Sunday, April 09, 2006

following suit: proficiencies

So I saw that other people were doing this and thought it was a good idea.

Mozart-Concerto for Oboe in C Major, K314: Allegro Aperto
This is one of the powerhouse concertos for oboe; every orchestra audition has this. Perhaps the most terrifying moment in the entire movement is the first entrance: a C-D trill followed by a C sixteenth note scale rising to float upon a high C for 4 measures. One of my favorite things about this movement is the cadenza. Many oboists have written their own cadenzas, and I've heard a couple really good ones, in particular Nancy King, Berkhard Glaetzner, and John de Lancie.

Handel-Sonata for Oboe in C Minor, HWV366: Largo, Allegro
One of the most fun pieces to play on my program, these two sonata movements have greatly encouraged and improved my ornamentation and improvisation skills. Baroque ornamentation is something that I greatly enjoy but have struggled with due to my belief that I can't think on the spot when it comes to music. The Largo is majestic and dark, followed by a spunky yet troll-like Allegro.

Schumann-Three Romances for Oboe and Piano, Op.94: Nicht Schnell
This is the third of the Romances, all of which are amazingly musical. At first glance the Romances do not look at all difficult. But wait until you try to play them. The intense musical stamina needed to play any of these is unbelievable, yet the result is awe-inspiring. My favorite recording of the Romances is by oboist Allan Vogel, whose phrasing and playful time perception add even more character to the movements.

Martinu- Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra: Poco Allegro
Finishing off with a technical piece, Martinu was what I played for the concerto competition. I first started working on this piece last semester when I made the switch from the first to third movements in preparation for both concertos and proficiencies. I really think I made the right decision. This movement is so rhythmic and dance-like, with a creamy cadenza center. I wish I'd had time to prepare both cadenzas; I'll only be playing one of them. My favorite moment of the movement is the measures preceding the oboe entrance, consisting of incredibly syncopated and somewhat disorienting strings and piano. My preferred recording was done by Zbynck Muller, a czech oboist.

Well there you have it: my proficiency program.

No comments: