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Recordings to celebrate the world of the oboe

There is a beginner's guide to this catalogue.
It is also available as a quick-reference table or as an index of works.

Most of these albums are available for downloads/streaming on the usual sites (Amazon, iTunes, Spotify etc). Exceptions are noted here.

Click the underlined works to hear sound clips (MP3, lo-res)

The price of CDs, double CDs and Memory Sticks is £11.99 ($16, €13 approx).
For the Britten Metamorphoses CD the price is £13.50 ($18, €15 approx).

For the rest of 2021 all shipping is free, worldwide

All CDs except CC2024 are in stock.
Orders are normally posted within 24 hours; full shopping details are here.

Telemann details
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Telemann 12 solo Fantasias
20,000 words and 20 performances on divers instruments

A 'Study CD' and a competition that produced a moving testament to Telemann's genius, and to human creativity during the first Covid lockdown.

Following his exhaustive study of Britten's Six Metamophoses after Ovid, George Caird turned his attention to this much-loved music for solo wind instrument from the Baroque period. His 20,000 word essay includes topics such as the first publication, instrumentation, style, forms, tempi and time signatures, dynamics, articulation and phrasing, as well as a detailed analysis of each Fantasia.

Wanting to include the widest possible range of interpretations, George and Oboe Classics set up a competition that attracted 104 entries (recorded during the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020/21), of which 20 have been selected for the CD.

George shows how these interpretations express and expand the possibilities of this remarkable music. And the performers describe their experiences of recording in lockdown. The booklet is 52 pages (12x18 cm) in a DVD case.

"This album is a brilliant example of the creativity that some musicians were able to produce during the COVID-19 pandemic... George Caird's study of the Fantasias leads us through the history of the work, analysis of each movement, player biographies... In drawing this all together, this provides a valuable source of entertainment and research for experts and newcomers alike." Uchenna Ngwe, Double Reed News

Vive la différence details
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Vive la différence
mid-20th Century music from Britain and France
Anthony Robb (flute), Jeremy Polmear (oboe), Michael Bell (piano)

Two delightfully different cultures. Lili Boulanger echoes Debussy with her bubbly, impressionistic D'un Matin de Printemps. Jacques Ibert's Deux Interludes pay homage to the French Baroque and to Spanish Flamenco. In his Trio of 1961, Jean-Michel Damase takes us on a kaleidoscopic tour through different aspects of French culture.

Of the British pieces here, the most 'English' is a Delius Intermezzo. Eugene Goossens' Pastoral and Harlequinade has pungent harmonies that create a more unsettled world. Written in the same year, Edward Naylor's Trio harks back to the music of Stanford and Parry. Gordon Jacob's Trio is an accomplished delight.

"The performances on this disc are delightful; subtle, intelligent and idiomatic. The individual playing is notable for the excellence of the accompanying at least as much for the panache of the solo playing. As an ensemble, they convey a real sense of enjoyment of the music." Christopher Hooker, Double Reed News

Rutland Boughton details
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Rutland Boughton 'for Joyance'
the complete oboe chamber music
Mark Baigent (oboe) and chamber ensemble

Rutland Boughton was one of the foremost composers of the 'English Renaissance' between the two world wars, and his daughter Joyance (Joy) was the oboist for whom Britten wrote his Six Metamorphoses. These pieces are imbued with a father's love.

The allegro from Boughton's first Oboe Quartet demonstrates a folk-influenced ebulliance, and the andante from his second a beguiling melodic flair.

Elsewhere, The passing of the Faerie shows a wicked sense of humour, and in the dreamy fantasie of Portrait there is a wooden flute played by Eva Cabellero in these historically informed performances (Mark Baigent's Lorée oboe dates from 1901).

"Put on the kettle, put your feet up, cut yourself a slice of fruit cake, and relax with music that cries out to be a friend to everyone." Adrian Vernon Fish, radio host

Blue Bamboo CD cover
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Blue Bamboo
jazz and other improvisations
Melinda Maxwell (oboe, cor anglais) and rhythm section

The distinguished oboist Melinda Maxwell is not only a performer but also a composer - and now an improviser too.

Here she performs solo and in a group Improvisation with piano, bass and drums. Varèse Blues is Melinda's tribute to the composer of Octandre, and the jazz standards include Thelonius Monk's Bye-Ya.

The spirit of Messiaen hovers over this album, with an improvisation on, and the première of, L'Amour de Piroutcha. Miniature in form, it is also boundless and timeless.

"This album is both a great personal achievement and hopefully a gateway to further listening pleasure... get hold of this CD as quickly as you can to hear a great artist at the peak of her powers." John Harle, Double Reed News, UK

Tailwind CD cover
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The Gelächter Trio: Emma McGovern (oboe),
Sarah Smith (clarinet), Lois Au (bassoon)

Why should Les Six have a monopoly on delightful music for reed trio?

The Ghost Dance from Cecilia McDowall's Century Dances is truly ghostly; Mobile from Dovetail by Timothy Salter weaves its magic; Giandujotti from Andrew Wilson's Suite of Sweets has an English melancholy; and Marc Yeats' Dark Gravity is out of this world.

The Gelächter Trio takes its name from the German for laughter, and a spirit of fun as well as easy virtuosity permeates both these compositions and their performances.

This CD is in a smart-looking digipak, with a link to further programme notes.

"One couldn't ask for better performances... full of inventive spirit."
Rebecca Franks, BBC Music Magazine

Great Goossens CD cover
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Great Goossens
Léon Goossens

These are new transcriptions of some Goossens favourites, plus tracks not previously available on CD. The booklet has an extended interview with Nicholas Daniel, in which he speaks of the Goossens legacy, on connections between Goossens' career as a soloist and his own, and on the individual performances on the album. Specifically, he compares this first recording of the Strauss Oboe Concerto with his own interpretation.

Among other favourites is the ever-fresh concerto on themes of Cimarosa, and the deeply-felt solo from the Sinfonia of Bach's Easter Oratorio. There are several pieces in lighter vein, in which Goossens excelled, such as Senaillé's Cotillon.

Lesser-known, but coming back to the attention of today's oboists is the Concerto by Léon's brother Eugene, with its exotic orchestration and virtuoso solo part.

"The recordings on this disc are truly legendary... the result is artistry of incomparable quality, well transferred." Robert Matthew-Walker, Musical Opinion

Cuarteto Emispherio CD cover
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Cuarteto Emispherio
Quartets for Oboe & Strings

Mozart may have written the best-known Oboe Quartet but it has many equally entertaining companions, as this CD shows. The Quartets by Wanhal and Krommer are by Bohemian composers well-known to oboists, if not to the wider world.

Of the more contemporary Quartets featured here, Malcolm Arnold continues with the playfulness that Mozart started, while Spanish composer Ferrer Ferran's Horus is a gripping and intense work, being given its première recording.

The Spanish theme continues with two well-known pieces by Isaac Albéniz.

Videos:    Wanhal 1st movement    Albeniz Tango    Horus
"This selection of classical and contemporary quartets is a delight... characterised by gorgeous sonorities from Sarah Roper, refined string playing and an overall recorded sound of clear quality." George Caird, Double Reed news (UK)

Tres Francaix CD cover
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Très Françaix
Chamber Music by Jean Françaix
Booklet Notes

Charming, urbane, expertly crafted - all evident in this Variation sur un thème plaisant for piano and ten wind. In the cor anglais Quatuor the cor anglais scampers, and in the Sixtuor, rhythmic eccentricity is always undermining the melody.

The Elègie for ten wind on Mozart's early death is an entirely serious piece, and L'Heure du Berger is entirely frivolous. The whole CD encourages, as Françaix himself says, "that good humour which is indispensible to the well-being of humanity."

Videos: Quatuor, Sixtuor 1, Sixtuor 2

"What an airy, charming and altogether lovely album this is! ... one can admire the exquisite sense of balance the composer used in his compositions as well as his tonal-but-ambiguous sense of melody and harmony."
Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare Magazine (USA)

Balkan Bolero CD cover
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Balkan Bolero
chamber music of Isidora Žebeljan, played by Borislav Čičovački
Booklet Notes

Like Bartók, Žebeljan combines the folk music tradition of Eastern Europe with that of the West to produce work of passion, tragedy and exuberance.

Žebeljan has also composed for the theatre - music that is fresh and dramatic, and which also repays repeated listening.

Written for virtuoso oboist Borislav Čičovački, these pieces push the instruments beyond the stereotypes of their 'normal' music.

"This disc has been a revelation to me and I cannot wait to explore further the music of this endlessly talented composer. Žebeljan deserves greater exposure; what a wonderful thing it would be to see that her music has found its way onto a programme of the BBC Proms; audiences would love it." Steve Arloff, MusicWeb International

English Accents CD cover
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English Accents
oboe players active in England during the 1950s

How do these players compare to the heroes and heroines of today? To hear Michael Winfield playing Delius, Terence MacDonagh in J C Bach or John Barnett playing Britten is to hear a masterclass in the art of ebb and flow.

With Sidney Sutcliffe in an exciting Mozart C minor and a meditative Brandenburg 2, you may begin to wonder whether among the gains in playing since, something has also been lost.

Add some detailed booklet notes, and you have a CD that is both a record of the period and a pleasure to listen to.

"Younger players can learn such a lot from the phrasing and musicality of all the oboe playing here. Those things never date!" Michael Britton, Double Reed News

World of the Oboe CD cover
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The World of the Oboe
an introduction to the music, players, reeds
and instruments (double CD, same price)

Is it possible to represent faithfully the rich world of the oboe and oboe playing? These CDs have a really good try, with 33 tracks from composers like Mozart, Ravel, Tchaikovsky and Britten. Among the twenty oboists featured are Elaine Douvas and Nicholas Daniel, and there are articles on making a reed and an oboe.

CD 1 is designed to be enjoyed as either foreground or background music, with instantly recognisable tunes, or music with a persuasive atmosphere, or both. CD 2 covers an enormous range, from Beethoven's Fidelio to Berio's Sequenza VII.

"I have always had an affection for the oboe. The World of the Oboe illustrates perfectly the many qualities of this wonderfully expressive instrument." Jenny Agutter

The French Accent CD cover
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The French Accent
Original performances of Poulenc, Auric
and other french composers

What is 'French' about French composers and players? Here is Francis Poulenc on the piano, soon after writing his Trio, starting fast and getting faster! Another piece full of joie de vivre is the Trio by Georges Auric, contrasting with Debussy-like sensuousness from Albert Roussel. The oboist there is Pierre Pierlot, who can also be heard in the prominent oboe part of André Jolivet's Sérénade, and in a Sonata by Jacques Hotteterre.

Two lesser-known composers included are Pierre-Octave Ferroud and Marguerite Roesgen-Champion's charming Valse Sentimentale.

"A sumptuous booklet... a cornerstone of both performance and repertoire and greatly to be welcomed." Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International

Han de Vries box CD cover
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Han de Vries
Nine CDs and a DVD (nearly 11 hours of music)
Sold out here - click the CD image for how you may be able to get a copy.

Han de Vries is one of the world's great oboists, comparable to Holliger or Goossens. This box celebrates his work with what looks like a complete guide to the oboe repertoire (click the CD image for the full contents).

Here are a few samples (in alphabetical order):
some springy Bach, hypnotic Bainbridge, sustained energy in Richard Rodney Bennett, tasteful Cimarosa, enchanting Françaix, elegant Mozart, jaw-dropping Penderecki, graceful Röntgen, electric rock with Peter Schat, and playful duetting with Bart Schneeman in Voormolen.

"Han de Vries is a poetic musician with an intense melodiousness and a flawless, lean tone, of a melting elegance and beauty, and of such poignant power that it almost hurts." Erik Voermans, Het Parool, Holland

In the UK, we might say 'cor!' when something surprises and amazes us.
The US equivalent would be 'awesome!'.
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(if the title puzzles you, put the mouse on the image)
Alison Teale (cor anglais/english horn),
Elizabeth Burley (piano)

How can a cor anglais and piano perform the Ritual Fire Dance? But as well as having a phenominal technique, Alison can also float magically, as in Bozza's Divertissement.

Here is the slow opening build-up in Paul Hindemith's celebrated Sonata, and a complete Allegro from a Sonata by the English baroque composer Robert Valentine.

Everywhere, Alison pushes both instrument and repertoire beyond its normal limits, for example in the Tango 1960 by Astor Piazzolla, or David Gordon's Bebop Tango.

"It took a while to pluck up the courage to listen to a CD devoted to music for solo cor anglais... I'm glad I did. Alison Teale is a virtuosic advocate for an instrument you don't often hear outside an orchestral context. But music of this variety, played as brilliantly as this, will always delight." Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

music for oboe, horn & piano CD cover
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music for oboe, horn & piano
Jeremy Polmear (oboe), Stephen Stirling (horn), Richard Saxel (piano)

Here is a CD to explore the possibilities of this fascinating combination. Delightful interplay between oboe and horn is from the first movement of Mozart's Trio after the Quintet K407.

There are two other longer works - Herzogenberg's landmark Trio (this is part of the last movement), and an utterly beguiling Trio (1990) from Jean-Michel Damase (this is the end of the first movement).

There are three shorter items - an operatic duet from Adolphe Blanc, an Air arabe from Molbe, and a 1996 Vocalise-Waltz from the American Paul Basler.

"This is one of those surprising niche releases that affords considerable and unalloyed pleasure. The performances in every case are top-notch and utterly idiomatic... this release is enthusiastically recommended." James A. Altena, Fanfare (USA)"

Frozen River CD cover
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Frozen River Flows
New Noise -
Janey Miller
(oboe), Joby Burgess (percussion)

New Noise's eclectic mix of styles is very much in evidence. For example, in Nigel Osborne's Journey to the End of the Night the oboe plays with church bells.

Adrian Lee's Peace for Vayu uses a haunting oboe d'amore. Howard Skempton's Random Girl has a starlike beauty, and Simon Holt's Sphinx has unfathomable mystery on the cor anglais. Frozen River Flows is a beautiful meditation by Dobrinka Tabakova.

Two longer works complete the CD - Xenakis' 1976 energetic Dmaathen; and seven varied Bagatelles from George Nicholson.

"The sheer talent and professionalism of the duo is completely outstanding; each of the performances is in every way riveting." Nicholas Daniel, Double Reed News (UK)

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Orpheus Elegies
by Sir Harrison Birtwistle
Melinda Maxwell (oboe), Helen Tunstall (harp), Andrew Watts (counter-tenor)

This major chamber work is scored mainly for oboe and harp, and refers to some of Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus. The Elegies cover a huge range: Elegy 15 has a quiet resignation, while Elegy 10 is a full-bloodied keening.

Elegy 8 is an endearing depiction of machinery; and Elegy 22 depicts bells. Some heartfelt music is in the seven vocal Elegies, for example Elegy 20.

Birtwistle's arrangements for chamber ensemble of Three Bach Arias make a delightful filler, for example from Weh der Seele, die den Schaden.

"The performances are well-nigh perfect, but the most affecting of the three is Melinda Maxwell. Her oboe soars and leaps with tragic intensity over the deep thrummings of Helen Tunstall's harp." Telegraph Saturday Review

Antares CD cover
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Oboe music by Edwin Roxburgh
Paul Goodey (oboe/oboe d'amore), Sally Mays (piano)
Musicians from the RNCM, conducted by the composer

The variety of Roxburgh's writing is evident in seven works spanning nearly 40 years. The mood varies from nervy brilliance in Antares to the sinuous Ariadne's Thread.

His music is sometimes inspired by war and loss, as in Cantilena and Silent Strings. Elegy celebrates the gentleness of the late oboist Janet Craxton.

Dramatic textures abound in Images, and multiphonics turn the trio Shadowplay into a whole flock of oboes.

"The high point of the set is Shadow Play (1984) for two oboes and cor anglais, in which Roxburgh builds a counterpoint from overlaid multiphonics, and the choir of three oboists pursue a beautifully heard performance." Philip Clark, Gramophone

Oboe Divas CD cover
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Oboe Divas!
Operatic Duos and Ensembles from Handel to Wagner
Emily Pailthorpe and Elaine Douvas

Why should singers have the best tunes? Here are the Divas in Delibes' Flower Duet.

Other operatic moments are celebrated, from Donizetti's Lucia by Henri Brod, to a wind quintet by Richard Blackford on themes from Die Meistersinger.

Sometimes the Divas are alone, as in Figaro, sometimes with the London CONCHORD Ensemble or the New York Met Opera, as in Fidelio. Everywhere, the bitter-sweet qualities of this superb oboe playing are evident, as in Eugene Onegin.

"This program embodies what I love about opera and music so much. It runs a wide spectrum of emotions depicted in music, from nonchalance to determination, from the carefree joy in the simple pleasures to the pursuit of forbidden love and seduction. It's all here." David Schwartz, American Record Guide

Britten CD cover
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Britten: Six Metamorphoses
after Ovid, Op 49

Anatomy of a Masterpiece
George Caird (oboe) Joy Boughton (oboe) Nicholas Daniel (oboe)

A new shape for a CD; it's in a DVD case to house George Caird's 20,000 words of wide-ranging background to the work, containing everything from its literary and visual influences to where to take a breath.

There are performances by George Caird, Joy Boughton (Britten's dedicatee) and Nicholas Daniel. Those clips were the opening of Pan; here is the end of Arethusa from George, Joy and Nick.

"The booklet is a major production that surely sets the standard for any future venture of this order... it is a major reference document that needs to be regarded as an important contribution to Britten studies." John France, MusicWeb International

Melodic Lines CD cover
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Melodic Lines
works for oboe, bassoon and piano
Jeremy Polmear (oboe) Philip Gibbon (bassoon) Diana Ambache (piano)

Melodic lines abound here - as in Lalliet's operatic Trio, or the celebrated Poulenc Trio.

Ceremony and melancholy is mixed in Geoffrey Bush's superb Trio, and Madeleine Dring contributes her characteristic wit. Receiving their première recordings are Richard Stoker's french-influenced Miniatures, and the enigmatic melody of jazz/rock saxophonist Barbara Thompson's Green.

Overall, this CD shows what beautiful tunes and textures are to be had from oboe, bassoon and piano.

"Another excellent package from Oboe Classics. Inspired repertoire, superb sound and exemplary programme notes. Brilliant!" John France, MusicWeb International

oboe + CD cover
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Christopher Redgate (oboe, oboe d'amore) and friends

Christopher Redgate has already tackled 19th Century virtuosity (see Pasculli, below); here he is in music of our own time, as in Luciano Berio's Sequenza VII.

Sometimes with percussion as in Sam Hayden's Recoil, or with interactive computer as in Michael Young's Argrophylax, Christopher pushes himself and his instrument to their limits.

This music can be exuberant (as in '...sting of the bee...'); moving (as in Roger Redgate's Ausgangspunkte); and challenging (as in Michael Finnissy's Pavasiya).

"This extraordinary disc from the oboe fanatic's label is a showcase for multiphonics, triple tonguing, flutter tonguing and circular breathing. But while the sounds and their production are compelling, this is intensely meaningful virtuosity." The Wire

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The Sheba Sound
Two oboes, bassoon and harpsichord
crossing musical boundaries (double CD, same price)

Bach with a rhythm section, a jazzy piece by Daryl Runswick, a Viennese Polka, a version of the Beatles' Here Comes the Sun - variety like this makes the first of these two CDs great for car journeys or putting on your phone.

The second combines contemporary works such as David Matthews' Berceuse and Jean-Michel Damase's Scherzo with Baroque pieces by François Couperin and (of course) the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.

"This revival is a thoughtful and cleverly considered and executed project; typical of all Oboe Classics' releases. A winner and not just for cross-over children of the seventies and eighties. It's a natural for Christmas or any other season."
Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

Leipzig to London CD cover
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From Leipzig to London
Duo Sonatas from the 18th and 20th Centuries
Althea Ifeka (oboe, oboe d'amore, cor anglais) Katharine May (harpsichord)

Bach, Bach and Bach - not only his 'Little G minor' oboe sonata, but highly effective arrangements of Gamba sonatas for oboe d'amore and cor anglais.

The road from Leipzig to London was paved by Evelyn Barbirolli and Valda Aveling, who inspired a range of works from British composers, from the ever-mellifluous Gordon Jacob to the grittier Elizabeth Maconchy.

This debut disc from Althea Ifeka (now known as Althea Talbot-Howard) and Katharine May also includes music from Stephen Dodgson and Michael Head's Siciliana.

"A cleverly designed programme... Althea Ifeka is a superb oboist with a slightly plangent tone that fits well with the harpsichord." Ivan March, Gramophone

The oboe 1903-53 CD cover
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The Oboe 1903-53
historic oboe recordings (double CD, same price)
Booklet Notes

The earliest recordings here evoke a different world, as in this 1908 recording by Caesar Addimando. Later on, here is Sidney Sutcliffe elegantly negotiating a Beethoven variation in 1951.

There are some fascinating comparisons, as with Goossens' mentor Henri de Busscher demonstrating the Brahms violin concerto solo in a 1940s educational disc, and Goossens' own 1936 version.

There are many surprises: gorgeous phrasing from Bruno Labate in J C Bach; and Louis Bleuzet sounding very up-to-date in Mihalovici.

"It should be in the collection of everyone who loves the oboe, whether professional or amateur. Oboe Classics deserves our gratitude for bringing back to life these great ghosts of the past." Neil Black, Double Reed News (UK)

Janet Craxton CD cover
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Janet Craxton
music for oboe and strings

The memory of Janet Craxton (1929-81) remains vivid with many people. Here we can hear why, in her floating phrases under shifting strings in Francis Routh's Quartet, or the 12-note melody of Nicola LeFanu's dramatic Variations.

Scherzos abound in this CD, as in the excitement of Richard Stoker's Polemics, and the sophistication of Elizabeth Maconchy's Quartet.

The magic of Craxton's playing is evident throughout these fine BBC recordings, as in her entry in Lennox Berkeley's Quartet, and the journey she takes us on with Elisabeth Lutyens' powerful Driving out the Death.

"Craxton's impeccable technique, naturalness of expression, recreative flair and subtlety of nuance are an absolute joy throughout. With its lavish presentation and excellent remasterings, this enterprising compilation deserves every possible success." Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone

Ready, Steady, Blow! CD cover
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Ready, Steady, Blow!
Musicians of Trinity Laban College of Music

Here is a CD to inspire all oboe beginners, with a wealth of good, simple music - for example this ebulliant piece, attributed to Henry VIII, or this soulful Air by Purcell.

The lively Corumbá can be played after just a few lessons, and there are many jazzy pieces, for example the well-known I Got Rhythm.

There are some inspiring performances, as in this beautiful pastoral music by
Michael Head.

Each piece is playable without the oboe part, and there are 60 tracks in all.

"What a brilliant idea! Well played and beautifully produced, this CD is great for inspiring people to carry on or even take up the oboe." Nicholas Daniel

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An English Renaissance
music for oboe and strings inspired by Léon Goossens
George Caird (oboe) and friends
Booklet Notes

These pieces for oboe and strings - all written for Léon Goossens or inspired by him - show a wide variety of moods, from rumbustuous energy in Arthur Bliss to English understatement in the Fantasy of E J Moeran.

Elizabeth Maconchy's Quintet shows a striking intensity, and so does this section from the first movement of this re-discovered Quintet of Dorothy Gow.

The Phantasy Quartet of Benjamin Britten completes the programme, played with virtuosity and flair by George Caird and his string friends.

"George Caird is a splendid soloist throughout, and the string group play with a remarkably integrated and raptly communicative ensemble style, consistently conveying their deep feeling for all this music." Ivan March, Gramophone

Though Lovers be Lost CD cover
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Though Lovers be Lost
Emily Pailthorpe (oboe)  Julian Milford (piano)

This powerful CD expresses the uncertainty - and creative energy - of the period dominated by the two World Wars. Here is the theme of Britten's Temporal Variations of 1936, and the dramatic Scherzo from Henri Dutilleux' Sonata.

Nostalgia is present, too, as in the oboe entry in Gerard Finzi's Interlude (1936), and Ravel's tribute to dead soldier friends in his Tombeau de Couperin (1917).

The same period produced Eugène Goossens' Concerto; and here as elsewhere, Emily Pailthorpe demonstrates her expressive playing.

"Every color, every dynamic, every variety of vibrato, everything in the service of a huge musical heart backed by a huge musical brain." Jeanne Belfy, The Double Reed (US)

The oboe in Mozart chamber music CD cover
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the oboe in MOZART chamber music
Jeremy Polmear (oboe & cor anglais)
with the Ambache Chamber Ensemble

Joy is the keyword for this CD; you can hear it in the opening of the Oboe Quartet, and in the interplay between flute, oboe and piano in this segment from the Quintet, K617.

But there is also serenity, as in this version for cor anglais of the Adagio K580a, and in the intertwining lines of the slow movement of the Sonata K376 (originally for violin).

The CD ends with the celebrated Quintet for Piano and Winds K452; here is the group cadenza in the last movement.

"The enterprising Oboe Classics label continues its confident progress with a unique recording of Mozart's chamber music featuring the oboe - and some that doesn't, but transfers very naturally, as in the case of the F major violin sonata. 'Almost as if he had a wind instrument in mind', says Jeremy Polmear, whose beguiling performance with Diana Ambache is entirely persuasive." Anthony Holden, Observer

Pasculli CD cover
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Christopher Redgate (oboe) Stephen Robbings (piano)

Pasculli has been described as the 'Paganini of the Oboe'. Just listen to Christopher Redgate's amazing high-wire act in Pasculli's Study Le Api (The Bees).

This is not just idle virtuosity; listen to how Pasculli uses it to develop a theme in the Sicilian Vespers. And what themes! Here is one of melting simplicity from the
Les Hugenots Fantasia.

Pasculli's writing is leavened with a spirit of geniality, as in this episode in Poliuto, evoking the Italian countryside. But virtuosity is the keynote, with seemingly impossible feats of derring-do, as in La Favorita.

"This is a disc to open the ears of all oboists, and to entertain and astonish less specialist music-lovers." Anthony Burton, BBC Music Magazine

Rare Goossens CD cover
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Rare Goossens
Léon Goossens

These are all recordings not available elsewhere, and they show Léon Goossens in rare form. Hear, for example, his ability to float a phrase in Pierné's Aubade.

The performances range from a 1925 pre-electric recording of Charles Colin's endearing Concertino, to a 1947 reworking of Scarlatti themes.

There is an important reissue of the 1927 Bax Quintet (written for Goossens), and a number of miniatures such as the Londonderry Air, at which he excelled.

"Historic recording of Léon Goossens, a great oboist caught in his prime."
John Warrack, Gramophone

Han de Vries CD cover
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The art of Han de Vries
Concertos spanning two decades of an international career

Han de Vries is the leading exponent of the Dutch School of oboe playing. Listen to his light, fluent style in the first movement of Mozart's oboe concerto.

Han de Vries is equally at home in the chamber music situation of the Bach oboe and violin concerto, or riding the orchestra in the Paganini-like Kalliwoda Concertino.

He plays Baroque oboe in the Telemann C minor concerto, and modern oboe in the concerto by Louis Andreissen, that sounds almost normal - except for the radio...

"The doyen of Dutch oboists is heard to great advantage in familiar concertos by Bach and Mozart, a lively Weber-like Concertino by J W Kalliwoda, Telemann's remarkable C minor Concerto played on a Baroque instrument, and Louis Andriessen's 1969 Anachronie II, in which pastiche 'wallpaper music' is attacked by eruptions of ultra-modernism." Anthony Burton, BBC Music Magazine

New Ground CD cover
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New Ground
Seven world première recordings - Paul Goodey

This cover shows an interaction between a man and a mechanism, amply demonstrated in Paul Goodey and Michael Oliva's Xas-Orion (with computer) and Edwin Roxburgh's multi-tracked At the Still Point of the Turning World... (this section features the oboe's keywork).

However, David Sutton-Anderson's New Ground is derived from a Ground Bass by Henry Purcell, and Michael Oliva's Into the Light is neo-Romantic.

Specially written for this CD is Cecilia MacDowall's dramatic Fox Woman, spoken and sung by Linda Hirst.

"There is a satisfying range of moods, styles and sounds ... and a good deal of accomplished playing and singing." Barry Witherden, Gramophone

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Robert & Clara Schumann
The Polmear Ambache Duo

These are the best of Romantic miniatures. Robert's oboe Romances are well-known, and listening to the start of the first one it's easy to hear why.

Clara's lesser-known violin Romances are equally fine; here's the start of her first one.

The cor anglais features too - in, for example, the haunting opening bars of Robert's Adagio & Allegro, and also in an unusually spritely role in the first of his popular-style five pieces Stücke im Volkston.

"Jeremy Polmear is ideal for these kinds of pieces because his playing is so controlled. Because his control is so masterful Polmear avoids the saccharine sweetness that tempts lesser artists. His vibrato is solid, not too quick or too slow; he applies it appropriately. As a result, his phrasing is impeccable; his gorgeous tone is warm, mellow, but always strong." Patrick Meanor, Fanfare Magazine (USA)

Baroque Spirit CD cover
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Baroque Spirit
La Fontaine

The vivacity and virtuosity of this young Japanese group ensure that they win the audience prize whever they go. Here, for example, is a Telemann E minor Presto, and the gorgeous, floating opening of his A minor Triosonata

Lesser-known composers provide some delightful surprises too, such as this sinuous oboe duet from the Quantz G minor Triosonata, or the spirited final allegro from the G major Triosonata by the Pla brothers.

[Note: for copyright reasons, in Japan order this CD from]

"It is clear from this excellently produced CD why they are prize winners in both Japan and Europe ... The playing by La Fontaine throughout this disc is elegant and beautifully balanced, and in the fast movements they display brilliant control, enviable technique and joyous music making." Jane Woolfenden, Double Reed News (UK)

There are more on this site - go to the More CDs catalogue.

For a specialist woodwind online CD store, try Crowthers of Canterbury's Oboe Shop, here.

If it's a particular piece you're looking for, try the index
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