Aho: Oboe Quintet; Seven Inventions and Postlude; Quintet for flute, oboe, violin, viola & cello

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Aho
LABELS: BIS
WORKS: Oboe Quintet; Seven Inventions and Postlude; Quintet for flute, oboe, violin, viola & cello
PERFORMER: Sinfonia Lahti Chamber Ensemble
CATALOGUE NO: CD-1036
The Kalevi Aho discography continues to grow apace and, with this issue, the ambitious BIS ‘Complete Aho’ turns to his chamber music with oboe. It is quite obvious from the very opening of the Oboe Quintet that Aho has a special feeling for the instrument and writes for it with both originality and sympathy. It comes from 1973, when the composer was in his mid-twenties, and draws you into its world immediately. More to the point, I remained in its world for the most part, though there are admittedly a few longueurs. There is a sense of nature in its opening pages and both melodic and harmonic invention are fresh, even if not completely sustained over its 30-minute span. Like the Bassoon Quintet which I reviewed in these pages last July, the Quintet for flute, oboe, violin, viola and cello comes from 1977, but it is more concentrated and more original than the overlong bassoon piece. Throughout both pieces the quality of the invention is high, and the reminders of Shostakovich that occasionally surface on Aho’s musical horizon are fewer and less obtrusive. Like the more recent Inventions and Postlude, this music holds the listener throughout. Expert playing and very good recorded sound. Robert Layton

Advertisement