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Reviews: Oboe Collection

The MHS Review 400 VOL. 12, NO. 4 • 1988

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MHS Staff


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Trad. Spanish: Alborada; Trad.Japanese: Etenraku; Trad. Turkish [Tune]; Trad. Breton: An Dro Nevez; Anon., 13th Century: La Quinte Estampie Real; Marais: Variations on "Les Folies d'Espagne"; C.P.E. Bach: Sonata in G Minor; Kalliwoda: Morceau de Salon; Walmisley: Sonatina No. 2 in G; Gran Concerto sopra motivi dell Opera "I Vespri Siciliani" di Verdi. Robin Canter, Dulzaina, hichiriki, bombarde, zurna, treble shawm, oboes; James Wood, Traditional drums, bell & nakers; Anthony Pleeth, Cello; Melvyn Tan, Two-manual harpsichord; Richard Burnett, Pianos.

Another in the excellent and valuable series in which an instrument is demonstrated on a variety of historical and modern ex­amples. In this case, Robin Canter deploys a wide range of instruments, including some which have gone out of use in Europe but are still made and used elsewhere, and are thus probably totally "authentic." The other performers also use instruments which are contemporary with the oboe in use, thus offering every hope of a sound approximating to that known, and therefore assumed, by the composer. These range from anonymous composers--if composers as such there ever were--of an­cient traditional airs to a toe in the present century with Pasculli.

Although the historical perspective is in one sense the most important thing about this issue, the purely musical interest is very great. Robin Canter is a fine per­former, who is well supported by his col­leagues and the lovely instruments they play.

The recording follows in the enviable tradition which Gef Lucena and David Watkins have established: a constant at­tempt to obtain "the closest approach to the original sound.'' One who did not hear that original sound can never be certain; but I should be vastly surprised if this lov­ing exploration does not convey it with great fidelity. I can vouch for the fact that it falls gracefully upon the ear.

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