Haydn's Sinfonia Concertante in B flat major for violin, cello, oboe, and bassoon, Hob. 1/105, is among his most recorded works, and among his most utterly joyful. But it has rarely reached the heights of ebullience achieved in this historical-instrument reading by the small British ensemble Arcangelo and its conductor, Jonathan Cohen. The list of things to be enthusiastic about is long, but it begins with the differentiation of the instruments in the solo passages, with the period oboe and bassoon of Alfredo Bernardini and Peter Whelan, respectively, having the depth of texture to stand up to the brilliant Stradivarius violin and Guarneri cello of Ilya Gringolts (a renowned soloist in his own right) and Nicolas Altstaedt.
Alexei Ogrintchouk performs three pillars of the oboe repertoire with the support of the renowned Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and the company of three highly respected young string players in the quartet.
What I really wanted was a motor scooter, if I remember correctly. But on that memorable day when I turned 13, it turned out to be something very different: a 45-rpm record, with a touching family portrait of Wolfgang, Nannerl, and Papa Leopold on the cover of the pretty little square case.
The artistry of Holliger (b1939) prompted Evelyn Rothwell (Lady Barbirolli) to call him 'The Paganini of the oboe' Holliger's mastery of the oboe ranges over a vast expanse of repertoire, from the baroque to contemporary – Bach to Berio and Zelenka to Zimmermann. His style is notable for its flexibility, agility, integrity and ability to communicate convincingly across the wide range of repertoire he performs. Holliger has done much to champion the oboe music of composers such as Zelenka and Krommer, and has also had over 100 works composed for him by composers including Berio, Carter, Henze, Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Penderecki and Stockhausen.
…these recordings were nothing short of "must haves". While – in the intervening years – performance practices have encountered emendation and musical aesthetics have been altered, the immense musical and artistic value of these performances still holds.
Formed by members of the Britten Sinfonia, the Britten Oboe Quartet makes its debut on disc with a collection dedicated to the memory of Janet Craxton, who died in 1981, at the age of 52. She was a prominent figure in British contemporary music in the 60s and 70s and one of the founding members of the London Sinfonietta. She was also a distinguished teacher whose pupils included the quartet’s oboist, Nicholas Daniel.
A leader of the movement for historically informed performances, Jos van Immerseel has been active in performances of Renaissance and Baroque music, but he has concentrated on piano music of the Classical and Romantic eras, performing and recording much of the keyboard repertoire on period instruments. This eight-CD box set from Accent contains van Immerseel's recordings from 1979 to 1986, played on a variety of original pianofortes and modern reproductions, and with period instruments in the works for ensembles.