Classical Oboe Concertos

In this video

From around 1750, the oboe, an instrument hitherto largely used in chamber and church music, began to make its way into concert halls, and to be played by virtuoso soloists. The instrument’s construction was evolving to increase the penetration of its hi register, making it more suitable both as an orchestral and a concertante instrument. Even so, the oboe of Mozart’s day could still only play two keys, thus restricting its technical range of available music and expression. Mozart overcame those limitations most wholly successfully, as one might imagine, but none of the other works here is negligible. His friend Carl Ditters van Dittersdorf composed four concertos for the instrument and its close but obsolescent relative, the sweeter and gentler oboe d’amore, which is heard here in the A major concerto.

The first and most exuberant of three concertos by Giuseppe Ferlendis (1755 – 1810) opens the recording with pleasant and undemanding, slightly Haydnesque sequences. Then comes a greater rarity, the C major concerto by Leopold Hofmann (1738 – 1793) of more archaically Baroque cut, owing a little of its dash and brio to the Italian concertos for the instrument such as those composed by Vivaldi. In true classical style, the cadenzas for each concerto were composed/improvised by Puskunigis, who also contributes booklet notes which give valuable context to the Classical-era oboe and discuss the particularities of each composer’s writing for the instrument.

From around 1750 the oboe, an instrument hitherto largely used in chamber music and church music, began to make its way into the concert halls, and to be played by virtuoso soloists. The Oboe Concertos on this new recording represent the Classical Viennese Style, with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as its undisputed genius. Although the other composers, Ferlendis, Ditters von Dittersdorf and Hofmann are lesser known, their Oboe (or Oboe d’Amore) Concertos share the same grace, sparkle and melodious flow as Mozart’s masterwork.

Composers: Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Leopold Hofmann, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Artists: Andrius Puskunigis (oboe), St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, Donatas Katkus (conductor)

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00:00:00 Oboe Concerto in F Major, Nr. 1: I. Allegro
00:06:24 Oboe Concerto in F Major, Nr. 1: II. Adagio
00:09:11 Oboe Concerto in F Major, Nr. 1: III. Rondo, allegro con brio
00:13:04 Oboe Concerto in C Major: I. Allegro – Maestoso
00:19:22 Oboe Concerto in C Major: II. Adagio
00:25:29 Oboe Concerto in C Major: III Allegro (non) molto
00:30:57 Oboe d’amore concerto in A Major: I. Moderato
00:36:11 Oboe d’amore concerto in A Major: II. Adagio
00:41:33 Oboe d’amore concerto in A Major: III. Presto
00:44:18 Oboe Concerto in C Major, K. 314: I. Allegro aperto
00:51:32 Oboe Concerto in C Major, K. 314: II. Adagio non troppo
00:57:49 Oboe Concerto in C Major, K. 314: III. Rondo, allegretto

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