for clarinet, violin, cello, marimba and piano

Written: 1996
Duration: 7'
Instrumentation: B-flat clarinet, violin, cello, 4 1/3 octave marimba and piano
Winner of the Society for New Music  Brian Israel Prize
Premiere: Music Links Consort Concert, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Auer Hall, Bloomington, IN, August 3, 1996.
PublisherBill Holab Music

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Quintus is technically demanding, but also idiomatic—most of the time. In this work, I am striving for a very comfortable type of sound, even though many unusual techniques are used, such as playing marimba bars with the mallet heads and the shafts of the mallets simultaneously, clarinet multiphonics and muffling strings inside the piano while playing them on the keyboard.

Press Quotes

Review of a concert by the New York New Music Ensemble...

People who go to recitals like this one don’t necessarily expect to hear catchy advertising ready jingles rife with simplex melodies and harmonies. They want intellectual meat, creative powers working on a higher plane... It helps that the music they were playing, even the new works from the back end of the ‘90s, was worth the experience. A case in point is Robert Paterson’s Quintus, which started the evening off with a strong pulse from the piano that was embroidered by the fleet, sliding fingers of violinist Curtis Macomber and the clever, quirky lines played by clarinetist Jean Kopperud as the cello and marimba added commentary. The overall effect was of crystalline textures spiraling toward a goal that only appears logical at the last instant.
— Geraud MacTaggart, The Buffalo News