Oboe masterpieces: concertos

In the 18th century, the oboe was most magnificently employed as a soloist instrument. Numerous masterful oboists appeared on the scene at this time. Because most of them were also composers, many solo pieces for the oboe were written. The instrument itself has continued to be improved since the 19th century, and this has led to the appearance of new types of performers. However, even today there are only a few oboe concertos that are part of standard repertoires.

This piece had a burst of popularity following its use in the movie The Anonymous Venetian. The composer was the Italian Baroque-era composer Alessandro Marcello. In the second movement, played during the movie, the oboe playing a quiet, ethereal melody, accompanied by a soft strings orchestra, is splendidly romantic and impressive. This concerto is thought to be one of the first to be written for the oboe.

Alessandro Marcello

Alessandro Marcello (1684-1747)

This work is probably the most popular oboe concerto of the classical period-nay, of any time. Despite the fact that it is an extremely famous piece, the score was only found and the piece started to be performed in the 20th century. The music itself is identical to Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 2, but which piece was first written and which is the adaptation is not known for sure. This is a piece typical of Mozart, demonstrating a fine balance between a melody overflowing with a carefree poetic sentiment and passages displaying grand excellence.

This piece was composed in Switzerland in fall 1945. The Second World War, which concluded that year, cast a dark shadow on the life of Richard Strauss. This concerto, however, overflows with beautiful melodies and gentleness. Strauss, who was nearing the end of his life, added a soupçon of sadness, as though perhaps yearning for a bygone era. It was already the age of avant-garde music, but this concerto is entirely gentle, caressing the hearts of those who listen to it.