Strauss/Bach/Marcello

Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

COMPOSERS: Strauss/Bach/Marcello
LABELS: Virgin Virgo
WORKS: Oboe Concerto; Concerto for Oboe d’amore BWV 1055; Oboe Concerto
PERFORMER: Ray Still (oboe)Academy of London/Richard Stamp
CATALOGUE NO: VC 7 59686 2 DDD
The Strauss was recorded at Abbey Road and the sound has less bloom than the Bach and Marcello — made at Henry Wood Hall. In both the latter, the detail is clear, though the sound could open out more.

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Ray Still has previously recorded the Mozart C Major Concerto with Claudio Abbado and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra of which he was (and presumably still is) a principal. (The sleeve is unforthcoming about him.) He possesses a pure, chaste tone and an impeccable technical address. But I found the autumnal Strauss concerto wanting in both warmth and charm, an impression enhanced by rather unimaginative, stiff orchestral support. It is no match for the many rival versions now on the market. Nor is there anything very special about the performances, which are cool and accomplished rather than poetic or memorable. Robert Layton