Ola Gjeilo: Ubi Caritas

A very fine oboist, Samuel Bastos, has died in Switzerland. His biographyshows how much he accomplished at such a young age. He was only 32. What a sad loss.

Samuel Bastos, 1º movement Phoenix Concerto, Op. 102 – Paul Patterson
Winner of the Gillet-Fox Oboe Competition 2017 at the IDRS in Appleton, E.U.A, final concert

A. Lotti – Concerto for Oboe d’amore in A major – Samuel Bastos & Sinfonietta de Braga

Amazing Grace, arr. Rasmus Krigström and Doug Harrington
Zero8 Chorus

And c’mon … you have got to be kidding me!

But as to the solos: the English horn is a seriously underrated instrument. It’s the viola of the double reed family (with oboe, bassoon, and contrabassoon being the violin, cello, and double bass, respectively). And like its stringed cousin, it seldom gets much respect, with precious little solo repertoire and lots of folks who don’t even know what it is. (Not helping: its name. It’s neither English nor a horn.)

Alex Klein: Twentieth Century Oboe Sonatas

Alex Klein on the Beauty of Petr Eben’s Oboe Sonata:

From the liner notes:

Personal Statement
Notes by Alex Klein
This is an album I’ve wanted to do all life: to go on the record (so to speak) with the pieces that are the meat and potatoes of oboe playing, plus a few more that are personally important to me. It is a pleasure and an honor to make such a musical statement. They are all part of my personal history of oboe playing, a history where I now have more years behind than in front. I find myself in the Eben, which is part of my youth. And like Poulenc when he wrote his Sonata, I too am facing mortality. The Saint-Saëns and the Poulenc are really the core of the oboe recital repertoire, but I’m also really in love with the other pieces here. The Bozza is wild and free and engaging. It runs from an incredible depth of musicality to torrid technical display. The Dutilleux is some of the most driven and energetic music that’s been written for the instrument. And the Bowen is such a delight; all three movements are right up there with best music an oboe player can play.

I have a certain nostalgia besides the one caused by age: focal dystonia brought a significant burden to my life and led me to rebuild my playing. Still, I don’t know how long I have left to play oboe. This recording has more to do with closing than anticipating ambitious projects for the future. This may well be one of my last oboe statements.

— Alex Klein

Here are the finalists for the oboe competition in Prague.

For the finals the contestants play both the Vaughan Williams and Martinu for the final round. Vaughan Williams is done without conductor. Martinu is conducted by Ondrej Vrabec.

First up is Martin Danek of the Czech Republic, playing the Vaughan Williams. The playing begins at about the 2 minute mark if you want to skip the beginning. Second is Gabriel Pidoux of France, again playing the Vaughan Williams.

Later the same day Seong Young Yun from the Republic of Korea, followed by Shota Takahashi of Japan, play the works.

Do you want to know the results? Maybe you should listen first and I’ll answer later. Besides, I confess that I’ve not yet had time to listen to it all. (I wish I didn’t know who won: I’d like to decide with my ears but my eyes have already read the news, which I think affects the ears!)

A bit of lovely …

Robert Schumann: Six Pieces in Canonical Form Op. 56 (Arr. for Oboe, Cello & Piano)
II. Mit innigem Ausdruck

Céline Moinet, Oboe
Norbert Anger, Cello
Florian Uhlig, Piano

Frederick Bayani Mabalot: In Paradisum
Stellenbosch University Chamber Choir; Martin Berger, Director

Eriks Esenvalds: In Paradisum
State Choir LATVIJA; Maris Sirmais, Conductor composer
Soloists: Peteris Trasuns – viola, Karlis Klotinš – cello

In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.

“May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your arrival and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels receive you and with Lazarus, once (a) poor (man), may you have eternal rest.”

11. May 2019 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

I’m sure people have noticed I barely write here any longer. I’m not sure if I’ve said all I need to say (and yet I know I’ve probably said MORE than I need to say), but I do wonder if I can keep this going much longer.

Part of it, too, is what I think is the Death of Blogs. What might that be?


Yes. I do think that Facebook has killed off much of the blogworld. No matter how much I encourage it, people don’t like visiting my photography site or this site any more if they can read the snippet and see the (less than great because they mess with it) image at Facebook.

And so it goes.

Will I grieve the loss of this blog? Not really. Things change. Things die.

BUT (you knew I had to do that, right?), I won’t just disappear at the moment. I will ponder and decide over the summer. But continuing to pay to keep this site up and running just might be enough to get me to stop.

Meanwhile … I hope some people still visit this, listen to the music I share, and get a bit of something out of my rambling and goofiness.

I especially hope that people land on the etiquette page. (Having witnessed some pretty horrible behavior recently I think many have lost common sense when it comes to performance behavior. May I just yell this out, “NO, it is not okay to use your phone during a performance even if you aren’t playing the work that is currently being done. People can still SEE you! And no, you can’t dress differently than everyone else in the orchestra. There is a dress code for a reason. And yes, even if you sit in the back what you wear matters. And no, talking out loud just because YOU have finished playing your part, when others are still performing — and an audience is still listening — is not okay and not normal. It is disrespectful and rude.”

Okay, rant over. The people who should read that don’t read this blog in any case, so it’s pretty pointless.