LABELS: Hyperion Helios
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Music for Oboe
WORKS: Three Pieces; Somerset Pastoral
PERFORMER: Sarah Francis (oboe), Peter Dickinson (piano); Rasumovsky Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: CDH 55008 Reissue (1985, 1986)
Herbert Howells put his Sonata aside in 1942 when the great Leon Goossens expressed reservations about it. This recording was made the year after Howells’s death, and makes a good case for its revival. The recording is clear if rather close.
Rubbra’s Sonata reflects his strengths: cogent development and balanced textures are the order of the day. Hamilton Harty’s attractive miniatures date from 1911, before conducting took priority in his career, and the music is particularly beguiling. Boughton’s Somerset Pastoral is the only new recording, and the combination of oboe and strings makes a pleasing effect in this lyrical music. Terry Barfoot