The oboe is the quintessential pastoral instrument. Capable of both incisive bite and mellifluous sweetness, it has inspired many composers to write some of their most memorable melodies.
The present recording sets Mozart’s perennial Oboe Quartet alongside two important concertos written in Norway 74 four years apart: the unjustly neglected concerto Op. 12 by Harald Sæverud (1938) and Oboe Concerto of 2012 by Ketil Hvoslef, a very recent and important addition to the repertoire. Sæverud’s evergreen Rondo amoroso, Op. 14, No. 7 (in the composer’s own arrangement for chamber orchestra, with the oboe as main instrument) completes the programme.
Hvoslef’s Oboe Concerto happens to be the very reason why this CD came to be made. The soloist, David Strunck, was involved in a performance of Hvoslef’s stunning orchestra piece Ein Traumspiel. He was so entranced by the work that he asked Hvoslef there and then whether he would write an oboe concerto for him. David Strunck writes: I am very happy that this recording now documents the result of my first meeting with Hvoslef.
There are further connections between the Hvoslef’s concerto and the other works on this CD: Mozart’s Oboe Quartet provided a strong source of inspiration for Hvoslef’s writing for the oboe, and Sæverud was Hvoslef’s father