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Souvenirs: Sublime Music for the Oboe
Joseph KOSMA Les Feuilles Mortes
Astor PIAZZOLLA Oblivion
J.S. BACH Adagio from Concerto in C minor for violin and oboe
Benedetto MARCELLO Adagio from Oboe Concerto in D minor
Sergei RACHMANINOV Vocalise
W.A. MOZART Adagio from Serenade in Bb, ‘Gran Partita’
J.C. BACH Andante from Sinfonia Concertante in Eb
J.S. BACH Sinfonia from Easter Oratorio, ‘Kommt eilet und laufet’
Antonio VIVALDI Larghetto from Oboe Concerto in C
Tomaso ALBINONI Adagio from Oboe Concerto in D minor
Leonard BERNSTEIN Maria
Reinhardt WAGNER Valse
Ross EDWARDS Love Duet from Oboe Concerto
Graeme KOENE Way out West
Carl VINE Love me sweet
Ennio MORRICONE Gabriel’s Oboe
Diana Doherty (oboe)
Sinfonia Australis/Mark Summerbell
Recorded at Goossens Hall at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation,
July 17th-20th August 4th, 2002 and January 27th-30th, March 29th 2003
ABC CLASSICS 980 046-3 [71:44]


Many artists record their own CDs these days, intended for sale at recitals and concerts, or to send to concert organisers etc. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether an issue is one such, or is intended to compete on the ‘open market’. There is often an overlap of course, but the production and packaging of the current CD is quite lavish and professional, so I have taken it be more than a mere promotional issue.

Diana Doherty is a Brisbane-born oboist, who combines an extremely even, smooth tone with great technical facility. She has been principal oboe of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra since 1997, and is clearly an accomplished, intelligent musician. Her playing on this disc is of a consistently high standard, while the accompaniments by Mark Summerbell and his Sinfonia Australis are never less than competent.

So there is much to enjoy. However, we have here, I’m afraid, another case of that dread disease that is afflicting record companies everywhere at present – Adagioitis, or Chronic Slooooow Movement Syndrome. As one long-drawn out piece followed another, I found myself tiring rapidly of Miss Doherty’s plaintive, pretty sound. Looking at the list of tracks above, you can see that at one point there is a sequence of no less than four Baroque slow movements. This is madness, and really very unfair to the players, who all perform valiantly. What a lively little number such as Barthe’s Couvre Feu could have done for this programme! I really don’t know what the thinking is behind this kind of compilation, but, whatever it is, it does a profound disservice to everyone – composer, performers, engineers, and listeners.

I am grateful, though, for the inclusion of the (slow) middle movement of Ross Edwards’ Oboe Concerto. The composer was new to me, but this is strikingly beautiful music, with an oriental flavour in the melodic lines. The movement is entitled Love Duet, and consists of a dream-like dialogue between the solo oboe and the cor anglais in the orchestra. This piece was written for Doherty, and as her husband Alexander Oguey was the cor anglais player in the première, and again in this recording, there is an especially personal quality to the music-making.

I look forward to hearing Diana Doherty again in a more judiciously varied programme!

Gwyn Parry-Jones

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