Date: 2019-01-22 17:02
I find it helpful in my playing. I've been doing it since high school (got challenged by a saxophone player about a year after starting the oboe, and since the back pressure was much higher, I picked it up pretty quickly).
For phrasing purposes, I find it to be akin to my string player background. I could play longer phrases without breaking, and still develop the line while giving breadth to the passage. Many people use it and don't give the appropriate phrasing...you can still pause without taking a breath.
After playing several of the Bach cantatas, I find it necessary in a lot of baroque music. I wonder if their reeds were less resistant, and you got rid of more air through playing. A less resistant reed would allow for the quick breaths that flutes can do because there's no back pressure to need to release stacked air. I often use circular breathing to avoid the need for both exhale and inhale in the small amount of time we actually have to breath. I also find it much more taxing on the embouchure to breath like this...It's almost a need to release and rebuild the embouchure each time, where if I circular breathe, I can keep my embouchure much longer (which seems backwards!).
As oboists, we do have it the easiest of all instruments to circular breathe, with flute being the hardest (at least that was the hardest for me to learn to do...it came many years after the others). I feel like composers know this and utilize it, or they don't and we have do to it because we can't take the rapid breaths that other instruments can take.
mschmidt, there should also be a sopranogether, and mezzo-sopranogether :-)