We can’t be sure that Bach wrote any concertos specifically for the oboe aside from the C minor concerto BWV1060 – in which it’s partnered by the violin in an exercise of pathos out of all proportion to the modest dimensions of the work itself. The other concertos here come down to us as harpsichord concertos, in which guise they do not sit entirely happily, and it seems more than likely that Bach, as both unhappy Kapellmeister of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig and far more content in his role supplying music, musicians and concerts to Zimmermann’s coffee house in the city, would have been glad to take advantage of the soloistic potential of a resident oboist to craft these Italianate concertos that exploit both the instrument’s origins in pastoral idiom (notably BWV1053, in the ‘pastoral’ key of F major, and its gently swaying siciliano middle movement in 6/8), as well as more urbane and learned counterpoint of which he was undisputed master among his peers.
Andrius Puskingis is a Lithuanian oboist, now resident in France, who returns to his home city to play and direct these spirited and intimate performances. At present he is the principal oboist with the Heidelburg Symphony Orchestra, who have made an acclaimed series of Haydn symphony recordings with their music director Thomas Fey, and something of Fey’s restless spirit of adventure can also be traced in these fine new recordings.
- There are no “official” Oboe Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach, at least not that we know of. However several of his harpsichord concertos seem to be transcriptions of lost concertos for other instruments, so it is tempting to reconstruct these, a practice very well familiar to Bach himself, who transcribed many concertos by other composers (Vivaldi, Marcello).
- Lithuanian oboist Andrius Puskinigis plays these oboe concertos with sparkling, freshly articulated virtuosity, swift, transparent and infectious.
- New recording, on period instruments. Puskinigis is first oboist of the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Fey, who made some amazing Haydn symphony recordings.
- Booklet contains liner notes and performer biographies.