Austral Harmony (Jane Downer oboes, Simon Desbruslais trumpets, Peter Hagen organ)
Chandos Chaconne CHAN0809
Music by J. S. Bach, Homilius, Kauffmann, Krebs and Tag
This is an interesting compendium of some German music by Krebs, Homilius, Tag, and Kauffmann, with a couple of J. S. Bach pieces thrown in for good measure. Although none of the less well-known works can be consigned to the category of ‘best left to rot in the organ loft’, some did seem rather insignificant. The disc is based round the organ chorale prelude, most of which are performed with oboe and/or trumpet playing the chorale melody, as was occasionally the custom at the time, according to the useful booklet notes. One can’t help feeling, however, that they may have been done in that way when the organist couldn’t manage to play everything himself! The players use a variety of instruments – oboe and oboe d’amore, and trumpets of different types – natural, slide and even a modern instrument for one piece – which are detailed in the excellent booklet notes. An oboe sonata by Homilius, known mainly for his sacred cantatas and motets, and the Bach organ trio sonata no. 3 (played on oboe and organ) complete the disc.