The Gallery Players of Niagara | Canadian Oboe Quartets

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Canadian Oboe Quartets

by The Gallery Players of Niagara

A fabulous collection a newly composed Canadian quartets for oboe and string trio, three based loosely on Mozart's quartet for the same combination of performers.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Oboe Quartet 2006, Mov. I. Alla Marcia
6:16 $0.99
2. Oboe Quartet 2006, Mov. II. Moderato
6:33 $0.99
3. Sunspot Letters
12:48 $0.99
4. Oboe Quartet 2002, First Movement
9:16 $0.99
5. Oboe Quartet 2002, Second Movement
8:13 $0.99
6. Wiki Mozart
12:06 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Gallery Players has committed itself to the
commissioning and performance of new Canadian
works since the group was formed in 1993. Our goal
has been to present these new works as part of both
traditional concert settings as well as in novel situations,
making the works available to a wider audience than might other wise hear them.
The four pieces collected on this CD are in some ways obviously disparate and perhaps more closely connected than is immediately apparent.
Three of the works, Michael Oesterle’s Sunspot Letters,
James Rolfe’s Oboe Quartet and Peter Hatch’s Wiki Mozart, all composed in 2006, were commissioned by the Gallery Players in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. Our request to the composers was to revisit and respond as literally or as figuratively as they chose to Mozart’s Oboe Quartet in F Major K.370.
John Abram’s Oboe Quartet, composed in 2002 for the
same group of players, was a revisiting and reworking of an earlier piece of his own composition.
The results of these collaborations have been enormously
gratifying to the Gallery Players and our audiences. In the meantime,we have generated a small but hopefully meaningful addition to the repertoire for this slightly under-represented grouping of instruments.

James Rolfe
Toronto composer James Rolfe has been commissioned and
performed by ensembles in Canada, the USA, Europe,Asia, and
New Zealand. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship (2000),
the K. M. Hunter Music Award (2003), the 2005 Louis Applebaum Composers Award, and the 2006 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. His operas, including Beatrice Chancy, Elijah’s Kite, and Swoon, have been produced across Canada and in New York. Mr. Rolfe is currently working on new operas for the Queen of Puddings and the Canadian Opera Company, and on new works for ASKO Ensemble of Amsterdam and Trio Mediaeval of Norway.

Oboe Quartet by James Rolfe
Oboe Quartet was written to commemorate Mozart’s 250th
birthday. I began to disassemble Mozart’s Oboe Quartet with my usual bag of composerly tricks, but it resisted. Whether I turned it upside down, backwards, or sideways,Mozart always came out on top. Rebuffed, I was forced to write something new, chasing the fleeting spirits that animated Mozart—the deceptively clear and simple structure, the constantly varied repetition, the restless forward drive. The quartet is in two movements: one fast (with traces of an exposition, development, and recapitulation), the
other slow. Oboe Quartet was written at the request of The
Gallery Players Association with the assistance of a grant from the Toronto Arts Council.

Michael Oesterle
Michael Oesterle was born in Ulm, Germany, in 1968. He immigrated to Canada in 1982, and since 1996 has been living in Montréal. His works have been performed and commissioned by ensembles and soloists including the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM), cellist Yegor Dyachkov, the Ives Ensemble and ASKO Ensemble (Amsterdam),Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris), the Chicago Civic Orchestra,the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, les Percussions de Strasbourg,and the Montréal Symphony Orchestra.

Sunspot Letters by Michael Oesterle
The sunspot letters which appeared in the Istoria e Dimostrazioni intorno alle Macchie Solari were exchanged between Galileo Galilei and Mark Welser in 1612. In them, Galileo explains that sunspots are something at or on the surface of the sun. He had his almost daily drawings of sunspots published in the hope that his careful documentation would convince his colleagues that he was not advocating heresy but rather, attempting to discover the true nature of the universe.
This piece is a contribution to the celebration of the 250th
anniversary of the birth ofWolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose gifts,like Galileo¹s, seem miraculous. Like sunspots, today’s composers bloom out of the brilliant body of work which Mozart produced.Sunspot Letters was commissioned by the Gallery Players with financial support by the Canada Council for the Arts.

John Abram
John Abram was born in England in 1959. After composition
studies at Keele University with Roger Marsh and Peter Dickinson he moved to Canada in 1984 to study at the University of Victoria with Rudolf Komorous (composition) and Doug Collinge(electroacoustic music).
From 1986 to 1988 he was Associate Director and Conductor
of the Open Space New Music Series at the Open Space
Gallery. Living in Toronto from 1989 to 1994, he co-founded
The Drystone Orchestra and was a member of ARCANA, also performing with ARRAYMUSIC, Strange Companions and others.
From 1994-2008 he lived in Calgary and was on the teaching
staff at Mount Royal College Conservatory, also running the Technology Lab there and engineering and producing MRC’s recording projects. John has also been active in film and multimedia work - recent collaborators include Marla Hlady, Gary Burns, Barbara Sutherland and Blue Heron Media. He now lives in Dartmouth,Nova Scotia. John’s music has been heard around the world, performed by Guido Arbonelli, Arcana, Arraymusic, Brandon Chamber Players,The Burdocks, Concentus Corvinus, Continuum, Les Coucous Bénévoles, The Drystone Orchestra, Eve Egoyan, Electra, Interensemble, Rosa Selvatica, George W. Welch, Windsor Symphony Orchestra and others.

Oboe Quartet by John Abram
Oboe Quartet was written in 2002 for The Gallery Players
and is a reworking of two sections of the twelve-movement central instrumental section of my anti-opera Aeneid Music. The differences between the versions are chiefly harmonic. In the earlier version the harmonies are obscured by the instrumentation (prepared guitar and slit drum are instruments without tempered pitch) whereas the harmonies in this version are now clear. In much of the music, especially the second movement, the rhythms are very fluid, largely ignoring barlines.

Peter Hatch
Peter Hatch’s compositions span many genres, from orchestral
and chamber music to instrumental theatre, performance
art, electroacoustics and installations. Much of his work incorporates theatrical and multi-media elements, reflecting his interest in extending traditional concert music performance practices.Currently, he is Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and Artistic Director of the Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound.

Wiki Mozart (2007) for oboe quartet and sampled sounds by
Peter Hatch Wikipedia tells us that a “wiki” is a “Web site that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change some available content.” Wiki Mozart is an attempt to present a Mozart ‘event’ in a similar spirit. The material for the piece is drawn completely from sampled and already-composed music found on internet sites. I acted as an editor, choosing material
that reflected the broad representation of Mozart found on
the internet, ranging from historical recordings, MIDI arrangements,concert recordings, documentaries and movie excerpts to live performance excerpts and readings from Wikipedia. The live oboe quartet is presented as part of a dialogue with the recorded material. Tying the piece together is a recurring statement featuring the voice of Gertrude Stein reading from ‘The Making of Americans’ remarking on the significance of individuals and their achievements.

The Gallery Players of Niagara is a not-for-profit charitable organization, based in the Niagara Region of Ontario. For 14 seasons we have presented chamber music concerts in the province of Ontario. We are committed to commissioning and performing new Canadian works, performing baroque and classical chamber music on period instruments and presenting the standard romantic repertoire as well. Please see our website for further information

JAMES MASON is highly regarded as one of Canada’s most prominent oboists.He has been principal oboe with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony since 1979.He has recorded for broadcast much of the chamber and solo repertoire for his
instrument. Mr. Mason is on the faculty of Wilfrid Laurier University. He plays a Yamaha oboe.

JULIE BAUMGARTEL performs on both modern and period instruments with ensembles in the KitchenerWaterloo area including the K-W Symphony and Nota Bene Period Orchestra. Other activities include appearances with the Gallery
Players, and at the Festival of the Sound (Parry Sound, ON) and the Elora Festival.She conducts the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Youth Sinfonia, and teaches at Wilfrid Laurier University.

PATRICK JORDAN is a member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, the Gallery Players and the Eybler Quartet. He is principal viola of the Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel, California, and has served as principal viola in The Boston Early Music
Festival Orchestra. He appears regularly with the Toronto Consort and Opera Atelier.

MARGARET GAY performs regularly with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, Opera Atelier, the Eybler Quartet, and Ensemble Polaris, a group exploring the traditional music of various Nordic countries. She is Artistic Director of the Gallery Players of Niagara.



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