Twentieth Century Oboe Sonatas
- CDR 90000 186
The longer Cedille Selects track excerpts are designed to provide a representative overview of the recording (not applicable to all albums)
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Grammy Award-winner Alex Klein,
With pianist Phillip Bush, Klein plays works that he says “define the modern oboe”: Camille Saint-Saëns’ jovial, late-Romantic Sonata for Oboe and Piano, Op. 166; York Bowen’s lushly beautiful Sonata for Oboe and Pianoforte, Op. 85; Henri Dutilleux’s emotionally wide-ranging Sonata for Oboe and Piano; Petr Eben’s youthful, inventive Oboe Sonata, Op.1; Francis Poulenc’s late, philosophical Sonata for Oboe and Piano, FP 185; and Eugène Bozza’s Sonata for Oboe and Piano, an ethereal, rarely heard tour de force.
Klein possesses a “tone so unique and beautiful that musicians from around the globe would flock to [Chicago’s] Symphony Center to hear him play” (Chicago Magazine). He won a Grammy Award in 2002 for Best Instrumental Solo Performance (with Orchestra) for his recording of Richard Strauss’s oboe concerto with conductor Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Teldec)
Colin Clarke Fanfare
"The disc offers fine playing indeed; and, most of all, interpretations of the highest musical integrity caught in superb sound. He is fortunate, also, to have such a fine musical partner as Phillip Bush."
Jason Victor Serinus Stereophile
"A delicious tour de force that shows Klein at his best."
Steve Ritter Audiophile Audition
"This recital is important and necessary. If another Grammy doesn’t find its way into Klein’s hands, there is just no justice in the world."
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Notes by Alex Klein
This is an album I've wanted to do all life: to go on the record (so to speak) with the pieces that are the meat and potatoes of oboe playing, plus a few more that are personally important to me. It is a pleasure and an honor to make such a musical statement. They are all part of my personal history of oboe playing, a history where I now have more years behind than in front. I find myself in the Eben, which is part of my youth. And like Poulenc when he wrote his Sonata, I too am facing mortality. The Saint-Saëns and the Poulenc are really the core of the oboe recital repertoire, but I'm also really in love with the other pieces here. The Bozza is wild and free and engaging. It runs from an incredible depth of musicality to torrid technical display. The Dutilleux is some of the most driven and energetic music that's been written for the instrument. And the Bowen is such a delight; all three movements are right up there with
I have a certain nostalgia besides the one caused by age: focal dystonia brought a significant burden to my life and led me to rebuild my playing. Still, I don't know how long I have left to play