Ten Favorite Pieces for Oboe

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New York Public Radio's resident oboist picks his favorite works for the instrument.

Ralph Vaughan-Williams - Oboe Concerto
Recording pick: Maurice Bourgue, oboe with the English String Orchestra conducted by William Boughton (Nimbus Records)

Jan Dismas Zelenka - Trio Sonata for 2 Oboes, Bassoon and Basso Continuo No. 5 in F, ZWV 181
Recording pick: Heinz Holliger and Maurice Bourgue, oboes with Klaus Thunemann, bassoon (ECM Records)

Richard Strauss – Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra in D major
Recording pick: Hansjorg Schellenberger, oboe with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by James Levine (Deutsche Grammophon)

Vincent D’Indy – Fantasy on French folk tunes for orchestra and solo oboe, Op. 31
Recording pick: Lajos Lencses, oboe with the Berlin Radio Orchestra conducted by Hans E. Zimmer (Capriccio)

Georg Philipp Telemann – Concerto for Oboe and Strings # 18 in D minor
Recording pick: Thomas Indermuhle, oboe with the English Chamber Orchestra (Novalis)

Benedetto Marcello – Oboe Concerto in C minor
Recording pick: Senia Trubashnik, oboe with the Grand Orchestra Radio/Television Luxemburg conducted by Kurt Redel (Astoria)

Bohuslav Martinu – Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra
Recording pick: Ingo Goritzki, oboe with the Polish Chamber Philharmonic conducted by Wojciech Rajski (Claves)

Francis Poulenc – Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano
Recording pick: Francois Leleux, oboe with Jean-Francois Duquesnoy, bassoon and Emmanuel Strosser, piano (Harmonia Mundi)

Johann Sebastian Bach – Sonata in C major for Oboe and Continuo, BWV 1033
Recording pick: Hansjorg Schellenberger, oboe with Margit-Anna Suss, harp and Klaus Stoll, bass (Campanella)

Srul Irving Glick – Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1987)
Recording pick: Aaron Cohen, oboe with Diana Torbert, piano (ACP)

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Comments [10]

Jeremy Polmear from London UK

I notice people are asking about European oboists.

I run a CD label from London with lots of them (and some Americans too, including Tabuteau). If Aaron Cohen wants some complimentary CDs to play on the station, I'm happy to supply. Janet Craxton is mentioned, I've got a whole CD of hers. Just browse www.oboeclassics.com and let me know.

Feb. 09 2016 10:22 AM
David Cyzak from West Hartford, CT

Great list, I wasn't aware of a few of these recordings. I especially enjoy learning from Goritzki's playing. The composer Srul Irving Glick was completely new to me, and a Canadian to boot! Thank you for this list.

In response to “Jimmie from Hollywood”, here is a list of contemporary and historically important female oboists of the highest order. These players’ skill sets cover the successful pursuit of the oboe as a grandé force in solo, chamber, orchestral, opera, and contemporary performing. Their dedication to performing, teaching, and premiering new works adds to the importance of their already extensive accomplishments. To find out more about their carriers I highly recommend you search their work out on google, amazon, & itunes.

Janet Craxton, Evelyn Rothwell, Linda Strommen, Nancy Ambrose King, Erin Hannigan, Elaine Douvas, Emily Pailthorpe, Rebecca Henderson, Sarah Francis, Christina Joyance Boughton, Katherine Needleman, Helen Jahren.

Also the prowess and ability of the lady oboist can not be denied, especially when one considers the possibility that many of Antoni Vivaldi’s extremely challenging oboe concerto’s were written for, and performed by, the orphans of the Ospedale dell Piéta. Such skill and ability must never go unnoticed or unrewarded.

David Cyzak

Dec. 31 2011 11:49 AM
JImmie from Hollywood

Just browsed through wikis list of Oboe Players. Not too many chicks play the Oboe.... what's up with that?

Nov. 29 2011 10:54 PM
Elan Cameron from Toronto, Canada

I remember hearing you practice. I am glad to hear more of your recordings. This piece is awesome. I am gratified that you continue to inspire through music.

Dec. 21 2010 09:40 PM
Alan from Chelsea

I'd add Vaughn Williams, Ten Blake Songs, Ian Partridge tenor and Janet Craxton oboe. She made too few recordings. And Britten, Metamorphoses, but I don't know which is my favorite.

Nov. 29 2010 09:37 PM
Sharman Piper from Anchorage

Have you heard Eric Ewazen's "Down a River of Time" oboe concerto with strings? I think it's abolutely beautiful. Premiered in 1999 by Linda Strommen.

Nov. 18 2010 09:33 PM
Aaron Cohen from New York, NY

Thanks for your comments. Here are answers to your questions:

What about the Mozart Concerto, Quartet and Saint Saens Sonata?
This is a list of my personal favorite pieces as opposed to the most popular ones. I do love the Mozart and Saint Saens material, they are great pieces, just not on my personal top ten list.

Why are all the recommended recordings of European oboists?
That wasn't intentional, just the way it turned out when I went to find my favorite recordings.
Most people don't know that there is a HUGE difference in playing styles between European and American players. Marcel Tabuteau taught an entire generation of American players to have a very distinct sound, an influence that still dominates American orchestras today. But, in my opinion, Tabuteau was an orchestral musician and I think his style fits best in an orchestral setting. I guess I prefer European players for the solo repertoire and American players for the orchestral repertoire. If I had to list recordings of my favorite orchestral works with big oboe solos, they'd probably all be American orchestras.

Is the recording of the Besozzi your own?
Yes, I recorded this in 1994. If you would like to hear more, both my CDs are available here:

Thanks again for your comments,


Nov. 18 2010 02:20 PM
xe from out west

Re: the Besozzi recording you posted, if it is your performance, it is beautiful!

Nov. 16 2010 01:42 PM
xe from out west

Other than your own recording of Srul Glick's work, why are your "picks" all of European oboists?
Are there not any favorites done by American oboists, with a Tabuteau sound?
I think your non-oboist readers need to be aware of the differences.
Who's recording is the Besozzi?

Nov. 16 2010 01:38 PM
Alan from Chelsea

Mozart Concerto K 314 and Quartet K 370.and St Saens sonata would be the uncontroversial inclusions (and thus controversial omissions). Bach 1033 is flute sonata, but I guess oboists can steal

Nov. 15 2010 08:06 AM

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