A Diversified Selection of 20th Century Oboe and English Horn Concertos

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Hill, Mark
My determination in pursuing a soloistic career both as an oboist and as an English horn player is certainly a primary force behind this Doctoral Dissertation Project's theme. Equally important to me, though, was to notice - both as an orchestral player and as a listener the relative absence of much Twentieth-Century Oboe/English Horn repertoire in the concert hall, over the airwaves, and the in the recording market. Therefore, I have felt the need to explore less-frequently heard concerti. Even so, I elected to open my series of recitals with Richard Strauss' well-known masterwork, in the hope of conveying my stance and belief that the lesser-known repertoire I chose is by all means competitive - in terms of compositional craftsmanship, musical value, and sheer impact on the audience - even when heard side by side with an accepted staple of our Century. If this repertoire is under-represented in the concert hall, the amount of scholarly research available is also scarce. Indeed, it is a challenge to gather information beyond the purely biographical and circumstantial data. Finally, my choice of repertoire is necessarily limited in quantity to number of works I can perform in three recitals, but I believe it is nonetheless stylistically representative of the body of work produced in this Century for my two instruments. I have elected to present a collection of works that I believe represent a variety of 20th century musical styles from significant composers of the period, and which are particularly worthy musically. After much research, score reading, and listening, I have narrowed my repertoire of choice to the following: Richard Strauss (1864-1949): Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra in D Major; Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987): Concerto for English Horn and String Orchestra, Op. 137 Ned Rorem (b. 1923): Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra; Bohuslav Martinu; Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970): Konzert fur Oboe und Kleines Orchester; Jacques Ibert (1890-1962): Symphonie Concertante for Oboe and String Orchestra; Lukas Foss (b. 1922): Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra