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The Oboe d’Amore and Romanticism

May 19, 2024
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Süreyya Opera House, Bahariye Caddesi 29, Kadıköy, 34710 Istanbul

In this concert Ayşin Kiremitçi (who plays both the oboe and the oboe d’amore, a larger version of the oboe that has what Wikipedia describes as a ‘less assertive and more tranquil and serene tone’) will be accompanied on the piano by Müge Hendekli.

Their programme will begin with Schumann’s Three Romances for Oboe and Piano, Op. 94, written in 1849 (one of his most productive years, but also the year when his mental instability was beginning to overtake him) and given to his wife Clara as a Christmas present. It will then continue with the Romance for Oboe d’Amore and Piano by the contemporary Bulgarian composer Roumen Boyadjieff, Jr. (a film music specialist); an arrangement of Ravel’s 1899 Pavane pour une enfante défunte (‘Pavane for a Dead Princess’), originally written for piano solo while the composer was studying at the Paris Conservatoire under Gabriel Fauré; Saint-Saëns’ Oboe Sonata in D major, Op. 166, written in 1921 (the year of his death); and the highly romantic – and at times almost operatic – Morceau de salon (‘Salon Piece’) for Oboe and Piano, Op. 288, written in 1859 by Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda (1801-66), a Bohemian composer who was held in high regard during his time, especially by Schumann.

On the subject of Ravel’s Pavane, Wikipedia tells us the following:

Ravel intended the piece to be played extremely slowly – more slowly than almost any modern interpretation, according to his biographer Benjamin Ivry. The critic Émile Vuillermoz complained that Ravel’s playing of the work was ‘unutterably slow’. However, the composer was not impressed by interpretations that plodded. After a performance by Charles Oulmont, Ravel mentioned to him that the piece was called ‘Pavane for a dead princess’, not ‘Dead pavane for a princess’.

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