12. August 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Ramble

Elliott (two Ls, two Ts) Carter’s Oboe Concerto

I’d never heard it before, but had recently read of it and the Proms performance.

The final three notes are probably the most terrifyingly vertiginous ever written for the oboe: the soloist has to plunge from the very top of the instrument to its lowest note (the B flat below middle C), but connect them as a single, singing line, before a final C sharp hat has to be in tune with a tam-tam.

(Found here)

We don’t get to the end with the video, though. I really wanted to know what the “very top” was. Anyone know? Seems like the “very top” is changing and people have to keep learning higher notes. (I really don’t care to play all those high notes. Isn’t that what flutes are for?)

1 Comment

  1. When I was in pit orchestra for Music Man I was briefly put to covering a flute part. The other oboist looked at my music and said “no one wants to hear ANY instrument play that high, let alone an oboe!” I still think of that and smile when I see anything above Eb6. I could’t tell you how the piece ends though.