Tuesday 20 September 2022

Handel 'oboe concertos' ASMF/ Marriner/ Lord (1965)

I bought this LP in a sale at JG Windows, Newcastle upon Tyne, in the summer of 1979. 

As I recall, we arose early, went in a group and queued outside before the opening. This was one of several bargains I managed to clinch -- despite the aggressive elbowing and grabbing by a local, leather-jacketed, leftist vicar; who harvested several score of the merchandise before most people could get near to the racks.    

It seems that I have probably listened to this collection of pieces as often as any LP that I ever owned. Somehow I never tire of it. (Indeed, this version of the vinyl is crackly and scratchy enough to be my own!) 

The playing is consummate; with the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields at the peak of their powers under Neville Marriner; and solo work from oboist Roger Lord - whose tone and phrasing are simple perfection. 

And the pieces by Handel include moments of utter sublimity - especially in the slow movements. That of the G minor concerto No. 3 must surely be one of the most soaring, plangent, melodies in the entire baroque repertoire. Notice how subtly, yet with maximum effectiveness, Lord adds idiomatic decorations to the repeats. 


Poppop said...

If some of the angels aren't playing oboes instead of harps I may reconsider my intended final destination.

Bruce Charlton said...

@P - There is something especially lovely about the sound of an oboe, I agree.