I hadn’t seen this video of the piece before. The oboist plays beautifully. I have to admit, though, that I can’t watch it and enjoy it as much as I’d like; I’m distracted by his left thumb and elbow. I’m goofy that way. I know that those sorts of movements are quite common elsewhere. I move with the music, but I don’t move my elbows and my thumb. That’s just me. You?

But isn’t it a lovely little solo?


  1. The elbow thing drove me nuts too. Wish I could sound like that though….

  2. I found the thumb even more distracting. But oh well. He sounds wonderful, and that is what matters! 🙂

  3. That video annoyed the heck out of me. Why can’t people just play the music? That movement is ridiculous. I tried to imitate it to someone once and it was so unnatural I couldn’t even do it. Do you think he practiced those movements?

  4. Hmmm…I wonder if he would do the same thing (and note that his right hand fingers are way up there too) if he was playing something a little…what’s the word…busier? Perhaps on a slower tune all that extra motion helps him emote through his horn?

  5. I also wonder if he does as much as he did on that if there’s no video. Some of what some people do is for the visual aspect, so I wonder.

  6. One of my colleagues does that too – I think it looks quite ridiculous…. (But he doesn’t do it when he plays fast passages as someone wondered above.)

    I have seen a few others doing it as well, and they all seem to have studied for the same teacher in Germany!

  7. I had heard, Katarina, that more movement is expected in Germany. Of course I don’t know if it’s true — it’s only what I was told. (I was also told no one over 30 need audition for things, which is so difficult to believe so I’m doubtful.) I guess it’s just a different view of what makes things expressive …? I really want to hear expression, not necessarily see it. But I did think he played beautifully, so I wouldn’t want to insult him (more than I probably already have). 🙂

  8. No, I don’t think that it is a general way of playing among german oboists 🙂
    I happen to know and work with quite a few!

    But the age limit does sometimes apply – I don’t know the exact age, probably different depending on orchestra and position.

  9. I figured you’d know a lot more about this, Katarina … you are my “go to person” when it comes to Europe, you know! Thanks so much! 🙂

    We have laws that won’t allow ageism here, but I guess those aren’t there …?

    I’m so glad you are around to fill us in on the truth of things. Really.

  10. Well, presumably they don’t have that kind of laws – or they just manage to go around it somehow. Here in Sweden we don’t do things that way, and there is probably a law against ageism even though I never thoght about it!