One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Buy through MusicWeb for £14.60 postage paid.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contactfor details

Purchase button

Oboe Concertos
Hugo SCHUNCKE (1823-1909)

Concerto for oboe and orchestra in A minor (1845) [24.23]
Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931)

Fantasy Pieces for oboe and string orchestra Op.2 [4.07 plus 2.40]
Johann Wenzelaus KALLIWODA (1801-1866)

Morceau de Salon Op.28 [10.01]
Josef Guy ROPARTZ (1864-1955)

Pastorale and Dances for oboe and orchestra [10.06]
Lajos Lencses (oboe)
Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, SWR/Bernhard Güller
Recorded Stuttgart, SWR, Funkstudio, March 2001 and February 2002
CAPRICCIO 67 134 [51.48]


To say a disc is undemanding but enjoyable is often a criticís shorthand indication of a tepid hourís worth of listening Ė but in this case itís nothing less than the truth. There is a degree of variety here Ė from the early Romanticism of Schuncke to the bucolic fantasy of Ropartz.

Schuncke was the brother of the more famous Ludwig, a friend of Schumann whose journalism gave him widespread renown. Hugo seems to have limited his career to Stuttgart and remains little known. The Oboe Concerto is a sturdy construct from the early high watermark of Romanticism. Itís cast in three movements full of cantabile and quasi-vocalised warmth and with adrenalin pumping coloratura opportunities for the soloist, especially in the long-ish opening movement. The central slow movement has an easy lyrical cast, nothing terribly distinctive but certainly well crafted. I donít think itís uncharitable to note that it could just as easily be a violin concerto Ė Schuncke was actually a fiddle player and pianist Ė and thereís not much that makes it unavoidably a concerto for oboe other than perhaps a degree of novelty. But the bolero finale is certainly a surprise, well nuanced, though not one that comes close to solving the Romantic finale dilemma; itís overlong and not climactic enough. Still, itís a work worth hearing once in a while.

Nielsenís early Fantasy Pieces are here played in the version for oboe and string orchestra and work well though the first is a rather diffuse effort. The second, a Humoresque, is much more genially capricious Ė light music at its finest. Kolliwoda was a Bohemian born composer and conductor admired by Schumann. He spent much of his working life in Karlsruhe and Donaueschingen and seems to have excelled in rhythmic verve if his Concert piece is anything to go by - full of trills and roulades and quasi-operatic excess it really tests the soloistís agility and control, adding little Viennese dances for the accompanying string orchestra for full measure.

Finally we move into the twentieth century with Ropartz, something of an interloper in this company, it must be said. From folk-like cantilena and burnished, auburn strings and winds to a perky, adroitly orchestrated dance this is a delicious ten-minute piece; aerial and athletic. Overwhelmingly warm and lyric it also manages the tricky feat of coalescing the material satisfactorily.

Throughout the orchestra and soloist, the mercurial and agile Lajos Lencses play with finesse and authority Ė and no little charm. So undemanding it is Ė but enjoyable, certainly.

Jonathan Woolf

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.