Ensemble Philharmonia. Recorded by RNZ Concert, 13 August 1992.
Edwin Carr attended the first Cambridge Music Summer School in 1946, at which Douglas Lilburn was his composition tutor. Various bursaries and scholarships enabled him to further his composition studies in London, Rome, and Munich, with teachers including Carl Orff, Benjamin Frankel, and Petrassi. In 1973-4 he was University of Otago's Mozart Fellow, and then taught composition at Sydney Conservatorium. He returned to NZ in 1984 as a freelancing conductor and composer, and was based on Waiheke Island from 1991 until his death in 2003.
In writing Octet for wind instruments the composer suggests that these instruments although being less flexible in expression than the strings, are more starkly contrasted in timbre. Using the instruments in pairs - oboes, clarinets, bassoons and horns - he has emphasised these attributes in a work of four short contrasting movements. The style is lyrical, humourous and dance-like.