Sunday, December 27, 2009

What Inspired It All

As a Chicago native, I was fortunate enough to have grown up during Alex Klein’s time as principal oboist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It was an incredible source of inspiration for me. He took the oboe world by storm not only with his beautiful sound, but sense of adventurous programming. My first exposure to Luciano Berio’s “Sequenza VII” was during a recital performance Klein gave in the late 1990s, and it was performed from memory in total darkness, as if this amazing piece wasn’t difficult enough!

It was his collaboration with the Lorée factory that resulted in the extended-range oboe in the first place, as he wanted to record a cd of works by Franz Schubert. The music is not possible with the existing range on the oboe, so thus the “low-A” model was born. I fell in love with this recording, especially the “Sonata in A Minor” for Arpeggione and Piano, D. 821. While normally heard performed as a transcription for cello or viola instead of the intended arpeggione (basically a bowed guitar), hearing it played so effortlessly on a treble instrument was eye-opening. This recording was released in 2001 and is is still available.

In an attempt to expand the oboe’s literature, here is a chamber music update:

Chamber works currently being transcribed
that utilize the “low-A” and/or highest range:

*All works transcribed and available from David Plylar

*For oboe, horn and piano (with optional regular oboe part where low-A is used)

*All works to be premiered by Out of Context in Los Angeles in 2010

Beethoven/Liszt – “Adelaide"
Brahms - "Poco Allegretto" - Symphony No. 3, 3rd Movement
Chopin - Étude Op. 25, No. 5” in E Minor - Wrong Note Etude
Saint-Saëns/Liszt – “Dance Macabre”

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Oboe Has Arrived!

The oboe arrived this week. After so much anticipation, I was thrilled and relieved to finally hear it, especially playing chromatically down to that low "A"!

Close up of low-A thumb key on top joint

Researching this instrument, I heard many stories about how heavy it was and all of the problems this caused oboists. Happily for me, the slight increase in weight is hardly noticeable.
Something that was apparent immediately was the full, dark tone. The break-in limit of only ten minutes at any given time is simply not enough!

Comparison of a standard Loree Royal and the extended range Royal

A quick shout out to Carlos Coelho for all of his assistance and expertise in helping me to receive this oboe so quickly, and for his many years of excellent Loree oboe service!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Loboe Project - What's It All About?

On October 1st, 2009, I was awarded an “Investing in Artists” grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation for an extended-range oboe. It is my intent to promote new works and transcriptions that feature this incredible instrument.

As a condition of the grant, I am currently working on several projects that will showcase the extended range of the new oboe. This particular model, by the Loree Factory out of Paris, will allow me to play one half step lower than the standard oboe and greatly increase the overall stability of the highest range.

Since moving to Los Angeles in 2006, I have been fortunate to work with many incredibly talented and creative people. In addition to posting updates on events related to my grant, it is my intent to also post information about important artistic activities around Los Angeles.

Loboe Project 2010:
1. Out of Context Tour I March 1st-10th, 2010 - Featuring:
o Concerts and masterclasses at several universities and chamber series
Performances in Colorado and Montana
New transcriptions for oboe, horn and piano
Featuring Sloan Hoffmann, Horn

2. Out of Context Spring Tour II April, 2010 - Featuring:
o A series of world premieres by composers Paul Coleman and David Plylar
Collaboration with the Proper Glue Percussion Duo
Special guest musicians including soprano Jamie Jordan and pianist Zuzanna Szewczyk
Performances in upstate NY

3. Solo Works for Extended Range Oboe
o Commissions and Performances starting in 2010