These recordings are not made by Oboe Classics, but are recommended, and can be bought here.
The price is specified with each CD (sometimes cheaper than Oboe Classics!)
In every other way they are the same as buying an Oboe Classics CD. They can be mixed with
Oboe Classics CDs
in your order, and they qualify the same for postage,
for security, and for processing times.
Complete Chamber Music for Oboe, and Sonata for Two Pianos
Melinda Maxwell (oboe), The Pleyel Ensemble
Sonata for two pianos (1937)
Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1957)
Sonata for Oboe and Cembalo or Piano (1962)
Intermezzo for Oboe and Piano (1987)|
Quartet for Oboe and String Trio (1937)
Arnold Cooke has been characterised as 'the English Hindemith' but, as Malcolm MacDonald has written,
what Cooke really imbibed [from him] was a broad framework of technique and a sense of direction: a view of music as
a living polyphonic entity and a feeling for individual instruments that goes back to the practice of J.S. Bach.
Apart from the touching Intermezzo, these are all substantial,
lengthy works. The Oboe Quartet should be played more often,
and like the two Sonatas, shows skilled craftsmanship throughout. The 1957 Sonata has an intriguing start, the 1962 one has
a Rondo which gives a good idea of Cooke's faster music. As we might expect, Melinda Maxwell's playing is peerless, as is The Pleyel Ensemble; the Two Piano Sonata constitutes an exciting bonus.
This album is not available for download or streaming; it is the CD or nothing! [CD no. AC; time: 76mins]
"In the quality of the superbly prepared performances, the vivid recording and the detailed,
but not too technical booklet notes, its presentation is exemplary." Gary Higginson, British Music Society
Light & Shade
Nicola Hands (oboe, cor anglais), Jonathan Pease (piano)
Camille Saint-Saëns: Sonata, Op. 166
Gabriel Grovlez: Sarabande et Allegro
Robert Schumann: Romance I, Nicht Schnell
Lamont Kennaway: Watersmeet (cor anglais & piano)
Karl Goepfart: Zwei Characterstücke Op. 27
Emile Paladilhe: Solo pour hautbois|
Edmund Rubbra: Duo for cor anglais & piano Op. 156
Marina Dranishnikova: Poem
Eugène Bozza: Divertissement for cor anglais, Op. 39
Nicola and her pianist Jonathan Pease have produced a stimulating mixture of well-loved oboe repertoire with pieces that deserve to be - all recorded in a warm studio acoustic.
Among the better-known pieces there is some characterful Grovlez and Bozza,
serious Schumann, Rubbra's intense Duo and some effervescent
Among the lesser-known pieces, there is a folk-like
Watersmeet from Lamont Kennaway and a
More extensive is the Poem (1953) by Marina Dranishnikova.
It is said to have been prompted by an unhappy love for an oboist; whatever the origin, it is intense, beautiful, and unsettling music.
[CD number NH; time: 56 mins]
"Overall, Nicola Hands' performances across Light and Shade are a wonderful demonstration of the diversity of the repertoire. The combination of well-loved light-hearted pieces and more unusual and serious works should make this CD attractive not only to oboists but to a wider audience."
Bethany Craft and Michael Britton, Double Reed news
Han de Vries -
The almost last recordings
(a box of 18 CDs and a DVD)
Some years ago Oboe Classics released a box of Han de Vries recordings (9 CDs and a DVD)
in a limited edition, which is sold out. Producer Peter Bree and the Attacca label have now produced
a second box, twice as big.
As before the music spans the oboe repertoire, and there is very little overlap with the previous box or
the Oboe Classics catalogue. The full contents is here, and here are some examples of why Han de Vries is unique:
Beautiful in Bach's Canata BWV 12; comforting in Vivaldi Trio Sonata in g;
beguiling in Crusell's Divertimento in C;
elegant in Bellini's Concerto in E flat;
operatic in Verdi's 'Un de felice', exotic in Rimsky-Korsakov's variations;
deeply-felt in the Hindemith cor anglais Sonata; jazzy in the Breuker Concerto no. 1;
collaborative in Danzi's Wind Quintet in B flat op. 56 no. 1 and in Terry Riley's 'In C'.
Like the first box, these tracks will not be available for download or streaming. It's all or nothing!
However, the price of this box automatically qualifies it for free postage, worldwide.
"What stands out more than anything across the entire anthology is the loving attention
de Vries pays to all the music - every note of it. It is not simple technical prowess at show, but dedicated
passion that comes through with each gesture, each utterance. His interpretation of standard works sometimes
stands apart from traditional approaches, but one can never fault their distinctive character and conviction."
Geoffrey Burgess, The Double Reed (USA)
[CD number H2; time: 21 hours 28 minutes]
Stella Dickinson (oboe, cor anglais) and
London Virtuosi/Paul Hart
16 folk melodies, including:
The first track, I'll give my love an apple,
sets the tone for the whole CD - beautiful oboe playing from Stella Dickinson over a simple
string line, the drone and ornamentation giving a celtic tinge to the english melancholy. Elsewhere,
The oak and the ash is given a simple poignancy.
Paul Hart's subtle arrangements keep the melodies to the fore, but sometimes he is more
overt, as in this Brittenesque introduction to
The lark in the clear air. Delightfully, he gives
Annie Laurie the Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring treatment.
Textures are varied: in Women of Ireland,
solo harp and cor anglais give a starkly haunting feel. And each melody is developed,
as in this middle section of
Blow the wind southerly.
All the playing is distinguished. The strings are led by Rita Manning, the harpist
is Helen Tunstall. More about Stella Dickinson (including further reviews
of this CD) is on her
[CD number LL; time: 63:45]
"This is music-making for all occasions, centred around Stella's wonderful range of timbres
and instrumental technique.... a peach of a disc." Hi-Fi News
The English Oboe: Rediscovered
James Turnbull (oboe)
with Libby Burgess (piano), Matthew Featherstone (flute), Dan Shilladay (viola)
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Six Studies in English Folk-Song (1926), arr. for cor anglais & piano
Edmund Rubbra: Sonata, Op 100
Edward Longstaff: Aegeus (1996)
Gustav Holst: Terzetto for flute, oboe and viola (1925)
Thomas Walmisley: Sonatina No 1
John Casken: Amethyst Deceiver for solo oboe (2009)
Michael Berkeley: Three Moods for solo oboe (1978)
"I wish that more record companies would dare to mix the familiar with the not so familiar,
as we find on this superb new disc. The programme here is unusually stimulating, with its
juxtaposition of old and new. Furthermore, this CD is framed by arguably the finest ever
recorded versions of Rubbra's magnificent Sonata and Vaughan Williams' Six Studies in
English Folksong... This is a splendid release." David Jennings, MusicWeb International
"There is no disputing the technical facility of James Turnbull or the warm, sensitive
pianism of Libby Burgess. Turnbull shines particularly in John Casken's virtuosic
Amethyst Deceiver, its capricious twists and turns reflecting the amethyst deceiver
of the title - an edible mushroom disguised as a poisonous one. There is more astringent
solo work in Michael Berkeley's Three Moods, but tonality is never far away, with examples
from Rubbra, Holst and Vaughan Williams. And there's a delicious surprise - a glorious
Sonatina by Walmisley, in a new edition by Christopher Hogwood."
Stephen Pritchard, The Guardian
[CD number OR; time: 68:34]
Josep Domènech Lafont, Molly Marsh (oboes), Peter Whelan (bassoon)
Thomas Dunford (theorbo), Philippe Grisvard (harpsichord/organ), Christine Sticher (violone)
Sonatas III in F, V in B flat and VI in C minor; Andante from Simphonie à 8 Concertante in A minor
Many oboists have had a bash through Zelenka's splendidly virtuosic,
original, eccentric (and long) Sonatas. Ensemble Marsyas, however, never bash;
they navigate elegantly through the textures and technical challenges, as you can
hear in the first movement of
number V. Here they are in
slow movement of that Sonata.
In number III they are joined by violinist Monica Huggett; here is an excerpt from
Everywhere, the virtuosic demands of the music are handled with ease, as in this
section from the last movement of
And what of the length - how do they keep the music fresh? I refer you to the
review below which tries to describe the musical perception that Ensemble Marsyas bring to their interpretations.
[CD number Z; time: 49:43]
"When textures become sparse, delivery intensifies; when the line expands, the
tempo stretches; when counter-
point thickens, articulation is leavened. The
players are audibly intelligent, at once humorous and illuminating."
Berta Joncus, BBC Music Magazine
Concertos by Paul Patterson, Vaughan Williams and Herbert Howells
English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Wallfisch
One of the highlights of the International Double Reed Society's 2009 Festival in
Birmingham was Emily's première of Paul Patterson's remarkable piece; now we can hear
her new recording with Benjamin Wallfisch and the English Chamber Orchestra in fine form. Here are clips from the
Anyone familiar with Emily's Oboe Classics CD
Though Lovers be Lost will know that, though born in the USA,
she has a special affinity with English melancholy; and her performance of the
Vaughan Williams Concerto continually gives the feeling that this is how the music should go.
Here are the
The arrangement of Howells' Oboe Sonata feels just right, too - the depth and sustaining
power of the strings giving more body to this significant and affecting work. Here are the
[CD number PC; time: 67:36]
The soft turning of this music [the Vaughan Williams] has never
been heard projected with such gentle warmth -
at least not on record. The Minuet and
Musette dances in poetry. The fairy flight, swooning ecstasy and delicate dancing
zephyrs of the third movement are lovingly handled and poised."
Rob Cowan, MusicWeb International
War and Peace -
The Oboe Band
G F Handel: Three Dance
J-B Lully: Air des Hautbois
J B de Boismortier: Sonata in G minor, Op 34/1
H Purcell: Suite from King Arthur
J P Krieger: Partita No 1 from Die Lustige Feldmusik|
G Finger: Sonata Ottava a Tre in G minor, Op 1
J C Pez: Suite in D minor
H Purcell: Suite from The Fairy Queen
The theme of this CD ensures a wide range of music, from Handel's martial Rigaudon to Boismortier's plaintive Adagio.
Henry Purcell is well represented, and this Overture from King Arthur reminds us that this really is a Band.
Less well-known composers prove their worth here, as in a Menuet by Kreiger, or this Adagio by Finger.
There is expert playing throughout, not only in this Presto by Finger. The Oboe Band consists of Sarah Humphrys, Joel Raymond, Frances Norbury and Rebecca Stockwell
playing oboes, oboe da caccia, tenor oboe and bassoon. For more on The Oboe Band, see their web site www.theoboeband.com.
A great CD to fill the house (or the iPod earphones) with the mellifluous sound of baroque
[CD number WP; time: 58:29]
"The playing is excellent throughout, with some impressive use of articulation and dynamics
in their insightful interpretations. I can assure any readers who might think that an entire CD of oboes is the sort of thing
designed to annoy the neighbours that this is far more likely to delight."
Andrew Benson-Wilson, Early Music Review
Pauline Oostenrijk (oboe) Ivo Janssen (piano)
Makoto Shinohara: Obsession (1960)
Camille Saint-Saëns: Sonata, Op 166 (1921)
Henri Dutilleux: Sonata (1947)
Francis Poulenc: Sonata (1962)|
Marcel Mihalovici: Sonatina, Op 13 (1924)
The celebrated Dutch oboist Pauline Oostenrijk gives definitive performances of three major
pieces from the oboe repertoire, and everywhere demonstrates her commitment to the music
and the instrument.
In the Saint-Saëns she exercises classical restraint; in the second movement of the Poulenc
both players generate a driving intensity; and in the Dutilleux first movement, their control
of tension is superb, a fascinating companion to Emily Pailthorpe and Julian Milford's performance on
Though Lovers be Lost.
The Sonatina by Mihalovici (a Roumanian composer living in Paris) also appears on Oboe
Classics, in a ground-breaking 1938 performance by Louis Bleuzet on The Oboe 1903-53.
In Pauline Oostenrijk's hands it is transformed - the slow movements are mysterious, the
fast ones exhilarating.
Shinohara's piece, written for a competition, really is obsessive; by the end of the
performance we are exhausted but exhilarated by the vitality, virtuosity and variety of Pauline
Oostenrijk's playing. For more on Pauline Oostenrijk, see her web site
[CD number OS; time: 57:39]
"Oostenrijk possesses a beautiful purity of tone, with grit and passion when needed."
BBC Music Magazine, awarding the performance five stars
If you'd like to check out another version of French Sonatas
(Dutilleux, Saint-Saëns, Poulenc and Koechlin)
you can get details, listen to (and buy) Australian
oboist Ben Opie's version
For more on Pipers 3, see their web site
Pipers 3 oboe trio
Mark Baigent (ob, cor anglais) Jessica Mogridge (ob, cor anglais,
kantelé) Julian West (ob, cor anglais)
Listen to any of these clips, and the first thing that strikes you is the quality of the playing. Beautifully
matched in sound, intonation, and technique, Pipers 3 are able to conjure up any number of magical
sounds. They are helped by a recording that takes advantage of a splendid church acoustic.
The classical clips are the final gigue from a four-movement Sonata by Boismortier (originally
for three flutes), and the stunningly played cor anglais variation from Beethoven's take on La ci darem.
The contemporary works are all different, from Jeux (which really is playful in spite of the
fearsome technicalities involved) to the complex rhythms of Lunn's Trio and the textures of
Kantelaridé which sound as if a whole flock of oboes has arrived. Finally, impeccable control of sound and tuning creates a haunting pibroch effect in James Macmillan's
mesmeric piece that is fully worthy to take the name of the whole CD. [CD number P3; time: 51:53]
"How often do three oboes make you believe you are listening to one?"
International Oboe Soloist
For more on new noise, see their web site
new noise - Janey Miller oboe and Joby Burgess percussion
Cameron Sinclair (b 1964): The Fly
Simon Holt (b 1958): Banshee
John Zorn (b 1953): Bith Aneth
Javier Alvarez (b 1956): Temazcal
Katharine Norman (b 1960): Insomnia
Thea Musgrave (b 1928): Niobe|
Nat Walker (b 1974): Playa del Esta
Nigel Osborne (b 1948): Botanical Studies:
Arundo donax - Silene - Mirabilis - Cucurbita - Galanthus
Jeffrey Agrell (b 1948): Blues for D.D.
"You won't find much aural wallpaper on Insomniac... Cameron Sinclair's opening track pays
homage to the old sci-fi movie The Fly. The second, Simon Holt's Banshee, turns the oboe
into a wailing monster; while Katharine Norman's Insomnia thrusts us into a
ten-minute nightmare of dark, itchy sounds smothered in electronics.
"This isn't a CD to iron shirts by. The two musicians - Janey Miller and Joby Burgess -
attack such scores with an almost frightening vigour and skill. Sour, piercing notes sail
out of Miller in breaths that never end; the Devil would appreciate Burgess's dexterity
with drums, gongs, djembes, cymbals, whip and the rest of a large arsenal."
Geoff Brown, The Times
"This disc has a freshness about it - the use of electronics combined with less conventional
percussion such as sandpaper, a whip and log drums in Cameron Sinclair's The Fly make the
music sound very distinctive and quite unique. Another highlight is the brilliant rendition
of Thea Musgrave's Niobe, which shows off Janey Miller's virtuosic technique."
"Janey Miller's exquisite oboe, Joby Burgess's virtuosic percussion and sound-blowing
electronics make new noise's Insomniac blindingly vivid for anyone with a sense of musical
Clare Mackney, The Birmingham Post
[CD number NNL1; time: 73:12]
Morceaux de Salon|
Jeremy Polmear (oboe), Diana Ambache (piano)
[If you would prefer this as a CD copy, tell us in an email when you order.]
J W Kalliwoda (1801-66)
Morceau de Salon, Op 228 (9:36)
T Lalliet (1837-92) Prelude and variations on
The Carnival of Venice, Op 20 (9:43)
J C M Widerkehr (1759-1823) Duo Sonata in E minor (16:00)
Allegro - Menuetto & Trio -
Adagio sans lenteur - Allegro
Sun Ilin and Wang Zhiwei
The Countryside is my Home (4:36)
This LP disc on the Meridian label dates from 1984. It runs at 45 rpm, and claims to be more hi-fi and with quieter surfaces than the more
usual 33⅓. Played at 33⅓ it can sound rather lugubrious! [CD number MS; total time 40:00]
"Described as 'a natural sound recording', this impressive disc from Meridian lives up to its
claim, with sound that has a sturdy solidity and clarity to it, without any hard or harsh
qualities creeping in... The two artists produce finely phrased expressive performances, devoid
of over-statement, and characterised by subtle gradations of dynamic
"Kalliwoda's Morceau de Salon is perhaps the
most musically arresting piece on the disc, and all Polmear's best
qualities are brought into play here to produce an outstanding
interpretation. Diana Ambache is a sensitive accompanist, but she is
at her best in the Widerkehr, where more subtlety of tonal and dynamic
shading are called for in the piano part... The Countryside is my
Home, a piece from the period of Red China's Cultural Revolution,
is a pleasantly lightweight bucolic item of great charm, performed with
appropriate warmth." Doug Hammond, Hi-Fi News
"... The disc offers Polmear a lot of scope to show off what he can do,
and he can do a lot... Lalliet's variations on the ubiquitous
Carnival of Venice are literally breathtaking: Polmear's
circular breathing allows him to zip through the final variation
seemingly without any intake of air... a most entertaining disc."
George Chien, Fanfare (USA)