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BACH, J.S.: Oboe Concertos
BWV 1053, 1055 / Concerto for Oboe and Violin, BWV 1060

Alexei Ogrintchouk, Alina Ibragimova,
Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Ogrintchouk


This is a fine compilation of concertos which might have been... Geoffrey Burgess explores the anomalous absence of major works for oboe in J S Bach's published oeuvre, and these are all convincing reconstructions; only the Adagio from the Easter Oratorio is unquestionably "justifiably included" [Geoffrey Burgess], but, no matter, this makes a great disc, featuring one of today's finest younger oboists (he was a BBC New Generation Artist) and, for the double concerto, a noted violinist of the younger generation.

Enjoy them in a background video, made with the orchestra during a recording session at Örebro from which I copy a still, R.

A delightful disc, an obligatory purchase for all oboists and one for everyone to enjoy.

Peter Grahame Woolf



Marc-André Dalbavie
Oboe Concerto

(BBC/Borletti-Buitoni Trust co-commission: world premiere)

Stravinsky Dumbarton Oaks Concerto
Prokofiev Symphony No 6 in E flat minor

Alexei Ogrintchouk oboe
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Jiří Bělohlávek

Barbican, London, 17 December 2010

An enterprising programme of rarely heard music brought only a moderate audience to the Barbican, but it was taken live on Radio 3 for listeners at home, including some concertgoers who might have been deterred by the wintry weather and transport disruptions.

Marc-André Dalbavie (b. 1961) will have been an unfamiliar name to many of us, and his music likewise in UK, although he is well established as a follower of the 'spectralists' and as a composer with electronics in Europe and USA etc and has been featured in the Proms.

A pity, therefore, that tonight's expectant audience had only a single 13-minutes piece with which to welcome him back to London.

The very detailed programme notes told of the concerto's multiple influences from music's history and of a complex structure, but most of the detail signposted by the commentator failed to register, so we relaxed, settling down to enjoy the attractive surface of the piece, supported by a fairly large orchestra, with brass and percussion often prominent, but reduced strings.

Ogrintchouk evinced confidence with a good platform manner (not one of those balletic instrumentalists !) and complete command of his difficult showy part, its flurries of scalic patterns delivered with high virtuosity, supplemented by chordal features drawn from the oboe's extended repetoire of sounds (as are being systematised by Chris Redgate of the RAM). There were delectable quieter combinations within the orchestra - harp and piano featured.

The new piece, and its composer, were warmly greeted, but the interval left us wishing that this not long BBC concert might have given us a little more Dalbavie before the Prokofiev which (as too the now infrequently played favourite Stravinsky of mine) sounded terrific in the warm acoustic of The Barbican. Perhaps one day Marc-André Dalbavie will qualify for one of those "Immersion" events which the BBC puts on from time to time, e.g. Ferneyhough's next February?

Peter Grahame Woolf

Hear this concert on BBCR3 Listen Again for a week.

I have done so, and found that during the interval of the broadcast the composer had given radio listeners a really helpful introduction, stressing his source model in the extravagant fripperies of the virtuoso composer Antonio Pasculli of a type familiar from coloratura sopranos in operas of the period.

Insulated perhaps from that repertoire, Dalbavie was amazed by Pasculli flourishes and arabesques being practised in a neighbouring hotel room; hear an example on my link (something very similar for the clarinet was on SkyArts2 from Emma Johnson this morning !). With the oboe miked a little more forward, the new concerto made a better impression from the radio, and it should make a welcome item on a Dalbavie CD soon?