Repertoire Search

Helen Grime

Publisher: Chester Music

Oboe Quartet (2011)
Composition of this piece was made possible by a grant from the Jebediah Foundation New Music Commissions.
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd
Category
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
2011
Duration
11 Minutes
Orchestration
Availability


Buy this work
Worldwide Sales   North American Sales
 
Full Score   

Programme Note
Helen Grime Oboe Quartet (2011)
Oboe Quartet is essentially an abstract piece. This is somewhat unusual in my out-put with many pieces taking extra-musical starting points. The stimulus for the piece sprang from my love of the oboe as well as an exploration of its relationship with the three string instruments. I studied the oboe alongside composition at the Royal College of Music in London, and although I rarely play anymore, I have retained a strong bond with the instrument.
The piece is cast in one continuous movement although it falls into a number of shorter sections. The oboe is the protagonist throughout with the string trio set against it in a unit, sometimes opposing, sometimes shadowing, commenting or expanding upon on the oboe’s line. The character of music moves between plaintive, virtuosic and fantastical to reflective and somewhat melancholy.
In the opening section, a gradually unfolding melody in the oboe is punctuated by gentle rocking figures in the trio. These two ideas interlock and overlap becoming more agitated and compressed before all instruments come together in a fantastical section. This leads to a faster energetic section with all instruments combining to produce an intense unison passage ending on repeated B flats on the oboe, the instrument’s lowest note. This in turn leads to an extended oboe cadenza, which is interrupted by faster, agitato figures in the string trio. These interruptions become gradually quieter and less forceful taking us into a very slow, calm final section featuring the high register of the oboe and delicate glissandi in the string writing.
© Helen Grime

Performances
Date
Title
  • 21 FEB 2014
    Woodend Barn, Aberdeenshire, UK
    Britten Oboe Quartet
  • 22 SEP 2013
    Leicester International Music Festival - 2013
    New Walk Museum, Leicester
  • 19 FEB 2013
    Oboe Quartet UK Premiere
    Wigmore Hall, London
    Nicholas Daniel
  • 25 MAR 2012
    Oboe Quartet World Premiere
    Winsor Music Inc.
    St. Paul’s Church, 15 St. Paul Street, Brookline, USA
    Peggy Pearson, oboe; Gabriela Diaz, violin; Wenting Kang, viola; Rafael Popper-Keizer, cello

Reviews
It's a remarkable 12-minute piece, running a gamut from exhilarating energy - the three strings volleying and dancing around a plaintive, long-lined oboe theme - to quietly evanescent soul-searching. It's a major addition to the oboe and chamber music repertoire.
Lloyd Schwartz, The Boston Phoenix,4/3/2012
The gymnastic pleasure of solo performance is indeed written into this score's concerto-like oboe part... But more rarely for a young composer, there is also a distinctive personal voice that comes through in the music itself, a brief but substantive exploration of the possibilities implied by placing the oboe soloist in dialogue with string trio. In the opening pages, fractured string figures lick up at the plaintive oboe lines like flames. The oboe tumbles, skitters, exalts, and seeks out the extreme highs and lows of its range, but virtuosity never feels like an end in itself. The piece's textures in fact grow lean and sinuous, and, after a striking cadenza, the oboe ultimately recedes and the strings close with a reflective section full of questing glissandi, a moment of silvery beauty.
Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe,3/27/2012
Close X

Newsletter Signup

Please fill in this form to receive regular news




Click here to receive regular news
© Copyright 2014 Music Sales Classical. Part of the Music Sales Group.