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CD Review

Nancy Ambrose King

Plays Oboe Concertos

Nancy Ambrose King, oboe
Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra/Jeremy Swerling
CALA 1035
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The oboe is my favorite instrument. Then, too, the bagpipe is my second favorite instrument so you may want to stop reading now.

The Goosen's concerto is an interesting piece. It brings to mind Vaughan Williams, particularly "The Lark Ascending". Then, too, it also brings to mind Cyril Scott. It is a lovely work and if not memorable it is worth hearing. The notes point out that the music was written in 1927 for his brother Leon. They also provide a discussion of the work that is not technical whilst being informative.

As I listened and listened and listened to this disc I kept having a sense of ennui. I now have an operational definition of the concept. The playing and music was pleasant but (as I wrote above two weeks ago) not memorable was what finally occurred to me. To be sure I wasn't wrong I got out a recording of the Martinů concerto played by Ivan Sequardt with the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Vaclav Neumann on Supraphon 3622-2 031. Now you may think this an unfair comparison but facts are facts. The latter brings out music you just don't hear in the CALA release and phrasing that makes you feel as though Janáček had no idea what to do with Martinů. Makes you pause to wonder. I don't have comparisons at hand for the other works, but they aren't memorable and I think they can be.

Copyright © 2004, Robert Stumpf II