Music & Vision

The Redgates, oboist Christopher and conductor Roger, again join forces to produce a stimulating recital of challenging recent pieces focussing mainly on works for oboe and strings all performed by Christopher, the masterly virtuoso. There are two pieces by Roger Redgate, a short Quintet written in 2003 and Éperons , an earlier work from 1988 for oboe and percussion (Julian Warburton) which explores a remarkable range of technical boldness. Christopher Fox’s Oboe Quintet was first heard in 1996 and in part is captured in a Stravinskian rhythmic framework, compulsive and exhilarating, though this is only one phase through which the fourteen minute piece passes.

Howard Skempton’s style is that of an independent voice , quite apart from much mainstream experimental work. His interest in economy has produced a series of highly intriguing pieces, and the Garland for oboe and string trio is just such a one — a perfect title for a piece of lyrical beauty .

Michael Finnissy has two pieces on the disc, the first giving its title to the CD, a substantial work for oboe and ensemble , and Ceci n’est pas une forme , a filigree weaving oboe around piano and pizzicato strings. James Clarke’s Oboe Quintet allows for the soloist to double on cor anglais, and inhabits a more disruptive atmosphere with a rather menacing closing section.

Excellently recorded with clarity , this is a recital to capture a wide range of interest.

—Patric Standford