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Oboe d’Amore Concertos
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681–1767)
Concerto in G, TWV G3 (between 1725 and 1735) [17:45]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750)
Concerto in A, BWV1055 [17:04]
Concerto in D, BWV1053 [22:23]
Georg Philipp TELEMANN
Concerto in A, TWV A2 (?1717) [16:53]
Thomas Stacey (oboe d’amore)
Toronto Chamber Orchestra/Kevin Mallon
rec. 27 – 30 August 2007, St Anne’s Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada DDD
NAXOS 8.570735 [74:05]
Experience Classicsonline

Thomas Stacey is a fine player – he’s principal English hornist of the New York Philharmonic. It for was for him that Ned Rorem wrote his Concerto in 1992. Here he goes back several centuries for a very attractive programme of baroque concertos.
The two works by Telemann are true concertos for oboe d’amore. The G major work is in four movements with an easy-going and very amiable Amabile scorrendo. It is followed by a lively, and very virtuosic Allegro, with some lovely imitation. The slow movement is a serious, and beautiful, Adagio, the solo part full of ornamentation. It ends with another fast movement, full of good humour, and a dance–like feel.
The A major Concerto begins with a siciliano, very stately and proper, which is succeeded by a sprightly allegro – lots of sparkling interplay between soloist and orchestra. There is a rich slow movement, with short solos for the organ continuo, and a rustic dance brings the work to a pleasant close.
The two Bach works are reconstructions. Tovey spotted the fact that the Harpsichord Concerto BWV 1055 could in fact be an oboe d’amore Concerto. Certainly it works well for the instrument, and the opening phrase, played in the lowest register of the instrument, is quite startling. Thereafter it progresses as it should, with dialogue between soloist and ensemble. Surprisingly, the final 50 seconds of the movement - which accounts for about a quarter of the total duration - is given over entirely to the ensemble. The slow movement is one long melody, seemingly unending, for the soloist with the most discreet accompaniment. The finale is a dance.
The reconstruction of the D major Concerto is more complex, with music taken, rescued some might say, from the Cantatas Gott allein mein Herz haben, BWV 169 (the Sinfonia and an Aria) and Ich geh und such emit Verelagen, BWV 49 (the Sinfonia). On the other hand, perhaps the Concerto came first and Bach reworked the material into the Cantatas. Whatever way the music came into being it is delightful.
There is nothing profound about these works. They are simply very delightful and more colourful than one might expect.
This disk is wholly successful, the performances are bright and sprightly. However, don’t forget that because the oboe d’amore is larger than the oboe it is harder to handle and the allegros seem to be more moderato due to its not being as agile as its smaller friend. There is also a slightly darker hue to the music. That said, these are lovely works which deserve to be heard.
Stacey plays very well and is ably accompanied by the Toronto Chamber Orchestra. The harpsichord is slightly backwardly placed but is always in evidence. The recording is bright and clear and the notes good.
Bob Briggs

see also review by Simon Thompson



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