The Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet, founded in 1950, comprised the principal woodwinds and French horn of The Philadelphia Orchestra. They made their recording debut for Columbia in 1953: four players from the ensemble were joined by pianist Rudolf Serkin in the Beethoven and Mozart Quintets in E-flat. Serkin, a frequent soloist with the orchestra, had been so taken by the artistry and tonal colors of its first-chair winds that he approached them about making a record together.

So began the group’s history at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio in Manhattan. It would span 15 years, during which the ensemble naturally focused on the many outstanding works scored for standard woodwind quintet. But guest performers often joined them on recordings as well as in concerts, extending their repertoire to include not only composers of their own time, but even music outside the classical sphere written by the legendary jazz trumpeter Ornette Coleman.

Reviewing the original LP releases, High Fidelity wrote that “one is very conscious of the superb skill with which each player shapes his own melodic line. Yet the ensemble is the thing, and the Philadelphians provide ensemble playing of the highest order. The players seem to breathe as one; the music ebbs and flows with a perfect sense of unanimity. The sound is excellent.”

The Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet released their last recording in 1968, and by early in the next decade their albums had practically vanished from record-store shelves. Owing to the legendary reputation of the Philadelphia wind section, many of the albums included in this set have acquired almost mythical status. The vast majority of the ensemble’s recordings, 8 out of 12 CDs, are presented in this collection for the first time in digital format mastered from the original analogue master tapes.

Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet Members:
William M. Kincaid, flute 1953-58

Robert Cole, flute 1957-60

Murray Panitz, flute 1962-67

John de Lancie, oboe

Anthony M. Gigliotti, clarinet

Sol Schoenbach, bassoon 1953-60

Bernard Garfield, bassoon 1962-67

Mason Jones, horn



Mozart: Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major, K. 452 with Rudolf Serkin, piano

Beethoven: Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op. 16 with Rudolf Serkin, piano


Janáček: Concertino, JW VII/11 with Rudolf Firkusny, piano

Janáček: Mládí with Leon Lester, bass clarinet


Hindemith: Kleine Kammermusik, Op.24, No.2

Ibert: 3 Pièces brèves

Bozza: Scherzo for Wind Quintet, Op. 48

Haydn: Divertimento No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Hob.II:46

Beethoven, arr. by The Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet: Sextet in E-Flat Major, Op.71


Schoenberg: Wind Quintet, Op. 26


Barber: Summer Music, Op. 31    

Nielsen: Wind Quintet, Op. 43


Poulenc: Sextet, FP 100 with Francis Poulenc, piano

Milhaud: La Cheminée du Roi René, Op. 205

Francaix: Divertissement for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon


Mozart: Divertimento in F Major, K.213    

Mozart: Divertimento in B-Flat Major, K.270    

Reicha: Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op. 88, No. 2


Toch: Five Pieces for Winds and Percussion, Op. 83 (1959)

Toch: Sonatinetta for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon, Op.84 (1959)

Cowell: String Quartet No. 5 (1962)


Grainger: Walking Tune

Wally: Aubade for Flute, Oboe and Clarinet

Persichetti: Pastorale

Schubert: Rosamunde: Hirtenlied

Stravinsky: Pastorale for Soprano, Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1923)

Stravinsky: Pastorale for violin, oboe, English horn, clarinet, and bassoon (1933)

Pierné: Pastorale

Jolivet: Pastorales de Noël for Flute, Bassoon and Harp

Milhaud: Deux Exquisses (Two Sketches for Woodwind Quintet)

DISC 10:

Vivaldi: Chamber Concerto in G Minor, RV 103

Cambini: Wind Quintet No. 3 in F Major

Rossini: Wind Quintet No. 4 in F Major

Ponchielli: Quartet in B-Flat Major for Winds with Piano Accompaniment

DISC 11:

Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E-Flat Major, K. 297 B    

Mozart: Quintet in E-Flat Major, K. 452 with Robert Casadesus, piano

DISC 12:

Coleman: Forms and Sounds with Ornette Coleman, trumpet

Coleman: Saints and Soldiers (The Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia Quartet)

Coleman: Space Flight (The Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia Quartet)