RALPH VAUGHAN WIL­LIAMS & JAMES MACMIL­LAN Oboe Con­cer­tos (Har­mo­nia Mundi)

Pasatiempo - - PASA TIEMPOS - — James M. Keller

Bri­tish oboe play­ing used to be harsh and plan­gent. Ni­cholas Daniel has moved in a more ap­peal­ing di­rec­tion, such that he en­joys an in­ter­na­tional ca­reer work­ing as artis­tic di­rec­tor of the Le­ices­ter In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val in his na­tive Eng­land, play­ing in the Cal­i­for­nia-based cham­ber ensem­ble Cam­er­ata Paci­fica, and serv­ing as oboe pro­fes­sor at the Musikhochschule Trossin­gen in Ger­many. His in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Ralph Vaughan Wil­liams’ Oboe Con­certo out­shines oth­ers cur­rently avail­able on CD, tip­toe­ing with del­i­cacy in the cen­tral Min­uet and Musette, swirling ex­cit­edly in the Fi­nale, which works up to a wist­ful rem­i­nis­cence of “The Last Rose of Sum­mer.” The Brit­ten Sin­fo­nia as­sists in this splen­did read­ing, as well as in the Oboe Con­certo writ­ten in 2010 by Scot­tish com­poser James MacMil­lan, a fin­ger-twis­ter of a work­out for both soloist and orchestra. MacMil­lan’s style ranges broadly, as is his wont, here veer­ing into even cir­cus-like honk­ing and a brief spell of sonic chaos. The con­certo’s best ma­te­rial, and its emo­tional sum­mit, comes in the cen­tral move­ment, which Daniels’ ac­com­pa­ny­ing es­say de­scribes as a se­ries of arias re­worked from what was orig­i­nally a la­ment in re­sponse to the 9/11 at­tacks. At the CD’s end, Brit­ten’s Suite on English Folk Tunes: “A Time There Was...” sounds at once an­cient and mod­ern, with Daniel tak­ing a fi­nal solo turn as English horn soloist in the melan­choly con­clud­ing move­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.