David Cowley & Bryan Evans | English and Welsh Music for oboe and piano

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English and Welsh Music for oboe and piano

by David Cowley & Bryan Evans

Savour the exquisite sound of the oboe in this wide ranging selection of British music from two of the UK's top classical artists.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sonata For Oboe And Piano Op. 85: I.
7:08 $0.99
2. Sonata For Oboe And Piano Op. 85: II.
5:56 $0.99
3. Sonata For Oboe And Piano Op. 85: III.
4:56 $0.99
4. Sonata In C Major for Oboe And Piano Op. 100: I.
5:30 $0.99
5. Sonata In C Major for Oboe And Piano Op.100: II.
3:39 $0.99
6. Sonata In C Major for Oboe And Piano Op. 100: III.
3:36 $0.99
7. The Watermill
3:54 $0.99
8. Six Metamorphoses After Ovid For Solo Oboe Op. 49: I. Pan
2:10 $0.99
9. Six Metamorphoses After Ovid For Oboe Solo Op. 49: II. Phaeton
1:23 $0.99
10. Six Metamorphoses After Ovid For Oboe Solo Op. 49: III. Niobe
2:23 $0.99
11. Six Metamorphoses After Ovid For Oboe Solo Op. 49: IV. Bacchus
2:02 $0.99
12. Six Metamorphoses After Ovid For Oboe Solo Op. 49: V. Narcissus
2:45 $0.99
13. Six Metamorphoses After Ovid For Oboe Solo Op. 49: VI. Arethusa
2:31 $0.99
14. Seven Bagatelles For Solo Oboe: I. March
0:52 $0.99
15. Seven Bagatelles For Solo Oboe: II. Elegy
1:24 $0.99
16. Seven Bagatelles For Solo Oboe: III. Waltz
1:06 $0.99
17. Seven Bagatelles For Solo Oboe: IV. Slow Air
1:18 $0.99
18. Seven Bagatelles For Solo Oboe: V. Limerick
0:27 $0.99
19. Seven Bagatelles For Solo Oboe: VI. Chinese Tune
1:30 $0.99
20. Seven Bagatelles For Solo Oboe: VII. Galop
1:17 $0.99
21. Sonata For Oboe And Piano: I.
5:52 $0.99
22. Sonata For Oboe And Piano: II.
3:46 $0.99
23. Sonata For Oboe And Piano: III.
4:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This album, released in 2010, admirably displays the versatility and musicianship of oboist David Cowley (www.davidcowley.co.uk) and pianist Bryan Evans - from the easy appeal of the Binge's "Watermill", through the intense romanticism of York Bowen, the "English Rachmaninov", and Edmund Rubbra, the deft sketches of Britten and Jacob to a world premiere recording of Guto Pryderi Puw's rugged and lyrical sonata.

The musicians

David Cowley is Principal Oboe of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and a long and distinguished career with the orchestra has taken him on concert tours and TV, radio and internet broadcasts all over the world. In addition he has appeared many times as guest principal with orchestras such as the LPO, LSO, Philharmonia and CBSO. He was principal oboe of Opera North before moving to the BBC.
David also appears frequently as a concerto soloist with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in repertoire ranging from Mozart and Richard Strauss to Elliott Carter and Guto Puw.
David has collaborated with pianist Bryan Evans in recitals all over the UK and numerous broadcasts since they made an acclaimed Purcell Room debut in 1978. The duo have recorded albums on the Dryad label of “French Music for Oboe and Piano” and “English and Welsh Music for Oboe and Piano”.
David has also recorded concertos by Alun Hoddinott and William Mathias on the Nimbus label with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
David studied at the Royal College of Music firstly as a Junior Exhibitioner with Sarah Francis and then as a full-time student with Terence MacDonagh and Michael Winfield. He is now professor of oboe at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
David plays on a Buffet Greenline oboe.

Bryan Evans studied piano at the Royal College of Music and has performed extensively as soloist and accompanist throughout the UK and Europe. He has performed at the Purcell Room, the Wigmore Hall and St John’s Smith Square and has appeared on BBC Radios 3 and 4, Channel 4 Television and the BBC World Service.
A leading exponent of chamber opera, he is the Music Director and co-founder of Diva Opera and has given over 2,500 performances of opera accompanied by piano world wide. He has conducted performances of Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, L’elisir d’amore, and Le Nozze di Figaro (including five performances in the Opera House at the Palace of Versailles), was the associate conductor on the European Tour of Opera for Europe’s productions of Mozart’s Lucio Silla and Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and in 2003 and 2004 conducted Il Matrimonio Segreto at Les Azuriales Opera Festival in Cap-Ferrat where he is also Music Director.
Bryan Evans was awarded an MBE for his services to music and opera in the 1993 New Years’ Honours list.


"Both David Cowley and Bryan Evans excel themselves throughout this delightful and enterprising CD" (French Music for Oboe and Piano) Musician June 2004

"David Cowley is a deft soloist in the elegant and approachable 1989 (Mathias) Concerto for oboe and strings" Gramophone June 2004

"In Elliot Carter's Oboe Concerto ... the virtuosic writing realised in an unassuming but highly expressive style by oboist David Cowley." Guardian Sept 15th 2004

"Elliot Carter's Oboe Concerto opened up a very different but often beautiful soundscape. Played with heroic control by David Cowley, the oboe launches the argument right at the beginning tracing a lonely line from which everything else flows." The Times 10th Sept 2004

"Llewellyn, Cowley, the orchestra, engineers achieving that kind of resplendent and crystalline transparency of ambience that is so perfectly suited to the magically enraptured world Mathias, the sonic conjuror, brings into being... Not to be missed by anybody!!!" Fanfare (USA)

"a very persuasive soloist" Guardian 2nd May 2006

"The sheer musical unity...is breathtaking" Double Reed News

"Beautifully and tenderly phrased" CD Review

"Fine playing" Classic CD

"Highly gifted" Musical Opinion

"Very persuasive soloist" Gramophone

"Lovely oboe playing" Gramophone

"Elegant rendition..phenomenal breath control" Manchester Evening News

"..versatility, dexterity and tonal finesse." Daily Telegraph

"..a fine oboist, David Cowley, who proved himself a thorough musician. Bryan Evans was impeccable; I do not use the word lightly" Financial Times

"..blossomed and sang with Cowley's sonorous rhapsodic approach. Bryan Evans accompanied expertly" The Times

"..moments of great beauty in the adagio..the oboist's technical powers brilliantly displayed" Daily Telegraph

"David Cowley played with warmly distinctive tone and seductively supple phrasing" The Guardian

"David Cowley displayed masterly powers" Classical Music

"Rhythmic alertness and gentle well-varied tone..arched phrases and attractive sound" The Times

The album

Sonata for Oboe and Piano York Bowen Op.85
1. Allegretto grazioso 2. Andantino espressivo 3. Allegro giocoso
York Bowen (1884 -1961) was born in London and began his musical education as a young child with his mother. His musical talents were soon recognised and, aged 14, he entered the Royal Academy of Music on a scholarship studying piano and composition. As an adult he enjoyed a long career as a piano soloist, composer and teacher and wrote a number of works for eminent contemporary musicians, including the Oboe Sonata for the oboist Leon Goossens. It is a highly romantic work in the conventional structure of three movements, the first of which is in full sonata form with a tranquillo second subject contrasting with the grazioso first subject. A tempestuous development section which takes the oboe into the extremes of its register is followed by the recapitulation and a short, wistful coda. The rich chromaticisms of the second movement clearly illustrate why Bowen was sometimes known as the “English Rachmaninoff” and the Finale combines the jocular and the passionate in the sonata’s fiery conclusion.

Sonata in C for Oboe and Piano Edmund Rubbra Op. 100
1.Con moto 2. Elegy 3. Presto
At the age of 17, Northampton born Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986) was invited to study composition with Cyril Scott which, in turn, led to studies with Gustav Holst at Reading University and the Royal College of Music. A prolific and idiosyncratic composer Rubbra was also an accomplished pianist and taught at Oxford and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The Sonata in C, dedicated to the oboist Evelyn Rothwell, begins in the minor with a Con moto characterised by restless rhythms and shifting tempi. The mournful Elegy finds the solo oboe intoning a simple, repetitive melody taken up by the piano. The final Presto opens in Ab major with carillons of semiquavers in the piano underpinning long melodic lines in the oboe. The oboe briefly emerges in a burst of pyrotechnics after which a quieter more lyrical interlude leads to the return of the scurrying piano now in Eb. At the last moment a dramatic allargando twists the music back to C major for the closing bars.

The Watermill Ronald Binge
Ronald Binge (1910-1979) was born in Derby and began his musical career as a cinema organist and then piano accordion player in summer seaside resort orchestras. In the 1930s he moved to London where he was offered a post as an accordionist and staff arranger by Mantovani. He recorded, toured and broadcast extensively with him until the Second World War intervened and Binge joined the RAF. After the war he returned to work as an arranger for Mantovani, creating the hallmark “cascades” of the Mantovani string sound and achieving a huge hit with his 1951 arrangement of Charmaine. As time went on he began to tire of arranging and moved increasingly into composing light music and film scores. Nowadays Binge is probably best known as the composer of “Sailing By” (1963) which can still be heard every night on BBC Radio 4. “The Watermill” with its memorable melody line was written in 1958 and originally scored for oboe and strings.

Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for Oboe Solo Benjamin Britten Op. 49
1. Pan Senza misura 2. Phaeton Vivace ritmico 3. Niobe Andante 4. Bacchus Allegro pesante 5. Narcissus Lento piacevole 6. Arethusa Largamente
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) drew inspiration for this collection of six programmatic miniatures for unaccompanied oboe from the “Metamorphoses”, an epic re-telling of the mythology of Ancient Greece by the Roman poet Ovid (43BC -17AD). The “Six Metamorphoses” were written in 1951, when Britten was also working on his opera Billy Budd, and were dedicated to the oboist Joy Boughton who gave the premiere at the Aldeburgh Festival in June of the same year. Each movement is prefaced by a brief description of Ovid’s tales:
1. Pan who played upon the reed pipe which was Syrinx , his beloved.
2. Phaeton who rode upon the chariot of the sun for one day and was hurled into the river Padus by a thunderbolt.
3. Niobe who, lamenting the death of her fourteen children, was turned into a mountain.
4. Bacchus at whose feasts is heard the noise of gaggling women’s tattling tongues and the shouting out of boys.
5. Narcissus who fell in love with his own image and became a flower.
6. Arethusa who, flying from the love of Alpheus the river god, was turned into a fountain.

Seven Bagatelles for solo oboe Gordon Jacob
1.March Alla Marcia 2. Elegy Andante espressivo 3. Waltz Tempo di valse, poco lento
4. Slow Air Adagio 5. Limerick Allegro vivace 6. Chinese Tune Larghetto 7. Galop Presto
Gordon Jacob (1895-1984) was born in London and, after the First World War, studied composition and conducting at the Royal College of Music with, amongst others, Vaughan Williams and Adrian Boult. He joined the teaching staff of the RCM in 1924 where he was to remain until his retirement in 1966 numbering Malcolm Arnold and Imogen Holst amongst his pupils. In addition to composing and arranging a wide range of music, particularly for wind instruments, he also wrote a number of respected books on composition and orchestration. He had little time for the avant-garde in music and his compositional style remained fairly conservative throughout his life. He wrote his Seven Bagatelles, a set of character pieces, in 1969 for the oboist Sarah Francis.

Sonata for Oboe and Piano Guto Pryderi Puw (World Premiere Recording)
1. Allegro con mosso 2. Molto lento e passionato 3. Allegro agitato
The Sonata for Oboe and Piano was composed in 1996 and later revised, in 1998, to include a third movement. David Cowley and Bryan Evans gave the first performance of the complete work in 1998. The musical material for the Sonata is based on three contrasting chords that include the twelve notes of the chromatic scale. During the first movement these intervals are varied and developed until there is an extended recapitulation of the staccato.


French Music for oboe and piano
Dryad Discs DJC001

"The sheer musical unity...is breathtaking" Double Reed News

Alun Hoddinott Doubles for oboe, harpsichord and strings
BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra/Otaka/Armstrong
Nimbus N15357

William Mathias Oboe Concerto
BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra/ Llewellyn
Nimbus N15343
".. Not to be missed by anybody!!!" Fanfare (USA)



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