Oboe Concerto

Oboe and Chamber Orchestra – 23 minutes

A virtuosic concerto for oboe and chamber orchestra in three movements, with lots of interplay between soloist and orchestra.

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Listen to the 1st movement:

Score provided for information only. This work is in pre-digital limbo. More information on request.


Oboe Concerto

Solo oboe 1,picc,Eh,2(bcl),1 1,2,1 T,1 perc strings
Premiere–National Orchestral Association, Cynthia Green, oboe, Jorge Mester, cond., New York, NY 2/89
Duration: 23′
The parts to this work have been lost! Manuscript score on request. Ask DET about this work. Contact DET

Program Note

Concerto is essentially a dramatic medium. But the oboe is not a contestant by nature, and its sound is easily dwarfed by other instruments. It would seem an unlikely choice for a concerto soloist if not for its intense lyricism. Each register has a unique color, and they add up to an attractive solo personality which possesses its own inherent drama.

My Oboe Concerto could be called an “Italian” concerto. It is cast in three movements, each carrying a subtitle. The first, “Sonata,” refers to the sonorous aspect of opposing wind, brass and string choirs, with the oboe as focal point. The opening, for example, pits the oboe, in its highest register, against staccato winds and percussion. “Cantilena” opens with solo cello, and refers directly to the slow movement of a beloved concerto, with its famous oboe solo. Here, the roles are reversed: first the solo cello is accompanied by winds, then solo oboe is accompanied by strings. “Tarantella,” a straightforward rondo, culminates in an unorthodox cadenza played, not by the oboist, but by the orchestral winds.

The accompanying body is carefully chosen: a small string group, single woodwinds (with piccolo added, English horn replacing oboe, and a second clarinet doubling bass clarinet), brass quartet, timpani and percussion. The orchestra is often treated soloistically: the prominent role of the clarinet and solo string trio in the first movement, the solo cello in the second and the fugato for ten solo strings in the finale are examples. This concerto not only features a soloist, it contrasts an individual with a mass of individuals, each of whom retains his identity.

quotation marksThis is a likable, gracefully neo-Classic score with a great deal of interplay between the oboe and soloists within the orchestra, and some delightfully worked-out counterpoint. –Allan Kozinn, New York Times

quotation marksThomas’ Oboe Concerto. . . . was full of attractive orchestration and powerful phrases.–Peter Goodman, NY Newsday


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