Cassiopeia Winds Autumn Tour 2023

Cassiopeia Winds Tour Programme

Claude Arrieu         (1903-1990)                                Quintette en ut

Maurice Ravel        (1875-1937)                                Pavane pour une infante défunte

Jean Françaix (1912-1997)                                        Quintette N°.1


Maurice Ravel        (1875-1937)                                Le Tombeau de Couperin

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)                                    Novelette

Jean-Michel Damase (1928-2013)                           Dix-sept Variations

About the programme

Claude Arrieu – Quintette en ut

Louise-Marie Simon, pen name Claude Arrieu, was a prolific French composer. She wrote hundreds of works in varying formats, including stage works, concert works, and movie scores. She was also a teacher, and worked as a producer and assistant head of sound effects at French Radio.

Quintette en ut, was composed in1952 and premiered by the French Wind Quintet in Sarrebrück, Germany, 1952. The work has five movements: I. Allegro,II. Andante, III. Allegro scherzando, IV. Adagio, V. Allegro vivace.

Maurice Ravel – Pavane pour une infante défunte

Joseph Maurice Ravel was a French composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated with Impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France’s greatest living composer.

Ravel wrote his Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a dead princess) for solo piano in 1899. In 1910 he arranged the work for orchestra, which is the version we are most familiar with today. The title, infante, is the Spanish word for princess. Ravel frequently had to explain that the piece is not a cortège for a recently deceased princess. The real sense of it is actually “a princess out of the past.”

Jean Françaix – Quintette No 1

Jean Françaix was a French neoclassical composer, pianist, and orchestrator, known for his prolific output and vibrant style. He was a prodigious musical talent. He received his early musical instructions from his father and composed his first piano piece titled Pour Jacqueline at age ten.

Françaix wrote his wind quintette no 1 in 1948 and dedicated it to the wind quintet of the Paris Orchestra. It has four movements; I. Andante tranquillo – Allegro assai, II. Presto, III. Tema con variazioni. Andante, IV. Tempo di Marcia Francese.

Maurice Ravel – Le Tombeau de Couperin

Le Tombeau de Couperin was written as a suite for solo piano. It was composed between 1914 and 1917. The piece is in six movements, based on those of a traditional Baroque suite. Each movement is dedicated to the memory of a friend of the composer (or in one case, two brothers) who had died fighting in World War I. Ravel also produced an orchestral version of the work in 1919, although in this he omitted two of the original movements. The quintet will play three movements: Prelude, Menuet & Rigaudon

Francis Poulenc – Novelette

Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was a composer and pianist. His compositions include songs, solo piano works, chamber music, choral pieces, operas, ballets, and orchestral concert music. Among the best-known are the piano suite Trois mouvements perpétuels, the ballet Les biches, the Concert champêtre for harpsichord and orchestra, the Organ Concerto, the opera Dialogues des Carmélites, and the Gloria for soprano, choir, and orchestra.

Trois novelettes are three short pieces for piano composed by Francis Poulenc. The first two novelettes, in C major and B-flat minor, FP 47, written in 1927 and 1928 respectively, were originally published together. The third, in E minor, FP 173, was written in 1959. The first of the three is the one played here.

Jean-Michel Damase – Dix-sept Variations

French pianist, conductor, composer and teacher Jean-Michel Damase was born in Bordeaux on 27 January 1928. His mother was the harpist Micheline Kahn, and Jean-Michel began his music early – studying with Marcel Samuel-Rousseau from the age of five, and setting poetry to music at nine. At the Paris Conservatoire from 1940, he studied piano with Alfred Cortot, winning first prize for piano in 1943, then composition with Henri Büsser, Marcel Dupré and Claude Delvincourt, winning the Grand Prix de Rome in 1947.

Cassiopeia Winds are:

Catriona Ryan – Flute

Matthew Manning – Oboe

Deirdre O’Leary – Clarinet

John Hearne – Bassoon

Cormac Ó hAodáin – French Horn

We would love to have your feedback on this evening’s concert! Please let us have your thoughts at

Thanks to a very generous touring award from The Arts Council, Cassiopeia Winds are looking forward to sharing some wonderful wind music with audiences in seven venues around Ireland:

Monday 11 September at 7.30pm – The Civic Theatre Tallaght

Tickets €18, €16 concessions, Early Bird €14

Box Office 01 4627477, and on line

Thursday 14 September at 8pm – Music in Calary Calary Church, A98 H766

Tickets €18, €15 concessions

Booking 01 2818118 or email

Saturday 16 September at 3pm – The Source Arts Centre, Thurles

Tickets €15, €12 Early Bird

Box Office 0504 90204, and on line

Wednesday 27 September at 8.30pm – Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge

Tickets €18, €15 concessions

Box Office 045 448327, and on line

Saturday afternoon 30 September at 3.30pm – Wexford Arts Centre

Tickets €16, €14 concessions

Box Office 053 912 3764, and on line

Saturday 7 October at 8pm – Birr Theatre and Arts Centre

Tickets €18, €16 (plus booking fee €2)

Box Office 057 9122911, and online

Saturday 14 October at 8pm – The Dock, Carrick on Shannon

Tickets €16, €12 early bird and concession

Box Office: 071 965 0828, and on line


Quintette en ut         Claude Arrieu

Pavane pour une infante défunte         Maurice Ravel

Quintette N°.1 Jean         Françaix


Le Tombeau de Couperin         Maurice Ravel

Novelette         Francis Poulenc

Dix-sept Variations         Jean-Michel Damase

About the programme

Cassiopeia’s programme is unashamedly melodic, and pays homage to the French origins of wind chamber music with the foundation of La Société de Musique de Chambre pour Instruments à Vent in 1879. While the choice of music may have France as a common theme, they are not shying away from the more modern day sound world: showcasing the work of composers who lived between the years of 1875 and 2013. This is represented in the broadly diverse styles of music performed.

Cassiopeia Winds is a group of five of Ireland’s top wind players committed to sharing their passion for the superb wind quintet repertoire with audiences throughout Ireland.

The players inspire and refresh their audiences by their infectious enthusiasm for the music they are playing. Member of the group introduce each piece in the programme, engaging with and developing a rapport with their audience, drawing them in so that

they feel almost like a sixth member of the group.

Cassiopeia Winds are:

Catriona Ryan – Flute

Matthew Manning – Oboe

Deirdre O’Leary – Clarinet

John Hearne – Bassoon

Cormac Ó hAodáin – French Horn