|Recordings to celebrate the world of the oboe|
Links & Surprises
There are more links throughout this site, attached to the appropriate pages.
These links were last checked in November 2015
- Why I started Oboe Classics.
- If you're bemused by this site and are wondering what all this stuff is about, there's a very good American video,
Why would anybody want to play the oboe?.
It really tries to get to grips with the answer to that question.
- And if you do want to play the oboe, check out James Turnbull's website
There's lots of good basic information there.
- Once you get going you will realise how important the reed is. Graham Salter has written
Understanding the Oboe Reed. It manages to be both an academic treatise and a fascinating coffee-table book.
- The US Army might seem an unlikely source of information about, and performances
on, the oboe, but there is a very detailed video here.
The uniforms may be formal but the playing is warm and flexible, and there are lots of tips.
- Check out The Vivaldi Guys on YouTube.
Playing the oboe can be fun, especially if you are a good mover!
- John Barnett was one of the oboists on the recording of Handel's Fireworks Music featured on the CD
English Accents. He has written an entertaining account of his experience which
shows that in many ways the life of a jobbing freelance musician hasn't changed much since the 1950s.
It is called 'Promotion' and is
here, in PDF format.
- "The chief objection to a wind instrument is that it extends the life of the player."
If provocative remarks like this one from George Bernard Shaw entertain you, try this
of amusing, thought-provoking and poignant musical quotes compiled by David Barker for MusicWeb
International, a UK-based web resource for classical music (which has given lots of Oboe
Classics CDs rave reviews, and deserves support).
- Are you an oboe player or teacher looking for work? Or someone looking for a player or teacher? There is an international listing at
OboeProfiles.com, and a UK one at
- The publisher of the Dorothy Gow Quintet, featured on An English Renaissance, is
Stephen Powell Music Services.
He does typesetting and copying, and also set the Britten Metamorphoses Sketches.
- If you're pondering what equipment is best for listening to these CDs, you might consider the thoughts of classical music enthusiast Sebastian Mitchell.
- US composer/arranger Robert Elkjer has written some entertaining jazz-style duets
for oboe and english horn.
His sound clips are electronic, but generous and fun. This will take you to the relevant page of his
- Intimate Voices; a (printable) PDF version of an article about running The Sheba Sound.
- Wagner and the Wind Quintet; a (printable) PDF version of an article about one of the tracks on the Oboe Divas! CD
- Nicholas Daniel performs Britten's Metamorphoses on YouTube. This link will take you to
Bacchus, but all six movements are there. This performance is featured (in HiFi) on
the Britten CD.
- An article by Christopher Redgate on listening to extreme oboe music. There is also a German version.
- The Best Laid Plans - an article by Althea Ifeka on
planning her CD From Leipzig to London, leading up to the first day of recording on
July 7th 2005 - a date when others had a different agenda for London.
- The Oboist as the custodian of orchestral pitch, article by Geoffrey Burgess (this is a page from the 'More Details' section of The Oboe 1903-53).
- Working with Janet Craxton by Brian Hawkins. (This is a page from the 'More Details' section of Janet Craxton)
- How some professional oboists first got started. (This is a page from the 'More Details' section of Ready Steady Blow!)
- Howarth of London, the maker of the oboe pictured in these pages. They sell almost everything you can think of...
- ... which is all very well if you are UK-based. For a similar US resource, try Midwest Musical Imports, based in Minneapolis.
- Feedback from people who have bought these CDs
- The British Double Reed Society which has lots of information, and links to other UK music organisations.
- Haydn looks after his oboists
- An oboist in Hungary, Imre Bojtár, who sells CDs on his site
- The Society for the Promotion of New Music (SPNM) - for lovers of contemporary music
- 'The Enraged Musician'
- The Polmear Ambache Duo - Jeremy Polmear's Duo site with pianist Diana Ambache
- FOR OBOE MUSIC, June Emerson Wind Music is probably the best wind music supplier in the world!
- - for a more specialist site, try www.egge-verlag.de. It's in German, but is understandable to an English speaker. Go to the 'shop' page for huge lists of oboe music.
- - and for some fun ensemble arrangements, have a look at
Wonderful Winds, which includes 'Windbags' for oboe ensemble. Run by a flute player and an oboe player, they can also do an arrangement for you on request.
- An online shop selling oboe bits and pieces is
It's UK-based but will mail stuff worldwide. Specifically, it has a very good, clear (and free) summary of
how to adjust oboe reeds.
- FOR AURAL TESTS (hearing beats in a bar, rhythms, singing notes etc) try www.hofnote.co.uk.
- If you are a cellist, thanks for being here, and for a cello CD try our sister label
- - and for a clarinet CD, try the label that started it all,
- Zen and the Art of Oboe Playing - some wise words from Maurice Bourgue
- - and just as important as what goes on in the mind is what goes on in the body; check
out www.oboemotions.com, the wide-ranging website of Las Vegas oboist Stephen Caplan.
- Jazz players are not known for their longevity, but the celebrated US saxophonist
Johnny Griffin was still playing up until his death in 2008, aged 80. His long life may
have been due in part to his learning the oboe at school. He was drafted into the army in 1951,
and was about to be sent to fight in Korea when an oboe vacancy came up for a (US-based)
military band. Griffin took the job; many of his friends were subsequently killed in Korea.
- Classical Media has handled some of our recordings and mastering, and they also have their own CD catalogue, including English oboe music (John Gardner, Paul Patterson, Andrew Downes and John Mayer) played by George Caird.
- Some Travel Diaries of Jeremy Polmear,
and his walking website with Diana Ambache