During the 1990s, Collegium Musicum 90 and Simon Standage released several volumes of Albinoni concertos, which proved popular with critics and public alike. The concertos were released as discs of single oboe concertos, double oboe concertos, and string concertos. In this re-issue on the Chaconne label, the concertos are presented in opus number order, showing the contrasting colours and tonalities of the concertos as they originally appeared.
During the eighteenth century music publishers, and occasionally composers themselves, adapted sonatas originally intended for string instruments, for wind instruments. The adaptation of Albinoni's violin sonatas for woodwind instruments has a historical precedent set by one of the great musicians of the French Baroque. The composer, flautist, bassoonist, gambist and instrument maker Jacques Hotteterre Le Romain (c. 1680-1761) adapted some of Albanian's violin sonatas for the flute….
Three attractive and lively concertos by two exact 18th-century contemporaries (they were both born in 1739) the Viennese Dittersdorf and the Bohemian Vanhal who on at least one occasion played string quartets with Mozart and Haydn. (Haydn and Dittersdorf played violins; Mozart played viola; Vanhal the cello.) This seems to be the only recorded pairing of the two Dittersdorf concertos.
The oboe was a special instrument for Bruno Maderna, and he filled these three concertos (composed in 1962-3, 1967 and 1973) with solo lines in which sharply fragmented and fluently rhapsodic materials constantly interact. Heinz Holliger, in turn, pours all his unrivalled dexterity and capacity for infinitely varied expressive nuance into the performances here. Yet the music remains problematic.
Anthony Camden, for years principal oboe of the LSO, here makes a very welcome solo appearance on disc, playing with typical point and style, using his attractively reedy tone. The regular oboe concertos are well supplemented by the Suite in G minor as edited by Camden, where he is joined by the prize-winning Julia Girdwood on the second oboe. The Otho Overture too features prominent roles for oboes in duet. Ward and the City of London Sinfonia are sympathetic accompanists using modern instruments. First-rate sound from All Saints, East Finchley.