Tuesday, August 3, 2010

So Many Opportunities, So Few Taken!

A fascinating interview was recently played on KUSC featuring British oboist Nicholas Daniel. In addition to being an exceptional performer and renound soloist, Daniel is also kown as an extremely ambitious promoter of new works and commissions for the oboe. Obviously my hat goes off to Daniel for being such a strong advocate for new music and transcriptions (he recently performed his transcription for English horn/piano of Debussy's "Rhapsody" for saxophone and orchestra).

During the course of the interview, an interesting bit of trivia was revealed. I was stunned to learn about the many missed opportunities of oboist Leon Goossens, one of the most significant figures in the oboe's recent history. Apparently, as Daniel explained on the radio, Goossen was very well thought of by many major composers such as Stravinsky, Janacek, Sibelius and Ravel, to name a few. This knowledge was not lost on Goossens but he never once commissioned a work for the oboe or even attempted to have one written for him. Had Goossens used his status as a well-respected oboe celebrity, he could have single-handedly influenced the amount of solo repertoire choices the oboe has today. Let it never be forgotten the responsibility that every oboist carries on their shoulders!

No comments:

Post a Comment