Handel: Oboe Concertos

Handel: Oboe Concertos

90014 (Brilliant Classics, LP)

FIRST LP RELEASE (1 March 2024)

Playing time: 27'31"/22'41" - TT 50'12"
Chapters: 7 + 11
Booklet pages: 4
℗ 2022 Brilliant Classics
© 2024 Brilliant Classics
Main country of recording: Lithuania
Country of manufacture: European Union
Reviewer: Geoff Pearce
Review of Handel: Oboe Concertos published on 3 February 2024

Andrius Puskunigis, oboe, oboe d'amore
Vincent Bernhardt, harpsichord, organ, conductor
Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra

George Frideric Handel:

Side A

Concerto-pasticcio in C for oboe, strings and bc
1 Largo
2 Allegro
3 Largo
4 Allegro

Concerto in C minor for oboe, strings and bc
5 Allegro
6 Adagio
7 Allegro

Side B

Concerto in G minor, HWV 287, for oboe, strings and bc
1 Grave
2 Allegro
3 Sarabande. Largo
4 Allegro

Concerto grosso Op 3 No 3 in G, HWV 314, for oboe, strings and bc
5 Largo e staccato
6 Allegro
7 Adagio
8 Allegro

Concerto á 5 in C minor for oboe, strings and bc
9 Allegro ma non presto
10 Adagio
11 Allegro

An audiophile LP transfer for a superbly engineered modern recording of Handel's oboe concertos. The Latvian oboist Andrius Puskunigis has built a catalogue of critically acclaimed albums on Brilliant Classics. From 2020, this album of oboe concertos by Handel includes a number of first recordings and reconstructions. There is ample justification for such imaginative licence, given that Handel himself remarked that the oboe was his favourite instrument, and given the freedom with which he adapted and transcribed his own music as the occasion demanded. Thus, alongside the canonic three oboe concertos, Puskingis presents two more, one for the oboe and the other for the oboe d'amore, transcribed from arias originally written for castrato roles in his operas. A C major Concerto thus includes the famous aria 'Lascia ch'io pianga' from Rinaldo, while the expressive heart of the D major concerto for oboe d'amore features 'Ombra mai fu' from Serse. A similarly inventive approach has been taken to ornamentation and decoration, inserting liberal opportunities for Andrius Puskunigis to display his virtuosity with cadenza passages. Accompanied by the neatly contoured modern-instrument Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra, and recorded in the acoustically optimal modern concert hall of Klaipėda, the album has a focused resonance which makes it highly suitable for this transfer to 180gm vinyl.

Recorded 23-30 October 2020 at Klaipėda Concert Hall, Klaipėda, Lithuania.