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This CD is one of those charming collections which works well for evening listening without proving very challenging – but none the worse for that.
The two Dutch players were unknown to me. Pauline Oostenrijk is principal oboist of the Residentie Orchestra as well as a soloist and chamber musician. On the evidence of this disc, she combines secure playing with sensitive musicality. She performs frequently with Enno Voorhorst. He has received a string of honours and has particular insight into the work of Barrios Mangoré. The Paraguayan composer was, like Villa-Lobos, indebted to Bach: Hommage à Bach, heard here, is a lovely tribute. A more significant piece, also influenced by Bach is La Catedral, for solo guitar, which may be heard on Naxos 8.555718, played by Voorhorst.
The two Barrios works are, like all the other works, except for José Mora-Jiménez’s Echoes (which was written for and dedicated to these performers in 2016), arrangements of more or less well-known composers. The Piazzolla pieces seem to gain some depth in the arrangements, and the selection here provides a useful introduction to any newcomer to his music. The CD provides also a useful, very tuneful introduction to less familiar Latin American composers, from a range of countries: Barrios from Paraguay, Mora-Jiménez from Puerto Rico, Piazzolla and Gismonti from Argentina, Villa-Lobos from Brazil. Only Morricone stands out as a European exception - Cordero, though New York born, grew up in Puerto Rico. His two songs, Dos canciones sentimentales were originally for voice and guitar but work well here with the oboe d’amore in place of the human voice.
I look forward to more duets from these accomplished players. Production values are high, though occasionally microphones seem to have been placed a little too closely to the instruments, with mechanism and breathing sometimes audible. But this takes nothing from a most enchanting and elegant recital.
Contents Ernesto CORDERO (b.1946)
(From Dos Canciones Sentimentales) Entre guitarra y voz (oboe d’amore) [2.02] Astor PIAZOLLA (1921-1992)
Tango nr.2 (tango suite) (oboe d’amore) [4.37]
Tanti Anni Prima [5.07]
Café 1930 [6.36] Agustín BARRIOS MANGORÉ (1885-1944)
Hommage à Bach [1.44] Astor PIAZZOLLA
Triston (cinco piezas) (oboe d’amore) [4.59] Agustín BARRIOS MANGORÉ
Villancico de Navidad [2.45] Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
Bachianas Brasilieras nr.5 [4.13]
Andantino (estudio nr.5) (oboe d’amore) [2.33]
Modéré (studio nr. 8) [2.55]
Modinha (oboe d’amore) [2.23] Egberto GISMONTI [b.1947]
Sete Anéis [3.06]
Agua e Vinho (oboe d’amore) [4.09] José MORA-JIMÉNEZ (b.1977)
Echoes [4.50] Ernesto CORDERO
(From Dos Canciones Sentimentales) Renunciar (oboe d’amore) [2.54] Astor PIAZZOLLA
Libertango [2.11] Ennio MORRICONE (b.1928)
Gabriel’s Oboe [3.16]