This is Pauline Oostenrijk’s 4th DSD release at NativeDSD on the Cobra Records label. In 2020, Pauline Oostenrijk surprised listeners with the album The Notes Are Swallows from Cobra Records (also available at NativeDSD Music), on which she can be heard not only as an oboist, but also as a pianist.
With Fantasia! Dialogue for One she continues on this path. This time with the magnificent Fantasias by Georg Philipp Telemann. In these short, varied solo pieces, written in a free form without a fixed structure, dialogues are constantly taking place. In the Fantasias for piano (originally for harpsichord), these are dialogues between the left and right hands.
In the Fantasias for oboe (originally for flute) the dialogues are suggested in a refined way. The alternation between oboe and piano also creates a dialogue between the two instruments on the album, and between Pauline as an oboist and Pauline as a pianist. A multi-layered dialogue for one person.
Pauline takes this idea further in the album booklet, with ‘dialogues for one person’ in the form of letters she wrote to deceased souls. She addresses souls without whom, in her words, ‘this album would never have sounded the way it does’.
The last track of the album contains a Postludium In Memoriam for oboe, created by Pauline on the basis of themes and motifs from Telemann’s Fantasias for piano. “A tribute,” she writes, “to the departed souls I miss and with whom I regularly have ‘dialogues for one person’.”
In Fantasia! Dialogue for One, Pauline Oostenrijk once again uses her versatility, resulting in an even more personal document than the previous release.
This album was made possible with financial support from SENA Muziekproductiefonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and with private donations via the Voordekunst.nl crowd funding website in The Netherlands. The cost of recording, hall rental, rental and tuning of the grand piano, editing and finishing the recordings, pressing of the CDs and design and printing of the CD booklet will be over €9,000. A small part of this amount is covered by a subsidy from SENA. A total of €9,413 was raised from music listeners on the Voordekunst.nl crowd funding website.
Pauline Oostenrijk – Oboe & Piano
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:02:02
Acoustic Revive Interlink Cables
This album was made possible with financial support from SENA Muziekproductiefonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and with private donations via the Voordekunst.nl crowd funding website in The Netherlands.
Brüel & Kjaer 4003, Neumann modified by Rens Heijnis
|Original Recording Format
Westvest90 in Schiedam, The Netherlands on August 23, 24 & 25, 2021
|February 24, 2022
It has a slightly hallucinatory effect, a superior recording of a virtuoso oboist who tells fascinating stories in the perfect acoustics of the Westvestkerk in Schiedam, which is so popular as a recording location…. What she does on the oboe is extremely fascinating. Take the Fantasia in e TWV 40:9. Beautiful, lonely music full of daring jumps, played flawlessly, rhythmically free and full of nuance.
Singingly, the oboist Oostenrijk allows the melody lines in the traverso pieces breathe infinity: the music seems to go on, even when the human ear has long ceased to hear anything. Against this floating character the piano stands like a tree: playful, thoughtful, sad, but always with its roots in the ground.
In these performances of some of Telemann’s magnificent Fantasies, oboist and pianist Pauline Oostenrijk is a delightful guide. These are performances to savor, made even more enjoyable with the excellent sound quality provided by recording engineer Tom Peeters in DSD256.
Each time I listen to a recording by Pauline Osstenrijk, I feel privileged by an invitation to a very personal, very intimate, engagement with her music. Her performances are just that way. In this her fourth release from Cobra Records, Oostenrijk has continued to gain confidence to perform for us on piano, complementing her superb musicianship as an oboist. For twenty-five years was the principal oboist for the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague. Today she teaches at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and pursues an active chamber music schedule of performances. Composers such as Louis Andriessen (To Pauline O) and Arne Werkman have written compositions for her. The point of mentioning all of this is to illustrate that she is an artist of some stature and well worth investing some of your time to hear.
And Fantasia! is a nice place to begin your acquaintance if you’ve not found her already. Telemann’s Fantasies are demanding works. They are not mindless table music. Indeed, they require consummate musicianship with quite frequent virtuosity. When a perform can provide this, they are sublime. And Oostenjijk delivers in spades.
Telemann composed his Fantasies for transverse flute. Pauline Oostenrijk plays them on a modern oboe. His Fantasies for harpsichord are played on a modern Steinway grand piano. Does any of this matter? Not for me. Not if one’s interest is in the music and provided one is willing to experience the very different sonorities these modern instruments provide.
The sound quality on this recording is once again magnificent. Tom Peeters, founder of Cobra Records, is an excellent recording engineer whose new releases I am always eager to hear. In this recording, Tom achieves his signature balance of placing instruments in a realistic sounding, natural acoustic space. There is fine resolution of detail with a spaciousness to the sound that is addictive, for both solo piano and solo oboe. I listened to both the binaural and stereo versions of this recording. Each superb in their distinctive ways.
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