Oboe Quartet No. 2* (1945)
Allegro giocondo - Andante languendo -
Allegro scherzando - Allegro molto
Two Pieces for oboe and piano (1937)
Somerset Pastorale - The Passing of the Faerie*
Three Songs without Words for oboe quartet (1937)
Whence! - Faery Flout - Barcarolle
Portrait* (flute, oboe and piano)
Andante carezzevolmente - Gay and capricious -
Allegro appassionato - Slow and dreamy
Greensleeves* for oboe quartet (c. 1939-45)
Oboe Quartet No. 1 (1932)
Allegro vivace - Allegro giocoso - Andante con variazione
An asterisk indicates a première recording. Total time 57".
and notes on the instruments used in these historically informed performances.
Mark Baigent (oboe) studied with Robin Canter at the Royal Northern College of Music. There he focused on period performance practice on the baroque & classical oboe, and studied contemporary music on modern oboe, performing Berio's Sequenza VII and getting a comment from the composer that it was the best performance of the work he had heard.
Mark has continued performing contemporary music with his oboe trio Pipers 3 in festivals and music clubs throughout the UK, and with his collection of over 20 period oboes has had a busy career performing orchestral music in projects from Bach to Stravinsky throughout the world with leading period instrument orchestras including the English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Kings Consort, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Classical Opera in International festivals, concert halls, opera houses and theatres, on radio and on TV.
Another of Mark's passions has been performing English music from the turn of the 20th Century on an oboe from 1901, and whilst at college he gave the first performance of Alan Rawsthorne's Oboe Quartet No. 2 since its première. In 2014, having been approached by Ian Boughton of The Rutland Boughton Music Trust, Mark performed Boughton's Oboe Quartet No. 2 at Glastonbury as part of the centenary celebrations, which led to this recording.
Sophie Barber (violin) is a freelance player in predominantly historically-informed ensemble and orchestras including Sounds Baroque, the English Concert, The Sixteen and the Musical and Amicable Society. She also enjoys playing in theatrical productions at Shakespeare's Globe in London. Sophie is a founder member of the Boscobel String Quartet which focuses on performing repertoire from the Classical and Early Romantic periods. Sophie lives near Hitchin and has given recitals at its annual Festival.
Chian Lim (viola) was a prize-winning student at the Royal College of Music. He plays regularly with the Marias Ensemble and was a member of the Dowdeswell Piano Quartet. He has broadcast with the Endymion Ensemble and Lontano on BBC Radio 3 and has performed at the Wigmore Hall. He has performed with the English Chamber Orchestra and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, and has been guest Principal Viola with the City of London Sinfonia, Royal Ballet Sinfonia and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for whom in 2014 he became one of its Board of Directors.
Stephen Orton (violoncello) studied with William Pleeth at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he met fellow cellist Paul Thomson (aka conductor William Boughton). In 1985 Stephen became Principal 'Cello with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and has performed as a concerto soloist many times with the orchestra. He has been Principal 'Cello with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, the City of London Sinfonia, and for many years a member of the Delmé Quartet. He has acted as Guest Principal Cello with the London Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia. Since 2013 has has played with the Chilingirian Quartet.
Eva Caballero (flute) was born in Spain and is now based in London where she freelances in chamber music ensembles and orchestras including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the English Baroque Soloists and the Armonico Consort. Eva performs with wooden flutes from the baroque period to the modern day and has given recitals at the Handel House Museum, Raynham Hall, the Wallace Collection and at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Collaborating with dance and theatre companies, she has worked on improvisation and modern techniques, performing in the Tête-á-Tête Opera Festival and the IV Festival Atelier in Poland.
Michael Jones (piano) studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire. His broad career spans over 40 years of varied and challenging repertoire. From 1974 to 1985 he was pianist and chamber music coach for the Anglo-German Youth Music-Weeks and has given a number of recitals in Berlin. He made his London recital debut at the Purcell Room in 1983 and has performed all the Piano Trios by Beethoven, Brahms and Dvorak with Trio Maggiore in 2001/2. He has also played arrangements of music by Elgar and currently champions the music of Edgar Bainton (a close friend of Boughton), whose recordings they share on the Dutton Epoch label.
Paul Arden Taylor (producer/engineer) was a pupil of Janet Craxton at the Royal Academy of Music and was awarded four diplomas and the Leila Bull Oboe Award. At the request of the conductor William Boughton, he hand-picked a wind section for the English Symphony Orchestra and played principal oboe with them for over 30 years. A strong interest in the technical aspect of recording eventually led him to combine his performing career with work as an independent engineer and producer. He has produced recordings for several commercial labels including SOMM, Nimbus and Alto, as well as with his own label Dinmore Records. He was recording engineer for a joint project with the British Music Society and The Rutland Boughton Music Trust for a CD of Boughton Songs issued in 2006 (BMS431CD).
An introduction to the Programme Notes by Ian Boughton:
Of Rutland Boughton's eight children, some became established musicians in their own right. His daughters Ruby (1904-1952) and Estelle (1907-1972) from his marriage to Florence Hobley were singers. His children by his third partner Kathleen Davis were daughter Jennifer (1928-2001), also a singer, and son Brian (b1927) who took up the trumpet and for whom Boughton completed and dedicated his Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in 1943.
Christina Joyance or "Joy" Boughton (1913-1963), born to Boughton's second partner Christina Walshe, became one of the most accomplished oboists of her generation. Joy had begun playing at an early age and was a pupil of Léon Goossens at the Royal College of Music (RCM) where her very close friends were Marjorie Trevelyan and Margaret Eliot, and later was appointed a Professor, a position sadly she was unable to fulfill due to illness. She was also friends with Helen Gaskell, Natalie Caine and Evelyn Rothwell (Lady Barbirolli). In 1964, after her untimely death the previous year, many people wanted her name commemorated, and support for the establishment of a "Joy Boughton Memorial Prize Fund" administered by the RCM was raised. This had the signatories of Benjamin Britten, Léon Goossens, Janet Craxton, Evelyn Rothwell, Helen Gaskell and Marjorie Trevelyan.
It was for Joy that Benjamin Britten composed his Six Metamorphosis after Ovid, Op. 49 in 1951 - a piece that she recorded later for the BBC (now available on Oboe Classics CC2017). She also played in Britten's orchestra at Aldeburgh.
Besides the chamber pieces that appear on this disc, Boughton also completed two oboe concertos, the first of which he dedicated to Joy who gave the first performance in 1937 at a concert in Oxford with the Boyd Neel String Orchestra. As a result of its opening success, Léon Goossens took the work to Salzburg where it received a triumphant response, and is published by Boosey & Hawkes. The following February, Goossens played it again in a broadcast with the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra. When Boughton heard this he sent a note of appreciation to Goossens saying "Now I want to hear you do the Number 2", the piece he dedicated to Goossens. He gave the first performance of the second concerto in 1943 at the Wigmore Hall but it has only been performed in public on one occasion since.
"I enjoyed every bar of this beautifully recorded and played exploration of Rutland Boughton's contribution to chamber music featuring the oboe. Let us hope that the CD kick-starts further investigation into the composer's considerable catalogue of music. Certainly every piece on this disc ought to be in oboists' repertoire."
John France, MusicWeb International
"As this recording so richly reveals, Rutland Boughton was by any standards an important composer for the oboe.
"Mark Baigent must be congratulated on this fascinating recording... he captures the character of Boughton's music perfectly, playing with a beautiful sound and many insightful nuances. There is humour and charm throughout, reflected in fine playing from all the artists here recorded." George Caird, Double Reed News (UK). The full review is here
"This is a delightful new CD... The playing is always warm and mellow, Boughton's sometimes tooth-sucking harmonies adding just the right amount of musical condiment to beautifully-wrought scores.
"I do hope that it will go some way to reinstating Rutland Boughton in the hearts and minds of listeners... I commend it most highly. 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. The full review is on facebook as The Fish Course.
"The Oboe Quartet No. 2 (1945)... opens with bustling strings and a folk-like pastoral melody suggesting a stroll through the English countryside. Mark Baigent delivers the glorious oboe melodies with a deliciously singing tone, and executes assured, deft handling of the oboe's range from extreme ethereal heights to beautifully rounded low notes... the string players perform with a consistent cohesive sonority in a manner that is fluent and persuasive, effectively realising the unceasing vivacious, ebulliant and playful character of the music." Jane Downer, Australian Double Reed Society
"This is a very nice CD of Rutland Boughton oboe works! I especially like RB the scherzo writer; the allegro giocoso in the First Quartet; the finale in the Second; but I was most taken with the Flute/Oboe/Piano "Portrait": harmonically and atmospherically very interesting. I hope it sells well." Roger Savage, Edinburgh, UK
"The disc gave me great pleasure. The works themselves are skilfully conceived and typical of RB's attractive and accessible style. All the pieces are performed with accuracy and great beauty of tone by Mark Baigent who is well supported by his colleagues. In particular the Quartet No 2 came off extremely well. One cannot but wonder why this repertoire is not more frequently heard." Brendan Sadler, UK