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Tomaso ALBINONI (1671-1751)
Complete oboe concertos, op. 7 & 9
see end of review for details
Thomas Indermühle (oboe); Jacques Tys (oboe)
I Solisti di Perugia/Paolo Franceschini
rec. Complesso Museale di Santa Croce, Umbertide, December 2006, December 2007. DDD
CAMERATA CM-20097-8 [75:14 + 50:29]

Experience Classicsonline


These are recordings of great charm and interest, featuring musicians who seem to be fully enjoying themselves.

Tomaso Albinoni is another of those underrated and neglected composers of the Italian Baroque. A slightly older contemporary of Vivaldi, and also a native Venetian, Albinoni seems to have existed at the margins of the city’s music-making establishments. Unlike the Red Priest, he never held posts at any of Venice’s churches or ospedali. Instead, he appears to have lived off his father’s paper business and been content to remain a freelance composer. His output was divided into operas and instrumental music. Virtually all of his operatic works have been lost or destroyed, leaving us with around 170 sonatas, sinfonias and concertos.

The oboe concertos on this two-disc set come from the 1715 Op. 7 set of concertos for violin, solo oboe and two oboes, and his subsequent Op. 9 collection for the same combination, published in 1722.

The first disc covers the Op. 9 works. These are more sophisticated than the Op. 7 set, and were dedicated to the Elector of Bavaria. Although influenced by Vivaldi, Albinoni continues to plough his own musical furrow. Instead of frequent ritornello passages and technical feats, we are treated to ‘straighter’ writing, and simpler, lyrical, themes for the soloist(s). At less than 11 minutes in length, the concertos are brief enough to entice repeated listening, and each one has its own engaging quality. The measured elegance of No. 2 in D minor (tracks 1-3) is immediately attractive, with its graceful adagio. No. 3 in F for two oboes (tracks 4-6) provides a template for Albinoni’s concerto-writing in general, while No. 12 in D (tracks 22-24) is given extra depth and colouring through prominent bassoon parts.

The concertos from Op. 7 are inevitably simpler and leaner. They are shorter, too, lasting little more than seven minutes at most. But they are no less attractive. Their lighter construction has the added advantage of laying bare Albinoni’s compositional technique. The concerto No. 3 in B flat major (tracks 4-6) is particularly charming.

The oboe playing by Thomas Indermühle and Jacques Tys is first class - skilful, yet relaxed. Support from I Solisti di Perugia under Paolo Franceschini is equally warm and well-paced. Their enthusiasm and affection for Albinoni’s music is clearly apparent. The sound quality too is first rate, with the harpsichord and occasional organ continuo delightfully audible, yet never distracting from the beguiling oboe lines.

John-Pierre Joyce

Details
Concerto in D minor for oboe solo and strings, Op. 9, No. 2 [10:51]
Concerto in F major for two oboes, strings and continuo, Op. 9, No. 3 [10:16]
Concerto in C major for oboe solo, strings and continuo, Op. 9, No. 5 [8:29]
Concerto in G major for two oboes, strings and continuo, Op. 9, No. 6 [7:02]
Concerto in G minor for oboe solo, strings and continuo, Op. 9, No. 8 [9:56]
Concerto in C major for two oboes, strings and continuo, Op. 9, No. 9 [9:56]
Concerto in B flat major for oboe solo, strings and continuo, Op. 9, No. 11 [10:12]
Concerto in D major for two oboes, strings and continuo, Op. 9, No. 12 [6:29]
Concerto in C major for two oboes and strings, Op. 7, No. 2 [5:07]
Concerto in B flat major for oboe solo and strings, Op. 7, No. 3 [7:12]
Concerto in C major for two oboes and strings, Op. 7, No. 5 [4:23]
Concerto in D major for oboe solo and strings, Op. 7, No. 6 [7:02]
Concerto in F major for oboe solo and strings, Op. 7, No. 9 [6:09]
Concerto in C major for two oboes and strings, Op. 7, No. 11 [6:10]
Concerto in C major for oboe solo and strings, Op. 7, No. 12 [7:10]

 


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