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In many of J. S. Bach’s cantatas, passions and oratorios, the oboe – and its various relatives such as the oboe d’amore and oboe da caccia – plays a prominent role. Using it as his preferred obbligato instrument, Bach obviously cherished the versatility of the oboe and selected it to accompany arias that deal with grief and heavenly joys, repentance and pastoral calm. Researchers have for a long time thought that his keyboard concertos were originally composed for other instruments, and much evidence points to certain of them being intended for the oboe, or oboe d’amore. Four such works have been gathered here, together with the Adagio from the composer’s Easter Oratorio, in performances by Alexei Ogrintchouk, one of today’s outstanding oboists.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Oboe Concerto in F major, BWV 1053
Johann Sebastian Bach: Oboe Concerto in D minor (after BWV 35, BWV 156, BWV 1056 and BWV 1059)
Johann Sebastian Bach: Oratorium Festo Paschali: Kommt, eilet und laufet (Easter Oratorio), BWV 249
Oratorium Festo Paschali: Kommt, eilet und laufet (Easter Oratorio), BWV 249: II. Adagio
Johann Sebastian Bach: Oboe d'amore Concerto in A major, BWV 1055
III. Allegro ma non tanto
Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor, BWV 1060
“[Ogrintchouk] offers playing that's graceful, beautiful and searchingly expressive”
“Ogrintchouk plays [the Oboe d'amore Concerto] beautifully...with a just appreciation of the instrument's mellow tonal qualities. He has the understanding of how Bach's long phrases are braced by shorter ones within their spin, which is an essential quality of good Bach-playing.”
“As we have come to expect from Bis over the years, the recording of this programme is superb...Ogrintchouk’s tone is attractively rounded, always expressive and beautifully phrased, and with an effortless and breezy way of taking flight with the music which makes him ‘invisible’ in technical terms”
23rd December 2010
“What's consistently authentic...is the quality of Ogrintchouk's playing, with its fulsome tone and clean articulation. He's placed well forward in the sound picture but the contribution of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra is important, too; forget the musicology, it's a delightful disc.”