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Piano quintet

A piano quintet is a chamber musical ensemble made up of one piano and four other instruments, or the name of a piece written for such a group.

The most common grouping is one piano, two violins, a viola and a cello, that is a piano with a string quartet. This combination of instruments is so prevalent in classical music, that when the phrase piano quintet is used with no qualifications, it usually refers to this particular group.

Several composers have written piano quintets, although few have written more than one, a rare exception being Gabriel Fauré, who wrote two. Other composers to have written for the usual grouping of a string quartet plus piano include Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Antonin Dvorak and Dmitri Shostakovich. Franz Schubert's famous Trout quintet is written for the less usual combination of piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven both wrote pieces for a piano and four wind instruments. Although these pieces could be called piano quintets, they are more often referred to as "quintets for piano and wind" so as to distinguish them from pieces with the more usual instrumentation.



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