Review by: ClassicsToday

Artistic Quality: 9

Sound Quality: 9

Whoever once quipped that the oboe was “an ill wind that nobody plays good,” probably never heard Allan Vogel. The virtuoso soloist scores points all over the place in a varied and taxing program that covers more than 200 years of music history and makes a good case both for the oboe and for the music at hand. The Britten pieces are for oboe alone and consist of musical portraits of six Roman gods. Pan is mischievous and Bacchus brings forth an image of a drunken orgy. Britten’s vignettes make their points quite clearly and Vogel perfectly captures their humour and eloquence. The oboist is joined by flautist Janice Tipton for the dry if inventive duet by W. F. Bach. Though both players give their all to the music, this piece strikes me as more to be enjoyed by performers than listeners.

The rest of the CD is devoted to music for oboe with piano accompaniment, all of it first-rate. The Poulenc Sonata, written one year before the composer’s death in 1963, is lyrical, acerbic, and poignant by turns, and it receives a most expressive performance. The warm and buoyant Schumann Romances are played with good tone and expressive care, and the Saint-Saëns is given appropriately virtuoso treatment. The recorded sound is right on the mark, with excellent balances and a perspective that is neither too close nor too far away.

Buy Now from Arkiv Music

Recording Details:

Reference Recording: none

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS - Sonata for Oboe & Piano
FRANCIS POULENC - Sonata for Oboe & Piano
BENJAMIN BRITTEN - Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for Oboe Solo
ROBERT SCHUMANN - Three Romances for Oboe & Piano
W. F. BACH - Duet for Flute & Oboe No. 4 in F
MAKOTO SHINOHARA - Obsession for Oboe & Piano

  • Allan Vogel (oboe)
    Janice Tipton (flute)
    Bryan Pezzone (piano)

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