MONDAY, September 7, 2020 – 10:14 AM
Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto in D major
- 0:08 – I. Allegro moderato – D major: With only 2 flutes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in addition to strings this is an intimate piece with the feel of modern chamber music
- 9:34 – II. Andante: The 2nd movement flows from the 1st movement so subtly that only the key change and tempo change signals when it happen
- 18:23 – III. Vivace – Allegro: There is no break between movements, so exactly where one movement ends and the next begins is up to the listener. There is a fairly long interconnecting section between the last two movements.
Eugene Izotov (born 1973) is a Russian-born oboist and recording artist. In addition to being recognized as one of the world’s premiere orchestral oboists, Izotov has been awarded top prizes at international competitions for solo oboists in Moscow (1990), Saint Petersburg (1991), New York (1995) and the First Prize at the 2001 Fernand Gillet International Oboe competition.
I found his name looking up the most popular oboists according to other players, then I found this recording and immediately fell in love with his sound, which totally pleases me.
oboe solo, 2 flutes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, and strings.
Richard Strauss, who was born in 1864 only a bit after Lincoln died, lived to be 85 years old in 1949 and so was still alive when I was born. The Concerto in D major for Oboe and Small Orchestra was written by Richard Strauss in 1945, near the end of his life when he was 81 years old. This points out yet again that creation and genius has no age limits.
A miniature from a many who wrote long, complicated music…
Possibly the most famous music of Strauss today is his opening to “Also sprach Zarathustra”, made famous in Kubrik’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”. It’s the opening music in the film and went viral. Today everyone knows this music. But my favorite piece by Strauss is his “Don Juan Overture”. Here the music is compact and understated, as if the composer was discovering a new style very late in his life.
Dedicated to John de Lancie, the father of “Q”…
You can’t make up facts as strange as reality. Anyone who ever watched Star Trek New Generation knows about Q, the omnipotent being who plays games with Captain Picard and the Enterprise. It turns out that he is the son of John Sherwood de Lancie, who once was the principle oboist under Reiner when he was still with Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra. So we go from a time right after Lincoln to Reiner, one of the giants of 20th century conducting, to the father of Q, and now Patrick Steward is back for the 3rd year of a new series about Jean Luke Picard, in the new Start Trek series “Discovery”.
It is not, unfortunately, the whole piece, but you can hear from this that de Lancie deserved the honor bestowed upon him by Strauss!
In fact, the whole concerto is online with de Lancie, but it is inexplicably cut into four files. Maybe someday I’ll find the whole thing in one file and post it, but the whole concerto is here.