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Howells, Patterson & Vaughan Williams Oboe Concertos

Howells: Sonata for Oboe and Piano new orchestration for strings with harp by Benjamin Wallfisch with Hugh Webb (harp) Patterson: Phoenix Concerto Vaughan Williams: Oboe Concerto in A minor

Emily Pailthorpe (oboe) English Chamber Orchestra/Benjamin Wallfisch

Champs Hill Records: CHRCD025

Three English concertos make a splendid showcase for one of UK's busiest oboists. Her CV shows why, perhaps, she has not had time to achieve as high a profile as some others - in addition to juggling a full diary, she has a husband (Daniel Pailthorpe, flute - q.v. London Conchord Ensemble) and two young children to look after.

The unique programme is despatched with aplomb and is perfectly recorded at Champs Hill. For me, most significant is the awkwardly titled Herbert Howells work of 1942, withdrawn to "have another go at it" for Goossens, which never happened. Arranged by conductor Benjamin Wallfisch as a successful concerto, it is one of the most interesting pieces by this always interesting and little known of British composers; with that title it would be more likely to take its proper place in the oboe repertoire?

There are very extensive notes by Malcolm MacDonald (6 close-printed glossy pages) and the whole production is boh impeccable and lavish. I have preferred not to use the usual glamourised cover images...

Others received from Champs Hill Records are an English Song programme from Felicity Lott, no longer in best voice and the songs long out of fashion and not to our taste, and a well varied 2nd recital disc of Janacek, Ravel & Prokofiev by Ivana Gavric, beautifully played but maybe lacking spontaneity just a little?

I look foward to a series of concerts she is curating at Kings Place in September with the Aurora Orchestra.

Peter Grahame Woolf