My Oboe Concerto was commissioned by the Crusell Festival of Uusikaupunki, Finland. It was given its premiere in Uusikaupunki in August 1994 by Helén Jahren, the oboist for whom the piece was written and to whom it is dedicated, and the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Tuomas Ollila.
The concerto is in three movements, following the classical pattern ‘moderately fast-slow-very fast’. Within the framework of these different movements, different sides of ‘the oboe character’ are brought into focus; as my motto, I used the title of an article by Hélen Jahren on oboe techniques: “The oboe can also play things other than pastoral solo passages”. In the first movement, for example, rhythmically accentuated staccato is in spotlight, as well as some utmostly colourful aspects of oboe’s softer nuances. In the slow movement, the elegic melody is interrupted by ‘stranger’ sounds of multiphonic passage; the movement itself is an in memoriam piece for Kjell Axel Lier, the Norwegian harpist, who had died in a car accident a few days before I decided to write this concerto. And eventually, the finale presents the solo instrument as a medium for utmostly lively and hazy music, sounds of whispered virtuosity.