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Recordings to celebrate the world of the oboe

Booklets page
For those who want to know more about what they are listening to.

The links to the music use Spotify because (if you are willing to put up with Ads) this is a free service.

CD catalogue number and Title
(click number for a PDF sheet of details)
Front Cover Details

The Oboe 1903-1953

A double CD of
historic oboe recordings
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 notes are in English as a PDF file here.

To access the music on Spotify, search on 'oboe 1903'

Très Françaix

Chamber music by Jean Françaix (1912-97)

played by
Jeremy Polmear and friends
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 notes are in English et français as a PDF file here.
There is a YouTube video about this music here.

To access the music on Spotify, search on 'tres francaix'

An English Renaissance

Music for oboe and strings inspired by Léon Goossens

played by
George Caird and friends
Léon Goossens (1897-1988) was one of the best-known oboists of the 20th Century, and was a catalyst for a number of works, of which five are here.

The quality and variety of these works constitute, George Caird argues, part of a re-birth of English chamber music, particularly that featuring the oboe. George describes Goossens' special qualities, and discusses his links with each work.

The notes are in English, français und Deutsch as a PDF file here.

To access the music on Spotify, search on 'george caird'

Balkan Bolero

Chamber Music of
Isidora Žebeljan

played by
Borislav Čičovači
(oboe, oboe d'amore, cor anglais, oboe sopile)
and ensemble
Borislav Čičovači writes about his wife's background of Serbian, Romanian, Hungarian and Gypsy music, and also popular music and jazz; and how she fuses these disparate elements into a recognisable style.

He also looks at how she took the possibilities of the oboe and cor anglais, and stretched them to create music of extraordinary power.

The notes are in English as a PDF file here.

To access the music on Spotify, search on 'cicovacki' (no accents)

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