.
from notes by Michael Kennedy © 2002