Lento - Allegro scherzando - Allegretto - Tempo Primo
This Concerto was commissioned by the Isle of Wight International Oboe Competition 1995 with financial assistance from Southern Arts. The notion of writing such a work arose after hearing a performance given at the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts some years earlier of the Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto, in which Nicholas Daniel was the soloist. His playing immediately gave rise to a melodic idea which was stored away in my mind for some time, and the dedication of the Concerto to him is a way of expressing my gratitude.
The oboe has always seemed to me an essentially lyrical instrument, and though commissioned for an International Competition, this Concerto is designed to reflect particularly this facet of its character. The instrumentation, with only harp and timpani added to the string orchestra, reinforces this. The image behind the work, and an additional key to its persona, is that of a bird in flight, sometimes seen in slow motion, swooping, circling or floating in the sky.
© 1995 John McCabe
duration c. 14 minutes
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