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Recordings to celebrate the world of the oboe


The Catalogue
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CC2036 Telemann, 12 solo Fantasias
20,000 words and 20 performances on divers instruments. Summary and reviews.

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 first 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.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites, and there are some tracks on a YouTube Playlist. You can download the booklet free.
To buy the CD and booklet in a DVD case (£13.50):
To buy just the printed booklet (£4.99):

CC2035 Vive la différence
mid-20th Century music from Britain and France. Summary and reviews.

Two countries with a complex relationship spread over many centuries, and different musical traditions. On the British side, Delius conjures up a pastoral nostalgia. Eugene Goossens begins in similar vein, but pungent harmonies soon create a more unsettled world. Edward Naylor's Trio harks back to the music of Stanford and Parry. Gordon Jacob fought in the Great War, but in spite of this experience - or because of it - wrote light music of the highest calibre. Lili Boulanger's piece is bubbly and impressionistic. Jacques Ibert wrote in many styles; these two pieces (incidental music to The Seducer by Suzanne Lilar) pay homage to the French Baroque and to Spanish Flamenco. Jean-Michel Damase embraces both the light and the dark of French culture to create a work of great poignancy. Vive la différence!

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites, and there is a YouTube video about the CD. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2034 Rutland Boughton 'for Joyance'
Mark Baigent plays the complete chamber music for oboe. Summary and reviews.

"This music by Rutland Boughton, composed between 1925 and 1945 was, with the exception of one piece, written and dedicated to his daughter Joy Boughton, a leading oboist on the UK music scene in the mid 20th century. Mostly recorded for the first time, it shows the colourful and varied output of a lesser-known side to Rutland Boughton’s musical output."

So says oboist Mark Baigent of one of the foremost composers of the 'English Renaissance' between the two world wars. These are historically informed performances - Mark's Lorée oboe dates from 1901.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites, and there is a YouTube video of a bonus version of Greensleeves. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2033 Blue Bamboo
Jazz and other improvisations. Summary and reviews.

The distinguished oboist Melinda Maxwell is not only a performer but also a composer - and now an improviser too. Here she performs solo and with a rhythm section, playing jazz standards and new compositions. Melinda has long been fascinated by improvised music. She says "I realised these musical processes offered me new ways of perceiving - of feeling and thinking about - music."

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

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites, and there is a YouTube video about it. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2032 Tailwind
Gelächter Trio play the Best of British. Summary and reviews.

Why should the composers of Les Six have a monopoly on delightful music for reed trio? The Trios of Cecilia McDowall and Andrew Wilson take their pleasures with subtlety and charm. Timothy Salter's Dovetail is more abstract, but with a wink perpetually hovering in the background; and in Dark Gravity Marc Yeats takes us on a bizarre journey through the cosmos.

The Gelächter Trio takes its name from the German for laughter, and a spirit of fun imbues both these compositions and their performances

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites, and there is a YouTube video of Cecilia McDowall's Ghost Dance. You can access the booklet and more notes free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2031 Great Goossens
Classic recordings, plus some surprises. Summary and reviews.

The classic recordings include the Cimarosa Concerto, Bach's Sinfonia from the Easter Oratorio and 'Jesu, joy of man's desiring'; the lesser-known ones include the Concerto by Léon's brother Eugene, and the rerely-heard first recording (1947) of the Strauss Oboe Concerto.

The booklet contains an interview with Nicholas Daniel, who discusses Goossens' life, style and legacy, and comments on each piece.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2030 Quartets for Oboe & Strings - Sarah Roper (oboe)
With a Spanish flavour. Summary and reviews.

The delightful classical Quartets by Johann Wanhal and Franz Krommer featured here are by Bohemian composers well-known to oboists, if not to the wider world, who may well wonder why not. Malcolm Arnold's Quartet is in characteristically playful mode, while Spanish composer Ferrer Ferran’s Horus is a gripping and intense work, here getting its première recording. The Spanish theme continues with two well-known folk and dance-influenced pieces by Isaac Albéniz.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites, and there is more music from the Quartet in the digital catalogue. There are several YouTube videos: Wanhal 1st movement, Albeniz Tango and Córdoba, and Horus. You can download the booklet (in english and spanish) free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2029 Très Françaix
Chamber Music by Jean Françaix. Summary and reviews.

In the booklet (in english and french), Jeremy Polmear explores the background to Françaix' style with Dr Carol Gouspy and her doctoral thesis, 'Satie, Cocteau et Les Six'; the desire to sound as different from Brahms as possible, and the underpinning of the music with a uniquely French philosophy.

The track notes consist of a detailed commentary on the music and Françaix' use of the wind instruments. In the case of the Quatuor for cor anglais (english horn) and strings, there is a witty introduction by Françaix himself, along with letters he wrote to the commissioner, Janet Craxton.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. There is a YouTube video about this music here, and the album itself here. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2028 Balkan Bolero
Chamber Music of Isidora Žebeljan. Summary and reviews.

"...a belter from the Balkans – wild, dance-like and off-kilter." So wrote the London Times of Isidora Žebeljan's music. Like Béla Bartók, Žebeljan combines the folk music tradition of Eastern Europe with that of the West to produce music of passion, tragedy and exuberance.

She has also composed for the theatre - music that is fresh and dramatic, and which also repays repeated listening. Written for her husband, virtuoso oboe and cor anglais player Borislav Čičovački, these pieces push the instruments beyond the stereotypes of their 'normal' music.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. There are YouTube videos of A Cradle Song and Bacchanal. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2027 English Accents
oboe players active in England during the 1950s. Summary and reviews.

How do these players compare to the heroes and heroines of today? This CD may have you wondering whether among all the gains in oboe playing since, something has also been lost. To hear Michael Winfield playing Delius, Terence MacDonagh playing J C Bach or John Barnett playing Benjamin Britten is to hear a masterclass in the art of ebb and flow.

There is also an exciting Mozart Serenade with Sidney Sutcliffe, a limpid Mozart Concerto with Léon Goossens, and a Corelli concerto with Evelyn Rothwell (Lady Barbirolli). Add some detailed booklet notes, and you have a CD that is both a record of the period and a pleasure to listen to

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2026 The World of the Oboe
An introduction to the music, players, reeds and instruments. Summary and reviews.

Is it possible to represent faithfully the rich world of the oboe and oboe playing? This double CD has a really good try, with 33 tracks of music from composers such as Mozart, Ravel, Tchaikovsky and Britten.

Twenty oboists are featured, including Elaine Douvas and Nicholas Daniel. The first CD is has instantly recognisable tunes; the second covers an enormous range, from Beethoven's Fidelio to Berio's Sequenza VII. The CD booklet is extensive and in colour throughout, with a description of each track and articles on the nature of the oboe, how a reed is made, and what happens in an oboe factory. The music tracks are taken from the Oboe Classics catalogue and also from other CDs.

Most, but not all, tracks are available on the regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the double CD for £11.99 here:

CC2025 The French Accent
Original performances of Poulenc, Auric and other French composers. Summary and reviews.

What is 'French' about these composers and players? We can hear virtuosity, tangy tone colours, breakneck tempi, and a joie de vivre that can be missing in some more careful modern performances.

In an extended essay in the booklet, oboist and scholar Geoffrey Burgess considers the background to these recordings from both a historical and a technical point of view.

He also considers each track, with background on the specific performers and composers involved.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2023 Cor!
Alison Teale plays cor anglais (english horn). Summary and reviews.

This CD amply demonstrates that the cor anglais (english horn) can be much more than the purveyor of beautiful melancholy. It celebrates the versatility of the instrument, showcasing its stunning range, resonant timbres and virtuoso possibilities.

Here are contemporary works that push the boundaries of genres and techniques, such as Luchetti’s Rock Song no. 3, which fuses rock, jazz and other styles. Also included is Hindemith’s Sonata, written at the height of the Second World War, reflecting the dark and unsettled mood of the period. Other pieces more well-known include Saint-Saëns' The Swan and de Falla's Love, the Magician.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. Alison talks about the CD on YouTube. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2022 music for oboe, horn and piano
Jeremy Polmear, Stephen Stirling and Richard Saxel. Summary and reviews

This CD explores the possibilities of this unusual combination. Music from Mozart to a jazz-influenced 20th century piece provides a delightful framework for interplay between vibrant oboe and mellow horn.

There are three longer works - Mozart's Trio after the Horn Quintet K407, a major Romantic Trio from Heinrich von Herzogenberg, and an utterly beguiling one from Jean-Michel Damase. There are three shorter items - an operatic duet from Adolphe Blanc, an Air arabe from H Molbe, and a jazzy Vocalise-Waltz from the American Paul Basler.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. Here is the first of five videos on the making of the CD. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2021 Frozen River Flows
New Noise - Janey Miller (oboe), Joby Burgess (percussion). Summary and reviews.

New Noise has commissioned more than 50 pieces for this unusual combination, in styles ranging from classical to electronic to jazz and contemporary music.

Nigel Osborne's Journey to the End of the Night has the oboe playing with church bells; Adrian Lee's Peace for Vayu uses a haunting oboe d'amore; and Howard Skempton's Random Girl has a starlike beauty. In Sphinx, Simon Holt has the cor anglais attempting to fathom the unfathomable. The title track is a beautiful meditation by Dobrinka Tabakova. There are two longer works - Xenakis' 1976 Dmaathen; and seven Bagatelles by George Nicholson, using three oboes and a startling array of percussion.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2020 Orpheus Elegies
By Harrison Birtwistle, written for Melinda Maxwell (oboe). Summary and reviews.

Sir Harrison Birtwistle has long been fascinated by the Orpheus legend, and he has described these Elegies as "like postcards with cryptic text" - the text being taken from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus. Each short, jewel-like Elegy is the composer’s take on all or part of a Sonnet.

This music is very direct, and also full of references. To help tease out more meaning, the booklet has a conversation between composer and performer, and a track guide linking each Elegy to a particular Sonnet.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. There are YouTube videos of Elegy 3 and Elegy 10. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2019 Antares
Oboe music by Edwin Roxburgh. Summary and reviews.

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

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, in a performance with an ensemble conducted by the composer. Dramatic textures abound in Images, and multiphonics (discussed in detail in the CD notes) turn the trio into a whole flock of oboes.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2018 Oboe Divas!
Emily Pailthorpe and Elaine Douvas. Summary and reviews.

Why should singers have all the best tunes? Delibes' Flower Duet works brilliantly on oboes. Other operatic moments are celebrated, from Donizetti's Lucia arranged by the 19th century Henri Brod, to a wind quintet by Richard Blackford on themes from Wagner's Die Meistersinger.

Sometimes the Divas are alone, as in an aria from Figaro, sometimes accompanied by superb musicians from the London CONCHORD Ensemble, and the New York Met Opera in an arrangement from Fidelio

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2017 Six Metamorphoses after Ovid
Anatomy of a Masterpiece. Summary and reviews.

This unique CD is an in-depth look at Britten's masterpiece for solo oboe. The 52-page illustrated booklet (12cm x 18cm in a DVD-size case) contains a 20,000 word analysis by Professor George Caird, exploring its background, literary and visual influences, and Ovid references.

There are complete performances by Caird, Joy Boughton (the dedicatee) and international soloist Nicholas Daniel. George Caird also performs Britten's early manuscript versions, shedding new light on the work.

"For any oboist, musicologist, or Britten fan, George Caird's fascinating and exhaustive investigation into Britten's creative process makes this an essential guidebook." Colin Matthews, Britten-Pears foundation

The complete performances (by George Caird, Joy Boughton and Nicholas Daniel) are available on the download/streaming sites, but not Britten's composition sketches. You can download the booklet free.
To buy the CD and booklet in a DVD case (£13.50):
To buy just the printed booklet (£4.99):

CC2016 Melodic Lines
Jeremy Polmear (oboe), Philip Gibbon (bassoon), Diana Ambache (piano). Summary and reviews.

This is the wind player's version of the Piano Trio, and although there is no Mozart or Beethoven here, we have gorgeous melodies a-plenty in a CD beginning with an operatic Trio from Casimir-Théophile Lalliet, and ending with Francis Poulenc's celebrated Trio. Ceremony and melancholy is mixed in Geoffrey Bush's superb Trio, and Madeleine Dring contributes her characteristic wit and bounce. 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.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. There is a YouTube video of the last movement of the Trio by Madeleine Dring. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2015 oboe+
berio & beyond, with Christopher Redgate. Summary and reviews.

Christopher Redgate has already tackled 19th Century virtuosity (Oboe Classics CC2006) with the music of Pasculli; here he is doing the same with music of our own time, taking Luciano Berio's modern classic Sequenza VII as his starting point. 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 is the virtuosity of the high-wire act - not simply to impress, but to produce music that is exuberant (as in his improvisation '...sting of the bee...') moving (as in Roger Redgate's Ausgangspunkte) and challenging (as in Michael Finnissy's Pavasiya).

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites, and also in full on YouTube. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2014 The Sheba Sound
two oboes, bassoon and harpsichord crossing musical boundaries. Summary and reviews.

Bach with a rhythm section, a jazzy piece by Daryl Runswick, a Viennese Polka, a creative version of the Beatles' Here Comes the Sun - variety like this makes the first of these two CDs great for car journeys. The second combines contemporary works such as David Matthews' Toccatas and Pastorals and Jean-Michel Damase's Suite pour Quatre with Baroque pieces by François Couperin and (of course) the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.

A highly enjoyable tribute to a group that crossed musical boundaries for more than twenty years.

Some, but not all, of this album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2013 From Leipzig to London
Duo Sonatas from the 18th and 20th Centuries. Summary and reviews.

Leipzig is represented here by three J S Bach sonatas; and the road 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. The Bach pieces include not only his 'Little G minor' oboe sonata, but highly effective arrangements of Gamba sonatas for oboe d'amore and cor anglais.

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

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2012 The Oboe 1903-1953
A double CD of historic oboe recordings, compiled by Geoffrey Burgess. Summary and reviews.

This is a unique record of the development of oboe playing, from its earliest recorded appearances to performances recognisably 'modern', and including players and styles from the UK, Europe and the USA.

in the booklet, oboist and scholar Geoffrey Burgess writes about the process of recording in the first half of the 20th century, covering both acoustic and (after 1925) electric recording techniques. He covers the attitudes to the technology in the early days and the kind of music that was recorded. He then considers each of the 41 tracks, giving background information about the player, his or her playing style, and the music.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2011 Janet Craxton
music for oboe and strings. Summary and reviews.

The memory of Janet Craxton (1929-81) remains vivid with many people, and this CD of music commissioned by her gives ample opportunity to see why. She is a performer who makes you listen, from the floating phrases of Francis Routh's Quartet to the ritualistic writing of Elisabeth Lutyens' powerful Driving out the Death. 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 Janet Craxton's playing is evident throughout these fine BBC recordings, which also include Lennox Berkeley's Quartet, and Nicola LeFanu's Variations.

For copyright reasons this album is not available on download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2010 Ready, Steady, Blow!
Music for beginner oboists. Summary and reviews.

Here is a CD to inspire all oboe beginners, with a wealth of good, simple music. Each piece is also recorded without the oboe part, and there are 60 tracks in all. The music is easily obtainable.

The music includes Pastime with Good Company, attributed to Henry VIII, and a 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 is Harry Potter too.

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

Some of the music is available on the download and streaming sites, but not the backing tracks. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2009 An English Renaissance
music for oboe and strings inspired by Léon Goossens. Summary and reviews.

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 the Quintet (1926) by Arthur Bliss to English understatement in the Fantasy Quartet (1946) of E J Moeran.

Elizabeth Maconchy's Quintet (1932) shows a striking intensity, as does the re-discovered Quintet (1936) of Dorothy Gow. The Phantasy Quartet (1933) of Benjamin Britten completes the programme, played with virtuosity and flair by George Caird and his string friends

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2008 Though Lovers be Lost
music shadowing the two world wars. Summary and reviews.

This powerful CD expresses the uncertainty - and creative energy - of the period dominated by the two World Wars. Benjamin Britten's ominous Temporal Variations, written prior to WW II shares a mood with Henri Dutilleux' Sonata, written just after it.

Nostalgia is present, too, as in Gerard Finzi's Interlude (1936), and Ravel's tribute to dead soldier friends in his Tombeau de Couperin (1917). The same period produced Eugene Goossens' Concerto; and here as elsewhere, Emily Pailthorpe demonstrates the expressive playing that led the Gillet Competition jury to dub her "the Jacqueline du Pré of the oboe".

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. There is a YouTube video of the Britten Temporal Variations. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2007 the oboe in Mozart chamber music
Jeremy Polmear with the Ambache Chamber Ensemble. Summary and reviews.

Joy is the keyword for this CD; you can hear it from the opening bars of the Oboe Quartet, to the end of the Quintet K452, where all five instruments celebrate in the way that only Mozart can.

There is joy, too, in the interplay between flute, oboe and piano in the Quintet, K617. But there is also serenity, as in the version for cor anglais (english horn) of the Adagio K580a, and in the slow movement of the Sonata K376 (originally for violin), in which the oboe and piano lines intertwine.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2006 Pasculli
The Paganini of the oboe Summary and reviews.

19th Century performer/composer Antonino Pasculli wrote numerous operatic fantasies to demonstrate his phenomenal finger technique - one that Christopher Redgate matches with ease. The study Le Api (The Bees) is a four-minute high wire act.

But Pasculli's music is not just idle virtuosity. He uses it to develop the themes in, for example, the Sicilian Vespers Concerto. And what themes! There is one of melting simplicity in the Les Hugenots Fantasia. There is also a spirit of geniality, especially in the Poliuto Fantasia, evoking the Italian countryside. Nonetheless virtuosity is the keynote, with seemingly impossible feats of derring-do.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites, and there is a YouTube video of
Le Api. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2005 Rare Goossens
Summary and reviews.

These are all recordings not available elsewhere, and they show Goossens in rare form. His ability to float a phrase is evident throughout, in performances ranging from a 1925 pre-electric recording of Charles Colin's endearing Concertino, to a 1947 Concerto reworking 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.

The booklet contains an extended interview with Melvin Harris, who himself interviewed Goossens many times.

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. There is a bonus track on YouTube. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2004 The Art of Han de Vries
Concertos spanning two decades from an international career. Summary and reviews.

Han de Vries is the leading exponent of the Dutch School of oboe playing and one of the world's great oboists, comparable to Heinz Holliger or Léon Goossens. His light, fluent style is everywhere evident in this delightful and varied collection of concertos.

Han de Vries is equally at home in the chamber music situation of the Bach Oboe and Violin Concerto, handling the classical forms of Mozart's Oboe Concerto, or riding the orchestra in the Paganini-like Kalliwoda Concertino. He plays Baroque oboe in the Telemann C minor Concerto, and modern oboe without vibrato in the 1969 concerto by Louis Andreissen. In the booklet, Han talks about the music.

The regular download and streaming sites have only the Bach and Andriessen concertos, for copyright reasons. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2003 New Ground
Seven première recordings. Summary and reviews.

This cover shows an interaction between a man and a mechanism, as in Xas-Orion (with computer) and Edwin Roxburgh's multi-tracked At the Still Point of the Turning World... Other tracks are resolutely acoustic, and demonstrate the creativity and variety of contemporary english oboe music.

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. Graham Fitkin’s Ostrich on the Plain is as humorous as Timothy Salter’s Diptych (Abstractions IV) is serious. Especially written for this CD is Cecilia MacDowall's dramatic Fox Woman, spoken and sung by Linda Hirst

The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2002 Robert & Clara Schumann
Jeremy Polmear and Diana Ambache. Summary and reviews.

These are the best of Romantic miniatures. Robert Schumann's works are deservedly the best known oboe chamber pieces of the period. Clara Schumann's take on the same genre is darker, and with more ambitious piano writing: their two sets of Romanzen make a fascinating comparison.

The cor anglais (english horn) features too - in Robert’s Adagio & Allegro Op 70, and also in an unusually spritely role in his popular-style five pieces Stücke im Volkston. There are two other individual items - a gentle Romanze from Clara, and a simple, poignant Abendlied from Robert.

BBC Music Magazine designated this the Benchmark recording for this repertoire. The album is available on all regular download and streaming sites. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:

CC2001 Baroque Spirit
la fontaine on period instruments. Summary and reviews.

The vivacity and virtuosity of La Fontaine ensures that they win the audience prize wherever they go. Baroque music doesn't get more spirited than this in, for example, Telemann’s E minor Presto.

There's a lot of Telemann on this CD, and deservedly so. His A minor Triosonata has a gorgeous, floating opening. Lesser-known composers provide some delightful surprises too, such as the sinuous oboe duetting in the Quantz G minor Triosonata, or the spirited music from the G major Triosonata by the Pla brothers.

The album is not available on download and streaming sites, for copyright reasons. You can download the booklet free, or buy the CD (£11.99) here:




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