The Oboe in Dresden

Cover of Xenia Löffler's "The oboe in Dresden" CD

Xenia Loeffler [and friends]
78:00
Accent 24361

Just by the merest suggestion of any link to the superb Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, the level of music-making seems already guaranteed. The marvellous array of chamber works gathered here by the co-founder of the famous Berlin ensemble are presented in such a way as to beguile and delight from start to finish! Not only is the amazingly dexterous, mellifluous oboe given full centre-stage exposure, but the excellent qualities of the top-draw instrumentalists follow in a trail of captivating musicianship. The opening Vivaldi (RV53) does that well-known slow-fast-slow-fast trick, but if the transition between these modes is truly faultless, the last two movements are quite stupendous! Next we come to an anonymous piece in B flat major, which uses a typical Telemann device of “Replique” responses in the two main instrumental voices, found in the Paris Quartets and elsewhere. The second movement seems to be a parody of a vocal line from one of his Harmonsicher Gottesdienst cantatas (TVWV1:447?) another quite typical device of hidden tunes used by him, equally prevalent in some of the Kleine Kammermusik of 1716. The Fasch work is a sprightly exposition of double oboes and virtuoso bassoon, perfectly written and performed to a treat. The links to Dresden’s fine orchestra become ever stronger moving through these excellent works. Next some known Telemann, one of his Sonatas Auf Concertenart, i. e., a neat blend of Trio and concerto styles; the soloists again display such an admirably vivacious interplay, one is swept along in their joyous wake. The final pieces show contrasting styles and varying instrumentation, the Platti is more conventional in layout, yet played with intimate skill, while the Hasse is truly a gem of a real master, the distinct timbres of the chalumeau, oboe and bassoon creating a glorious, warmly glowing sonority! The following anonymous Trio, possibly by Pisendel himself, leader of the Dresden Band. The violin part does seem to support this with its lively virtuosic interactions with the oboe, yet another high point on this remarkable recording which ends with a brilliant quartet by Stölzel for oboe, violin, horn and b.c.

What a superb selection of works, ideal for any concert, played with gusto, insight and consummate skill; as enthralling as gifted members of the Dresden orchestra itself, in a remarkable “pool of talents”. No little histories on the soloists’ past exploits or collective rewards are mentioned in the slim CD booklet, just a few lovely publicity shots; the whole CD concentrates purely on the music itself to such a rewarding extent! Top-draw!

David Bellinger

Click HERE to buy the MP3 on amazon (the CD is not yet available on the site – 13/1//2019)