James Turnbull writes: 'This disc opens a door to the many different ways in which English composers have explored the oboe since the late nineteenth century'.
Edmund Rubbra composed his Sonata for Oboe and Piano, op.100 in 1958 for Evelyn Rothwell (Lady Barbirolli) whom James met while a student at the RAM.
Edward Longstaff, born in 1965, studied at Royal Holloway College and Goldsmith's College. 'The incredible energy I find in the contemporary works by John Casken and Edward Longstaff is compelling and almost hypnotic to me. What these two composers have achieved with Amethyst Deceiver and Aegeus is remarkable in terms of the extremes they have pushed the oboist to portray'. John Casken's Amethyst Deceiver is a world premiere recording.
James encountered Victorian church composer Thomas Attwood Walmisley's Sonatina through an edition prepared by Christopher Hogwood.
Gustav Holst wrote very little mature chamber music, and the most important example is the Terzetto for flute, oboe and viola he composed in 1925. The wonderful Three Moods by Michael Berkeley and the Terzetto by Holst for flute, oboe and viola of 1925 'display what a great variety of character can be achieved and manage to balance vivid atmospheres with moments of real joy'.
To conclude the recording, James has included Vaughan Williams' Six Studies in English Folksong - in fact, originally for cello and piano.
James Turnbull is an accomplished English oboist, highly sought after for solo and chamber music concerts, and is a featured artist of the Concert Promoters Network and the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme. He has appeared as a soloist in live radio broadcasts and at festivals including the Oxford Chamber Music Festival, Swaledale, King's Lynn and Cambridge Summer Music. In 2010 he gave his debut recital at the Wigmore Hall as an award winner from the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
After gaining a First Class degree in music from Christ Church, Oxford University, James continued his oboe studies at the Royal Academy of Music and under Nicholas Daniel at Trossingen Musikhochschule in Germany, where he was awarded First Class for both his Artist and Soloist Diplomas. His debut solo disc, 'Fierce Tears' was released in 2011 by Quartz music. Dedicated to broadening the appeal of the oboe, James has launched a project called 'The Young Person's Guide to the Oboe' which has an accompanying website.
“This is a sometimes dizzying tour of the English oboe repertoire, hopping in turn from rural lyricism to hard-edged modernity, but there is no disputing the technical facility of James Turnbull or the warm, sensitive pianism of Libby Burgess.” The Observer, 10th March 2013