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Seen & Heard
Editor in Chief
Oboe+: Berio & Beyond
Christopher REDGATE (b.
'……sting of the bee' (2006) [5:30]
Roger REDGATE (b. 1958)
'Ausgangspunkte' (1982) [11:26]
Michael YOUNG (b. 1968)
'Argrophylax' (2004) [19:37]
'Pavasiya' (1981) [14:35]
Sam HAYDEN (b. 1968)
'Recoil' (2001) [9:33]
Luciano BERIO (1925-2003)
'Sequenza VII' (1969) [8:00]
Christopher Redgate (oboe; oboe
Roger Redgate (violin)
Julian Warburton (percussion)
rec. Coombehurst Studio, Kingston University, London, 13-15 July 2006.
OBOE CLASSICS CC2015 [68:58]
This is hardcore modernism, played
with considerable virtuosity by Christopher Redgate and his
The Berio is a useful reference
point for the listener, and in some ways it would have been
helpful if this had opened the disc. However, it also makes
quite good sense to end by anchoring the newer compositions
to their influences in this way.
The soloist himself describes
as the music as "extreme oboe music" and his helpful
and extensive accompanying notes introduce "the new
sounds". Further information is also available on the
together with samples from the CD (in mp3 format).
One of the techniques showcased particularly in the first
-- is circular breathing as used also by jazz musicians such
as the saxophonist Evan Parker.
The second work, Ausgangspunkte
(Points of Departure) was written specially
for Christopher Redgate - who plays
it here - and he describes it as the
most difficult work in the repertoire.
Unlike some of the other pieces on this
disc it has no improvised sections but
considerable parts of it require playing
outside the official range of the instrument.
This creates intensity and a sense of
tension even in the slower tempo sections.
The third track, by Michael Young
- who also produces and edits the recording - involves interactive
computer accompaniment with which the live soloist has a
constant dialogue. The oboe part is a mixture of written
score and improvised freedom.
This is followed by a piece by
the better known British composer Michael Finnissy, a Professor
of Music at Southampton University, who has written considerably
for the oboe. It involves both oboe and oboe d'amore, alternating
with one another six times during the piece. It takes inspiration
from Hopi Indian mythology and its idea of breath - the link
to wind instruments - being fundamental to creation. Multiphonics
are introduced only at the very end of the piece; in this
respect differing from most of the other works on the disc.
The next work, Recoil by
Sam Hayden, is by contrast made up largely of multiphonics,
some distorted by flutter-tonguing. It is almost exclusively fortissimo and
has a hard-edged sound. It is written at least partly as
a tribute to Iannis Xenakis in the year of his death, and
takes inspiration from some of that composer’s percussion
The disc closes with Berio's Sequenza
VII, which has become a seminal modern work for oboists.
Those with an interest in this type of music may well already
own at least one recording of it. It has been interesting
to compare this performance with that by Laszlo Hadady
of Ensemble Intercontemporain which forms part of Deutsche
Grammophon's complete set (457 038-2) of the Sequenzas;
this has a fresher and more immediate feel - in fact the
sound of keys moving is audible!
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