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 American Sound
Author: ElVizconde 
Date:   2007-01-09 06:48

I am from South America and I had contact with different teachers from different countries (we don't have an specific style of playing, we had teachers from England, Italy and Germany). My first teacher was English, his teacher was the famous British oboe player Terence McDonagh, he was my teacher for several years. Then my second teacher was a French oboe player, who studied with Pierre Pierlot (He gave me a Gillet studio with Pierlot's signature). I took some classes in the United States with Frank Staltzer, I believe he studied with Ray Still). Basically I had contact with different teachers who taught me a lot of things. I always admired the sound of French, Italian and German oboe players.

One thing that I have noticed about the American oboe players, and I am talking about young oboists not the old legends (Mack, Robinson, etc) is that they basically maintain the same sound of the old players, I feel that the American sound hasn't evolve at all.
When you listen to French oboists you will notice that they don't sound anymore like Pierlot, the sound now is way more pleasant, mellow and darker. When you listen to German oboe players, they don't sound anymore like trumpet players, the sound is brighter, with a narrower sound. When you listen to English oboe players, they don;t sound like Gossens or my teacher :) anymore.

Tabuteau created a new sound, basically darker and not as nasal as French oboists, the thing is That tabuteau and De Lancie sound way more brighter, nasal out of control than the young French or British counterparts, therefore the young American oboists sound nasal, with a narrow sound and with that annoying "noise" that scratch, coming from the reed (according with Staltzer, makes the sound to project).

I was listening today for the very first time some recording of Tabuteau and De Lancie. Tabuteau is very disappointing, De Lancie had a beautiful conception, of the melody and a great entonation(not Tabuteau) I think he was a great musician.

Sorry about it, that's just my opinion and nothing else and sorry about my English.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-09 08:05

Wow, some very heated words, and I'd caution you of your generalizations.

I used to think that the American sound had changed a great deal, but now I am becoming less convinced the change is less drastic.

Let's first start with you're Tabuteau accusations. I think we need to remind ourselves of three things.
1. The recording equipment back then really reaLLY REALLY was terrible back then.
2. The concept of vibrato was quite different back then. If you listen to Isaac Stern's playing then, and his later stuff, it's like black and white. Similarly, his sound, overtone series, etc, is much more nasally, which makes me believe that since his hardware didn't change over the year, the recording equipment did.
3. Did I mention the recording equipment back then REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY was terrible?

I have the Tabuteau Mozart Divertimento, the Tabuteau Bach double, the Tabuteau orchestral excerpts, the Tabuteau Quartet, and the Tabuteau lessons. Obviously the lessons are the most recent, but it's incredible to hear how even that, taped on a crappy cassette recorder, sounds so much better than the other recordings.

Before I go further into my dissertation, keep in mind that was recorded from 5 feet away, where other recordings were made at different distances, which drastically change the color and tone of the recording.

I've studied with three direct Tabuteau students (Mack, Robinson, and Mr. Stolper), and they've all said the same thing; there is no recording which captures his true sound, and subtle nuances in his playing. I believe this to be true, as even the latest technology could faintly capture the deLancie/Caldwell "phrasing loop", a subtle yet very graceful phrasing structure that I have never heard in any non-North American oboist's playing (the reason is the absolute necessity of responsiveness in the reed with little or no embouchure support, but that's another topic.) With this in mind, I am stating that I don't think it's possible for us to judge Tabuteau's playing with any of the recordings available to a precise degree, but to admire the legacy he left, and take into consideration the first person testimonies of him. (Such players as Arnold Jacobs and other Curtis students and teachers, some of the finest in the world, took lessons from Tabuteau for his phrasing, and they didn't even play oboe.)

The deLancie "noise" is what others consider an extra "ring" around his tight, pure "core' of sound. Some hate it, other's like me love it. Whether it's great or not is beside the point, but it was part of his sound, and of all of Tabuteau's students, it was perhaps de Lancie who was considered the direct "Philadelphia purist" in the lineage of Tabuteau.

The final note I will make is that if you believe Mack to sound exactly the same, then I'm not sure what recordings you're listening to. Go out and get your hands on these recordings:

1. Casals Festival with Mack playing the Brandenburg 1 and 2, available on Sony.
2. The Crystal Recordings. There's 4 of them if I'm not mistaken. Even within these four you hear his sound changing.
3. The Mozart Concerto Recording available on London. This is probably closest to the sound that I heard him last (back in 2002), and was recorded in the 90s.
4. Other Cleveland Recordings. The Shosti 5/Rite of Spring with Maazel is good, as is the Mahler 9 recording put out in 1998?

If you sample all of these recordings, or even half of them, I think you'll hear a LARGE degree of change.

I could give you a list of recordings for Robinson as well, but I think this is enough to start you off.

I might edit this post later.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ohsuzan 
Date:   2007-01-09 13:32

OK, first of all, I completely agree with the first poster that the "standard" sound of European oboists has changed in the directions indicated. The tendency toward an international homogenization of oboe sound, and the attendant disappearance of so-called "national" styles, has been widely discussed, here and elsewhere. And as nearly as I can figure it out, that change is probably due to the influence of the Tabuteau style.

Tabuteau style has been identified as "American" style, but my feeling is that this isn't because there was anything intrinsically "American" about the sound -- it's just because Tabuteau's career unfolded in the U.S.A., and his influence rather automatically extended to his pupils and their pupils, and so on. If Tabuteau had stayed in France, would he have sounded less like himself? Would he have been less influential on succeeding generations of oboists? Had he stayed in France, we would probably identify today's generic oboe sound as the French, rather than the American, style.

But I chuckle at the thought of lumping Ray Still, John Mack, and Joseph Robinson together as "old legends" of the American style. First of all, Robinson doesn't quite belong in that group -- he is a generation younger than Mack, and despite the acknowledged excellence of his playing, his influence is certainly not that pervasive. Nor would I consider Still's influence all that pervasive. If pervasive influence is the criterion for determining a legend, John Mack is the American legend of our time.

And I think it's a real stretch to say that Still, Mack, and Robinson sound anything alike. Still was so much heavier and darker than the other two -- an unusual and immediately recognizable tone quality. Mack and Robinson are more alike, but I would characterize Mack's playing as perhaps more aggressive and idiosyncratic -- unique, original. Robinson, to my ear, is smoother, creamier, more liquid -- perhaps more "homogenized," if you will.

I see how one could conclude that Robinson's sound is quite typical of the modern American oboist, but I would argue that Robinson himself is a product, and not the creator, of the forces shaping oboe sound internationally.

Susan

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-09 14:48

What recordings are you listening to of Still? Do you have his solo recording with the Strauss Concerto, and some Bach stuff? On the recordings, he does not sound remotely "darker' than Robinson or Mack. In fact he has a very piercing sound, yet flexible, much in the same light that Marc Lifschey had. I believe the Strauss recording was done in the late 80s.

Robinson does have a creamier sound, and up close, he amazingly had the exact same sound as he did in Alice Tully. Mack on the other hand sounded glassy, airy, and like he was playing on two popsicle sticks from up close, but always managed to "come out in the wash" in Severance Hall. The airyness and raspy sound couldn't be heard from a distance.

Yes, the American sound certainly is diverse. I think most folks would agree that deLancie sounded different from his teacher and predecessor, Tabuteau. Mack, who sounded different from his predecessor, Lifschey, also doesn't sound much like three of his arguably most famous students, Douvas, Robinson, and Ferillo. I'm sure we could go on playing "so-and-so" sounds like "so-and-so", but ultimately there's a wide variety in tone colors, from very covered/creamy (Robinson, Douvas, Klein, Vogel) to a tighter core/piercing (Tabuteau perhaps..., de Lancie, Lifschey) to thick, complicated sound (Mack, Genovese, Lucarelli). (Those would be my rankings i.e. Robinson most covered of the group).

A final point, it always seems like we get into the de Lancie vs Mack discussion, but we really need to remember, there was a LOT of Tabuteau students who studied with him for an extensive amount of time, and have passed on their own concepts which were very different from those of the Philadelphia and Cleveland schools. Individuals such as Andelucci (sp?), Harrison, Bloom, Sprenkle, etc. had tremendous impact at schools such as LSU, Eastman, and Yale among others.

Final note to Susan: I'm not trying to sound like a jacka$$. I'm genuinely curious what recordings make Still sound darker and heavier, because I heard him on several occasions and never thought to myself, "My, that's a dark sound!"

I think the website http://www.oboistgallery.8m.net/ is going to come in handy here again.

Blog, An Oboe In Paradise
Solo Oboe, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra

Post Edited (2007-01-09 15:02)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2007-01-09 15:33

cjwright wrote:

> Mack on the
> other hand sounded glassy, airy, and like he was playing on two
> popsicle sticks from up close, but always managed to "come out
> in the wash" in Severance Hall. The airyness and raspy sound
> couldn't be heard from a distance.

It's gotta be something about Severance ... Frank Cohen, the current principal on clarinet, sounds airy, raspy, and as if he's playing on one popsicle stick up close. Doesn't sound that way to the audience.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-09 15:50

Wow, I really appreciate that confirmation!

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ElVizconde 
Date:   2007-01-09 16:13

I know I was generalizing, Thing that I don't do "in general". I was just trying to make my point.
I have a Vinyl of Mack playing Mozart string quartet (He has the most beautiful sound I have ever heard in an North American oboe player) but I find his interpretation a little cold (he doesn't take risks). I have Still playing Poulenc, Strauss and his sound is nothing but bright and thin, not dark and big like someone suggested in this thread (I am just talking about the sound not his interpretation, which I find beautiful).

quoting Cjwright "The deLancie "noise" is what others consider an extra "ring" around his tight, pure "core' of sound. Some hate it, other's like me love it. Whether it's great or not is beside the point, but it was part of his sound, and of all of Tabuteau's students, it was perhaps de Lancie who was considered the direct "Philadelphia purist" in the lineage of Tabuteau."

Well, I am one of those who dislike that "noise" the sound projects indeed but it actually hurts when you are close to an oboe player and that is annoying.

Someone in this thread suggested that French and German oboe players now sound more alike because of the influence of Tabuteau, I think that is totally incorrect, the fact is that all these European countries are in permanent exchange of experiences, they travel around Europe and that is making hard sometimes to classify an oboe player from a specific school, a German can sound more French and a French more German.
This situation is different in the USA and Canada, these two countries are big, huge and isolated form the rest of the word (you just need to watch TV, specially the news to see that), that;s why the style remains more"pure" in terms of foreign influences.

My point is that I have heard comments coming from oboe players from the USA about the European sound, specially French and German and lot of them think that they still sound bright and nasal (French) when in fact the sound has changed drastically in the last 20 years, they have evolved thing that is not too obvious in the American style, which now sound brighter, narrower and more nasal than the French counterpart. That's all I tried to say.

I am from Latin-America, so I have the advantage to see everything from outside, I have had teachers from USA and Europe as well, I didn't grew up under the domination of an American or European school (we have to learn from everybody because we don't have the advantage that other countries in Europe or Northa America have, we don;'t have the money, support or resources, so we need to learn from the first oboe player that comes to our countries).. It is just a point of view but it is actually shared with a lot of oboe players in LA, I think we feel more attracted to Europe than USA when we talk about the oboe playing.

Once again, I am just talking about the "sound" not the interpreation.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: OboeAgain 
Date:   2007-01-09 16:35

Thank you for that link, cjwright. Very interesting.

Walter

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Baron 
Date:   2007-01-09 16:38

Well i believe that most of the orcastral jobs being won in the US is oboe players from Europe because they have different sounds and they take good risk
American players have lost what we call "style" we need to listen up and play what we feel, and sometimes not what we know

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ohsuzan 
Date:   2007-01-09 16:48

Hey, glad you agree with my characterization of Robinson's sound as "creamy"! And Douvas is, as I hear it, even more in that direction. (I really like her sound, BTW).

As regards Still vs. ??, we may be tumbling into that morass of defining what a "dark" sound means. Still was one of the first oboists to whom I consciously listened -- at the suggestion of my first teacher, who had ample opportunity to hear him up close while she was a bassoon student at Northwestern. She spoke of the fullness, richness, and (dare I say) "darkness" of his sound. There is an edge to his sound (i.e., it is NOT "creamy"), but it is not like, say, Holliger, who I think of as the quintessence of light and bright. There is a heaviness to Still, or perhaps a broadness. And in light of where oboe sound has gone in the past, say, 50 years, it does seem to me to bespeak an earlier era.

I've only got two Still CDs (are there more?). I've just listened to the first track of "Ray Still, A Chicago Legend" (2001 Nimbus Records), which was Bach Sonata in G minor. Now I am listening to the Strauss on "Oboe Concertos (Strauss, Bach, Marcello)" (1989 Virgin Classics Limited). The Bach sounds heavier to me, the Strauss lighter.

Of Still, Robinson, and Mack, the one that I have trouble getting an auditory handle on is Mack. Guess I need to listen more.

S.

P.S. I love what I have heard of Lucarelli. Glorious. I also like Nick Daniel and Gordon Hunt. Do you see any pattern there?

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: oboe1960 
Date:   2007-01-09 18:18

I am not a big fan of the so-called creamy sound. To me, it's not an oboe sound, it's "clarinet light". I love John Mack's sound!

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: oboist 
Date:   2007-01-09 18:44

I basically agree with your point of view.
May I sugest you to listen to some thing different.Harold Gomberg -recording of New York Phil from 1955-1976 and Ralph Gomber -Boston symphony recordings with Munch,Leinsdorf and a bit of ozawa up to 1984,Israel Phil.from1986-present with Bruce Weinstein as a Solo oboe simply fantastique!!
You may descover different oboe playing .
From the modern american oboe..here in my opinion you absolutely right,but some people sounds really internationally great Alex Klein,Lucarelli,Woodhams and Izotow.
I also stongly recommend you tolisten to Whashington Barella who is Solo oboe in the orchestra of Baden-Baden-he is unique player.
With best regards

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Dutchy 
Date:   2007-01-09 18:57

Quote:

Well i believe that most of the orcastral jobs being won in the US is oboe players from Europe

I am sorry but this is just not true. Chicago has one Russian--but they also have two Americans. The New York Philharmonic has one Chinese and two Americans. So that's two non-Americans out of six oboists, which isn't "most of". So what American orchestras specifically are you referring to, that have been hiring Europeans instead of Americans?



 
 Re: American Sound
Author: oboist 
Date:   2007-01-09 19:04

Eugene Isotow is an american treined oboist the fact he wasborn in russia does not make him "russian" oboist.Same is Liang Wang.
Isotow is Boston grad.Wang is Curtis.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Craig Matovich 
Date:   2007-01-09 22:45

Mack played a few seasons in the National Symphony before the Kennedy Center was their hall. He lamented to my graduate school oboe teacher Dick White (ehorn) that he could not get his sound past the front of the stage of the Kennedy center when he was on tour there.

The point of the conversation was Dick White trying to get me to let go of the 'up close' sound I liked, which I think is akin to the thick or creamy qualities being discussed. He taught me to go for a bit of a 'growl' up close, as a barometer of how the sound would project easily.

He also had me experiment with listening to my sound recorded from a variety of different distances to learn how the sound develops as it crosses space and to develop an appreciation for various room acoustics and how they are really an extension of the oboe.

I still love Mack's sound and did hear differences over the years he recorded. The Mozart Quartet CD is what I refer to as the best Mack sound. Mozart concerto recorded later seems thinner to me, definitely brighter. And that brings up something I learned in Acoustics about how we hear differently as we age.

Presbicusous, I think was the term, for how we lose high range acuity with time, and then brighter may still sound 'darker' as we remember it.

This is just tone quality, and as pointed out by others, musicality is a different matter, and beautiful expression is still beautiful regardless a range of basic tone color.



Post Edited (2007-01-10 22:56)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-09 22:46

Susan, Yeah, I think it's that oboe concertos that we're talking about, particularly the strauss recording. Glad you were able to dig it up. And ElViz, that quartet recording is one of the later Crystal Recordings, where he still sounds great.

Yes, I wouldn't go so far to say Still sounded anything like Holliger (the-freshman-in concert-band-playing-on-a-bad-selmer-tone), but he doesn't sound the darkness of Mack (who was so dark it was rather inflexible, and thus his Mozart neer sounded Mozartish to me). Perhaps we're talking differently, but I think Still's tone is very lively and flexible, which is what made his playing so original and musical.

Regarding Lucarelli, one of my former teachers, a close friend with Lucarelli, upon hearing me express great delight at one of Bert's recordings, responded, "I would be a big Lucarelli fan too... if he really sounded like that." with a half-puzzled look on his face. I suppose the implication was that he digitally changed his sound beyond recognition on his recordings.

From everything I know, I dare say Nicholas Daniels and Gordon Hunt are the real thing. I know several American oboists who love Daniels' playing the most, over any American oboist.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ElVizconde 
Date:   2007-01-09 23:04

How beautiful sound Leleux, Gordon Hunt, Schellenberger, Indermühle, Mayer in this web site.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Baron 
Date:   2007-01-09 23:52

Somebody said that Lanci had a ring around his sound. What does that mean? what were you talking about?

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: dreygirl 
Date:   2007-01-10 01:26

Quote:

"Well i believe that most of the orcastral jobs being won in the US is oboe players from Europe

I am sorry but this is just not true. Chicago has one Russian--but they also have two Americans. The New York Philharmonic has one Chinese and two Americans. So that's two non-Americans out of six oboists, which isn't "most of". So what American orchestras specifically are you referring to, that have been hiring Europeans instead of Americans?"

>>>Agreed. (referring to the post saying Europeans are winning most US jobs): You might want to check your facts before saying something like that. Actually, look at the people that have been in the finals of or have won major US auditions lately: Liang, Izotov, Nathan Hughes, Jeannette Bittar, Dwight Parry, some current students at Juilliard and Curtis: all American/ American trained.



Post Edited (2007-01-10 01:36)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-10 02:09

Okay, this is my own description, and nobody else's. I realize my descriptions are highly subjective. That in mind, I might get in big trouble for describing tones as this way. So, if you hate me, go ahead and send me hate mail.

When you listen to de Lancie's sound it's probably the single most distinctive American sound out there. The best way I can describe it is the core sound is like a pencil: small, dense, pointed at the end, and sharp (not pitchwise, piercing). I would describe James Caldwell's sound like this as well. But de Lancie's tone had a certain aura around it. It had a ring (as in Lord of the RINGS, not a telephone goes "ring ring") around the core, but the ring isn't a defined, kind of ring. It's more of an overtone-ish kind of ring. You can particularly hear this "ring sound" on high tones. When I gave this description to Mr. Weber, he agreed.

If I were to describe Mack's tone, particularly toward the end, I'd describe it as a Lead plumbing pipe, with a wide diameter (2 or 3 inches), and 1/2 inch thick, with next to nothing in the middle, and a sharp (cutting sharp), defined edge on the end of the pipe. Strangely enough, as mentioned earlier, Severance Hall seemed to "fill in" the lead pipe. When I gave this description to a former teacher of mine, (70 year old Mack student), he agreed as well.

Robinson, with his "creamy sound", would be a 1 inch in diameter cylinder of buttery/cream. Perhaps somewhere in the middle of that, a core of congealed butter formed, but it is still smooth, and thick.

You can find clips that demonstrate this on the oboe gallery website. The de Lancie oratorio recording best demonstrates his ring sound but the Strauss does too to a decent degree. If you have that de Lancie Strauss CD, it's really clear on the Francaix/Flower Clock. If you want more sound bits which illustrate these ideas, get a gmail account (which can receive mp3s), send me an email, and I'll send you some clips. (all legal, of course.)

Blog, An Oboe In Paradise
Solo Oboe, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra

Post Edited (2007-01-10 10:52)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Baron 
Date:   2007-01-10 02:36

Hey is says that I am forrbidden from getting on that sight. Do I have to be a member or something? By the way, Cooper, whats your email?



Post Edited (2007-01-10 02:40)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Bobo 
Date:   2007-01-10 02:44

It doesn't seem fair to compare Leleux and the young Europeans to American players of the past...I'd put Izotov, Klein and Nancy Ambrose King toe to toe with any of them (and I'm a Leleux fan). There's no doubt that the biggest change has occurred in the French sound, which is MUCH less nasal...Lothar Koch, the icon of the previous German generation, still sounds awesome by any standard. As for me, I will never get wholly used to the Holliger sound, musicality notwithstanding. Ralph Gomberg begat Izotov. Caldwell begat Klein...i'm not sure about King, i'm just very impressed with her Concerto album, the mozart there is nonpareil, not to mention the Martinu. I'm not that impressed with Douvas that I've heard (at least I don't think she lives up to the rep). For me Harold Gomberg is still King...I love the personality that comes through in Vogel's playing...and Izotov, the current ideal.



 
 Re: American Sound
Author: dreygirl 
Date:   2007-01-10 06:06

First off, I'd say I for the most part agree with cjwright's descriptors of these oboists tones. However, I'd like to add to this discussion of American oboe sounds; while the oboist gallery site is interesting, it unfortunately leaves out some of my favorite American players. Just to name a few that I personally think have developed their own sense of sound in the American spectrum (how ground-breaking they are is completely subjective):

Richard Killmer: in his St. Paul recordings he achieved a sweetness to his tone often attributed to Philly, while also having the breadth of a Mack sound. Not surprising since he's been influenced highly by both "camps."

Kathy Greenbank: many will say she probably sounds much like De Lancie, which you can certainly hear his influence, no doubt. However, IMHO she captures that same "ring" he had without also having the chirp/ rattle in the reed. Thus her sound has the sensitivity, but a little more dimension (don't get me wrong, I adore De Lancie's playing).

Rebecca Henderson: probably one of my favorite oboe sounds out there these days. She has a floaty, smoothness to her sound, especially in the high register which just makes the instrument sing. She has that highly defined core of Philly, but the aura and boldness of tone associated with Cleveland. She's another one who's been influenced by both Mack and De Lancie (and obviously Killmer and Caldwell) and I feel she has elements of all of these sounds, but has developed her own concept. Her sound is one of the more distinctive out there and I can always identify her in a second.



Post Edited (2007-01-10 06:08)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-10 06:40

Yup, those three are among my favorites as well. Rebecca Henderson's playing has a silky smoothness going from one note to another that I've never heard in anyone else's playing before, and ironically although she never directly studied under de Lancie, she's the only other oboist I've heard that "ring" in her sound.

If I could choose one teacher to study with, it would be Killmer hands down. I love his sound, his playing, his flexible approach to oboe, and his positiveness toward the music business.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: dreygirl 
Date:   2007-01-10 06:57

Agreed! I feel fortunate to have studied with both of them for years (no....I'm not biased at all....uh uh) :)

Edited to add: actually, Becky did study a bit with De Lancie when she was the oboe fellow at Aspen for 3 years. I think I remember she does credit him as one of her teachers in her bio...



Post Edited (2007-01-10 06:58)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-10 14:08

The website manager of the oboegallery website emailed me and I sent him about 20 or so clips, including Mack clips over the years. He said he'll work on it this week and hopefully get it up by Friday this time so keep your eyes out on that website.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ElVizconde 
Date:   2007-01-10 22:46

Holliger doesn't have a beutiful sound indeed, but his muiscality and phrasing, are incomparable.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Dutchy 
Date:   2007-01-11 01:34

I can't find an "oboe gallery" website on Google--got an URL?

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ohsuzan 
Date:   2007-01-11 02:05

From the fourth message of this thread -- from cjwright: http://www.oboistgallery.8m.net/

This is the same link which has been posted in other threads -- but it's worth repeating.

Susan

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Baron 
Date:   2007-01-11 02:45

Does Asia have there own sound?

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-11 03:35

Australia, and most of Asia play German style, although US style is starting to show it's head here in Korea. Several American oboists have played in groups like the Hong Kong symphony I believe.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Thomas. 
Date:   2007-01-11 04:39

"Holliger doesn't have a beutiful sound indeed"

I think its personal preference, i personally think Holliger's sound is beautiful, and I don't think that its possible to be as famous and respected as he is and not have a beautiful sound, then again, I'm definitely not a big fan of many American oboists, although they are brilliant musicians, its just not my taste in oboe sound.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Nissen 
Date:   2007-01-11 08:15

I grew up with Holliger on the Stereo, the first oboe sound I was aware of existed. I agree - it's nasal and thin, almost metallic at times, but when he plays, you soon forget. There is - compared to other oboists who feature this sort of sound - nothing weak or constrained about his playing.
He plays with a drive, fantasy and flow, which many oboists lack. This is why he is still so highly regarded (phenomenon status), at least here in Europe.
My taste in sound - the one I like (hope!) to produce myself - is far from Holliger's, but I always enjoy listening to him when I put him on the Stereo. When musicality and artistry is so apparent, the tone just seems right.

Tone is not just tone. Tone from two different oboists, stripped from attack, vibrato and air intensity of any kind may sound almost the same, even from 'different schools'. It's the way the tone is mixed with vibrato, how the reed is blown in general and how the oboist phrases that influence our perception of tone.

Holligers tone - isolated seen - is no better than a beginners, but his control of breath, and all the other stuff a real Pro can do, makes all the difference.

/Thomas



 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Craig Matovich 
Date:   2007-01-11 14:47

I believe Peter Cooper, principal oboist in the Colorado Symphony spent several years playing in Hong Kong.

He claims his sound does not conform to curret american oboe norms and that he would probably not win a spot in many ochestras over here.

His CDs are available at Forrests Music and worth owning. In the Strauss Concerto he finds some new music and phrasing ideas that both surprized and inspired me about the piece. He also priemiered an new oboe concerto by Colorado Symphony composer David Mullikin.

Anyway, this is another current american sound that has individuality and a unique identity, while I think still paying repectful hommage to his mentors.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: wrowand 
Date:   2007-01-11 15:58

WRT Peter Cooper, I have his "whispers of the past" CD which I like very much. I wonder if there is any aspect of his tone that can be attributed to playing at altitude? Or is high altitude just one of those things like playing a different oboe, in that after you get used to it you find that you sound pretty much like the sound concept you have in your head.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: d-oboe 
Date:   2007-01-11 18:10

I really have to agree with Nissen here.

Though Holliger does have a more strident tone he *uses* it! He is one of the few oboists on record who actually phrases, and that you can HEAR it. It's extremely obvious what Holliger is doing - there are relations right down to each single note, and they are incorporated within the larger phrasing structure. It's audible!

Many of today's n-american players apply a very intelligent system of written-in numbering (tabuteau-style), or dynamic markings in hopes that this will produce a phrase, or in some cases eliminate any possibility of phrasing "wrong"...but rarely is this ever audible to the live audience, and even less to a record-listening one.

It seems to me then, that the tone is the last thing that should even be considered. If the oboist plays a succession of smoothly attacked and perfectly round centered notes, but they have no relation to one another...what's the point?!

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Craig Matovich 
Date:   2007-01-11 19:06

I find playing at altitude has more impact on my reed mechanics than my tonal concept.

Peter recorded with St. Martins in the Fields for the Strauss and Mulliken. I don't know were he recorded Whispers.

I play with a lot of differet oboe players out here and hear a lot of different sounds and I think mine is pretty much similar to what I desire having grown up in MD. and VA.

I was back there last summer recording and doing concerts, took a bunch of blanks and untield cane, just in case, but ended up using existing reeds w/o much trouble.

I know other players up/out here who have bigger and darker or smaller and darker sounds than I go for.

Peter did tell me he uses a very small radius cane here and had to buy a special gouger to deal with that. 9.5 - 10 mm.

I use 10-11 mm cane and gouge .45-.60 on a RGD 11 mm bed and get lots of good reeds.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: oboeblank 
Date:   2007-01-11 23:41

I think that the root cause in the change of oboe tone is conductors, and not oboists.
I think, and I am only speculating, that if he had his way, Tabuteau would have been perfectly happy to play with a small and limpid, although very expressive tone common to French oboists at the time. If he did not play in Philadelphia, which was a melting pot of an orchestra he probably would never have been “forced” to change his tone colour. I use the word forced, because from all accounts I have read Tabuteau reluctantly changed his tone because the oboe sound was being lost when the texture thickened around him.
With regard to Francois Leleux, I do not think that his sound is indicative of French oboe playing, as he has played many years in German Orchestras. I think we need to listen to oboists of French Orchestras to gain perspective on their tone before we can state that most French oboists are playing with a dark sound.
Although, I am sure that we can all agree that what makes a great oboe player is what they do with their tone and not how they produce it.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-12 00:36

I love the month I spent in Colorado. I pulled out super big shaper tips and could make reeds that played in pitch. Consequentially I got a huge, fat sound out of them, the fattest I've ever sounded.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Baron 
Date:   2007-01-12 02:41

Wait a minute here you guys. Now I am not to sure if I am right, but I am going to try to say it. I don't think most of us have been to France and have listened to there oboe players. How can we say that there tone is darker? we don't know that? Do we?


and by the way! what do you guys think of Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida tone. It's so dark and beautifull. Who does she resemble? I think she plays on a violotwood royal



Post Edited (2007-01-12 03:05)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: HautboisJJ 
Date:   2007-01-12 02:47

Oboeblank:"Although, I am sure that we can all agree that what makes a great oboe player is what they do with their tone and not how they produce it."

Nissen:"Tone is not just tone."

D-oboe:"Though Holliger does have a more strident tone he *uses* it!"

Beautifully said!

I find Holliger very inconsistent in tone, everytime he starts to play you know it's him (with that distinctive vibrato and attack), but on some recordings it may surprise you that it doesn't sound like him at all! For instance one of his records with Klaus Thunemann of Telemann (if memory serves me right) trio sonatas where he sounds so much darker. Me and my teachers speculate that he is so technically well established that he doesn't care much about his reeds, so long as they vibrate well enough. (He himself in an interview available on the net states of his ignorance towards students who drive themselves into reed frenzies)

I really do think the recording industry has had an influence on how we all sound today, just as mentioned by someone recently on this board. I realised when recording in dry studios it is of utmost importance to use 'fatter' sounding reeds opposed to light sounding ones unless you record in a hall like the Concertgebouw or else one can sound really very strident.

For those who haven't, one must really listen to Han de Vries' playing!!!
There is an astounding record of his rendition of the Mozart Concerto available on OboeClassics that will even impress you further after you read the story behind the recording. Pity that his Schumann Romances are now out of print (i don't even know if they were ever printed), they are the most musical i have ever heard.

Howard

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-12 13:47

Her bio says she studied at UM and Temple with Woodhams.

Blog, An Oboe In Paradise
Solo Oboe, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra

Post Edited (2007-01-12 13:51)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-12 13:48

New Clips are up.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Bobo 
Date:   2007-01-12 14:49

Here are some links to Eugene Izotov clips (click Library) and Nancy Ambrose King's Concertos album:

http://www.oboesolo.com/

http://www.calarecords.com/product/oboe-concertos-71.cfm



 
 Re: American Sound
Author: OboeAgain 
Date:   2007-01-12 17:41

Thank you for those links, Bobo.

Listening to Eugene Izotov's clips reminds that he is one of today's most phenominal musicians. It's not only the sound, but the phrasing, the use of vibratto and the wide range of color that is astounding. Very impressive.

Walter

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: oboemoboe 
Date:   2007-01-12 19:13

Baron, about french players.

Their sound has come a long way in the past 50 years or so. I happen to have studied with 2 Pierlot students. One (that also studied with Bourgue) still has his "old school" french sound, which is kind of bright (well...REALLY bright). The other one -a well known orchestra player- also had lessons with John Mack (and Holliger), and although he dosent conform to the "traditional american sound" he has the perfect balance between the old school french brightness and the american roundness (but not as hollow), he kind of sounds like the "modern" french players, dark and rich with a touch of brightness. He decided to take the best of both styles and create his own playing.

I also think that more and more American players go and study with european teachers and vice versa, and that we are converging towards a more homogenous sound, which is kind of sad...but this subject has already been covered here. Anyhoo, lots of great french oboists have recorded good albums (from Pierre Pierlot to David Walter), they are easy to find in good music stores (at least here in Canada...) and are worth listening to, just to know what else is going on in the oboe world!



Post Edited (2007-01-12 22:53)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ElVizconde 
Date:   2007-01-12 19:15

I have listened to him with the Colorado Simphony Orchestra. He has a beautiful phrasing but his sound lack on interest, his sound doesn't project in that theatre either.Craig Matovich wrote:

> I believe Peter Cooper, principal oboist in the Colorado
> Symphony spent several years playing in Hong Kong.
>
> He claims his sound does not conform to curret american oboe
> norms and that he would probably not win a spot in many
> ochestras over here.
>
> His CDs are available at Forrests Music and worth owning. In
> the Strauss Concerto he finds some new music and phrasing ideas
> that both surprized and inspired me about the piece. He also
> priemiered an new oboe concerto by Colorado Symphony composer
> David Mullikin.
>
> Anyway, this is another current american sound that has
> individuality and a unique identity, while I think still paying
> repectful hommage to his mentors.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: oboemoboe 
Date:   2007-01-12 19:33

D-oboe, you are so right on this one! What I like about Holliger (and most european players for that matter) is that their playing sounds more spotaneous (in a good way) and has lots of character. The 2 Holliger students I had lessons with (for a long time) use singing a lot when they teach. All of their sudents have to sing the pieces they play, which makes for a more natural phrasing. Others illustrate phrasing by dancing, which is also cool! They see music as being FUN! And use a really large tone palette, with lots of different textures and colours.

I see that you're from Montreal, you might know the teacher (no names mentionned here) who uses the "phrasing by numbers" system. I find that teacher turns out excellent "orchestra machines", but that's it...they all sound the same when they come out of "the mold".

This said, I,m really happy to have been able to study with both styles, ranging from ridgid "this is how you phrase, because that's how it is" to "put down your oboe and sing/dance your piece!"

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: d-oboe 
Date:   2007-01-12 19:38

Yep. I'm at McGill....one teacher dances around, and the other does the numbers. I feel fortunate to have the dancer :D

d

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: wrowand 
Date:   2007-01-12 19:45

ElVizconde wrote: "He has a beautiful phrasing but his sound lack on interest, his sound doesn't project in that theatre either."

Wow, that's pretty harsh. I find his sound to be quite varied and interesting. There are many players whose tone is not exactly what I'm working to get in my own playing - but nevertheless, I enjoy listening to them.

Going back to what you wrote at the beginning of the thread though about young american players sounding just like their teachers. I don't find that to be the case at all. One can definitely hear the influence of their teachers but they all sound quite different to my ears, e.g., Richard Woodhams, Marilyn Zupnik, and Kathy Greenbank all sound different from one another and different from John de Lancie as well. The same can be said of Elaine Douvas, Jon Dlouhy, and John Mack; Peter Cooper and Ray Still (I think that's who he studied with). I enjoy listening to all of them.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ElVizconde 
Date:   2007-01-12 19:57

He is certainly a great musician, phenomenal phrasing, I really like him. Even though his sound it's a little to narrow and "dry" specially in the upper notes . Somebody told me once that American style sounds more like a soprano sax than an oboe. It was certainly a mean joke but he was right in some ways. When you listen to him you find his sound very north american (not Russian) with that distinctive and particular sound of the school of playing. The upper notes sound too metallic to me. Again it is just my oint of view in terms of sound and nothing else, I think he is a great musician!

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ElVizconde 
Date:   2007-01-12 20:07

That's true and I agree with you, but what I tried to say is that despite the differences, it exists an American school of playing and the oboe players obviously sound different, because we are talking about different human beings, but you can tell when you listen to a great musician like Isotov.. you can tell... he is an American oboe player, there is a pojnt of coincidence specially in the sound, but don't get me wrong that is perfect, the American sounds remain less "corrupted" than what is going on in Europe for example.

BTW i didn't mean to be harsh.. sorry.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Bobo 
Date:   2007-01-12 22:47

The IDRS website has some interesting videos of the 2005 conference (membership required)....Florent Charreyre, the winner of the Fox-Gillet Competition that year plays the Strauss. As a recent product of the French Conservatory system, his playing is perhaps a good example of the French sound of today. From listening to him, i would conclude that he's probably a good example of the "convergence" effect, though still unmistakeably European to my ears - he has a singing tone with a bit of nasal edge and spread. I find that Nancy Ambrose King also has a bit of "spread" in her tone that is not particularly American - she is so musical that it just becomes part of her personality as a player. If you have access to the website there are many other well known players (Nicholas Daniel, Gordon Hunt, and there's also Alex Klein playing the Bolling Suite for Flute which is a hoot and gives him a chance to show what he can do in the upper register...I already like it more than the flute versions! Speaking of which, one of Klein's best records (besides the Strauss with CSO/Barenboim which is just amazingly beautiful and really unique - his first movement is at a slower tempo than usual and just really lyrical) is the Fantasias/Partitas album: his rendition of the Telemann Fantasias (also written for Flute) is incredible, but what's interesting is that his playing is almost trumpetlike in tone).

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-13 00:00

d-oboe, send me an email. I want to know about the oboe teachers at McGill.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-13 00:04

Yup, I listen to the Klein Telemann Partitas CD at least once a week. I think his sound is awesome in it. I also think it has to do with his superstaples he uses.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Baron 
Date:   2007-01-13 03:18

Hey those new clips are great. I still think we need more clips of Roseman, and Elaine

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Craig Matovich 
Date:   2007-01-13 03:22

Yes they are. Thanks Cooper for upping the ante on the samples.

And this forum and other web things like it are simply fantastic.

What a great way for oboe lovers to share and exchange and debate and playfully joust on various issues.

I enjoy you all! This is a great time to be alive.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Bobo 
Date:   2007-01-13 03:45

Cooper, I think you might be right about Klein and the superstaples. Somehow they reduce the amount of vibration dissipating the sound before it enters the oboe, creating a more focused sound. Another thing about Klein is that I can always tell his playing by listening for the high A - he lets go of the note and rides it almost a bit like a jazz musician.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: HautboisJJ 
Date:   2007-01-13 04:48

One question - I would like to post a short clip of the oboe soloist from the Bavarian Radio Symphony playing the oboe solo from Barber's Violin Concerto, in contrast to Katherine Greenbank's from the oboe sound gallery which also happens to sound amazing, just for analysis purposes. Question is, who was the soloist? The performance was under Lorin Maazelin year 2000 with violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Baron 
Date:   2007-01-13 05:13

I think the Germans have a really nice sound. It is clear, projects, and is pretty dark to

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Thomas. 
Date:   2007-01-13 08:45

I was surprised when I looked at the gallery not to find many European oboists that I would definitely consider to be very influential/unique players, people like David Cowley, Simon Fuchs, Ruth Bolister, Anthony Camden, Bart Schneemann, Jozef Kiss, Neil Black, Pavel Verner, Salvador Mir, Sarah Francis, Stephan Schilli, David Walter, and a few more I can't remember right now, have any of you heard of these players before?

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-13 14:02

I think on those Mack clips you can really hear the "hollowness" on the Sheherazade, particularly on his B's. Obviously the sound engineer has put a lot of reverb to make it sound nice, but you can still hear it on his b's and tapers.

Just got my Double Reed Mag today. interesting that there's a big ole' picture of Mr. Mack on the cover.

I think the most interesting addition is the Vogel. You take an American, train him in Germany and France, bring him back to America and that's what he ends up sounding like. I wouldn't even classify his sound as "American", but more European. Then again, isn't being "American" being a diverse mixture?

Baron, the Roseman clip came off of a "New York Woodwind Quintet" CD I bought at tower records 10 years ago. There's plenty of recordings out there.

Wonder why everyone's using my first name now. I'm afraid I'm going to meet one of you guys in an audition and you're going to assault me for something I said on this Bboard. Maybe break my audition reed or something.

Blog, An Oboe In Paradise
Solo Oboe, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra

Post Edited (2007-01-13 14:09)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-13 14:05

Sure. Camden recorded all those Naxos CDs available at cheap prices. Great stuff. A legend in the UK from what I've heard. I remember listening to Sarah Francis a while back and gritting my teeth at her "Wahh wahh" vibrato. Neil Black plays the Strauss nicely on the CD with de Lancie's Mozart.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Bobo 
Date:   2007-01-13 14:22

Neil Black is a wonderful player. His Mozart quartet is right up there with Gomberg's and Ferrillo's. He also has a nice Vaughan Williams on a Barenboim/English Chamber Orch. recording of VW/Delius british pieces (a great album with a priceless Zukerman version of Lark Ascending just to go OT). He has a beautiful lively tone, but it still has a dark (by Brit standards), focused sound. He's my favorite British player by far, though maybe not as strong on a purely technical level as a Nicholas Daniels. His version of the Strauss is not, however, one of my favorites...he actually makes a serious mistake, I think in the first movement. My favorite Strauss's are Klein, Koch and DeLancie, more or less in that order. (Not familiar with PCooper's).

Alan Vogel, yes is a hybrid in terms of influence, and I agree his sound is really unique, he has such a soft touch and tremendous control of the instrument...it seems like his tone on Bach's Circle is consciously baroque-like, almost like a period instrument while he sounds more modern on the Obsession album. Anyway, he's in a class, if not a league, of his own.



Post Edited (2007-01-13 14:24)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: HautboisJJ 
Date:   2007-01-13 14:27

To Thomas,

Quote:
"I was surprised when I looked at the gallery not to find many European oboists that I would definitely consider to be very influential/unique players, people like David Cowley, Simon Fuchs, Ruth Bolister, Anthony Camden, Bart Schneemann, Jozef Kiss, Neil Black, Pavel Verner, Salvador Mir, Sarah Francis, Stephan Schilli, David Walter, and a few more I can't remember right now, have any of you heard of these players before?"

I suppose the only reason why they are not in the sound gallery is because
no one contributed them to the webmaster. The sound gallery is always open to contributions.

Late Anthony Camden's unique sound prevails among his best students and one of them happens to be principal oboist in the Malaysian Philharmonic, ex-Oslo Phil, Simon Eames which i am fortunate to hear almost every 2-3 weeks. Camden recorded in my opinion a very beautifully played Cimarosa on the Naxos label.

Bart Schneemann is among my favourite players. Do not miss his Lebrun albums! The only reason why i first approached his playing through records was because i found out he was a student of my favourite oboe player Han de Vries. Discovering him was great, because i have since fallen in love in his playing, especially how musical he is. (owing much to the Dutch oboe tradition of coloring the tones in a variety of ways) He is also leader in the reformed Netherlands Wind Ensemble which has never ceased to amaze me since the days of Werner Herbers and Jan Spronk. (speaking of which are stunning oboe players all from the Concertgebouw)

I have Jozef Kiss's Schumann album from Naxos and i find it to be very special indeed. In fact, it was first ever oboe cd but has been one of the most enjoyable i have ever acquired. (apart from Han de Vries' baroque concertos cd and Klein's Partita/Fantasies cd) I have grown much from those days but to me Kiss' playing have influenced me much.

Sarah Francis's Mozart Concerto cd was the first ever Mozart Concerto cd i acquired. It is of typical English old school AND I LOVE IT!!! You can hear much of Goosens in it and the articulation is so clean. Many players today are reluctant to accept how the old school phrased and articulated, i find clarity in this type of playing and much of it has been lost in the sound of most young players today. To me Neil Black is just as light but darker and he takes less risks, but somehow i prefer how he interprets Mozart both in his rendition of the concerto and quartet.

Many of these players are influential in their parts of the world but of course we can never list them all! We haven't even listed the great baroque oboe players like Paul Goodwin, many of the Italian players, Han de Vries etc yet! An endless voyage it seems!


Howard

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Baron 
Date:   2007-01-13 14:49

Hey Cooper, lol, nobody is going to break your audtion reed. You say some good stuff that keeps conversations flowing and going. Your output is truly respected

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ohsuzan 
Date:   2007-01-13 15:44

<<nobody is going to break your audtion reed>>


Yeah . . . your fingers, maybe. But your reed, we will STEAL. ;)

Susan



 
 Re: American Sound
Author: vboboe 
Date:   2007-01-13 20:06

LOVE this thread, learned LOTS, linked to super sound sample clip site (still in infancy), thanks everybody!

Finally able to spend some time Friday eve listening to all the clips presently on oboesoundgallery -- wow, what a feast! Like others who hope there'll be more samples from elsewhere in world eventually, i hope to see red-blooded maple leaf Canadians included soon

it's been very, very helpful to get collection of oboist names like this in one place with sound samples, now i've identified several worth looking for recordings to develop own personal collection. Some reactionary comments to 'first time heard & know who it actually is' below -- these caught my attention more than others, in alpha not preference order

AMERICANS
DeLancie - agree with other comments, definitely rings & sings his oboe
Klein - oboe singer, more like smooth brandy
Lucarelli - very 'golden', other pieces i've heard by him, similar colour
Roseman - someone i'll be listening more for
Vogel - evocative, wonderful Britten piece, very free & open
BRITS
Blake, Daniels - clear & bright tone, refreshing like pure spring water
Boyd - interesting reed differences in those particular clips
Goosens - immediate goosebumps, emotive, feel connected, recognize (former Brit heard his playing then unawares in childhood)
Messiter - amazing tonal samples there, splendid
FRENCH
need more samples, haven't decided anything about Leleux
GERMANS
Koch - Mozart most playful, yes, enjoyed & chuckled
Mayer & Schellenberger - delightful oboe singers, more familiar M than S
OTHER EUROPEANS
Lencses - floats, lends itself agreeably to disengagement from mundane
Nielsen (Dane) - very nice reed on that recording
DOWN UNDER
Doherty - much enjoyed Blues for DD

First impressions on the down side for me personally, various reasons, not cast in stone final judgement based on such short & few samples
Bloom - airy & hollow on that recording
Gomberg - tonguing too crisp & Mozart not playful enough
Holliger - fresh breezy outdoor tone unsettling, not soothing (and at end of workday i need soothing)
Hunt - uh, is that an alto sax? Oh, it's oboe (higher notes)
Indermuhle - psychologically disturbing, very fenced in
Mack - Scheherazade phrasing unexpected, some slurs disliked
Robinson - that sound mix was treacle
Rothwell - bleaty, disappointed thought she'd sound better than that
Still - swamped by the strings
Tabuteau - poor recordings too high in treble, solo rehearsal interesting but too short

As for many of you folks' other faves not mentioned, you folks eloquently expressed already and i've not arrived at own conclusions, inadequate listening exposure just yet

My very first oboe specific recordings in my renewbie oboe phase are of late Camden Albinoni Concerti & Adagios (soothing), but now i've identified several other oboists worth collecting, keep oboesoundgallery growing, OK?

AWESOME THREAD :-)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: lucyw 
Date:   2007-01-13 21:44

Elvisconde, I would love to hear what direction you are going in with your oboe. Would it be possible to get a recording of the sound that you've been working on?

I think that every great oboist listed here has mastered the sound that he or she set out to do. Beautiful music, beautiful oboe playing, and musical interpretation, is very personal. We may not understand every oboist' decisions on how to perform on the instrument, but then again, that's what makes the oboe so fascinating to listen to - that 100 masters can take the same instrument and turn it in 100 different directions.

Personally, I love hearing the differences in all of these master's performances. If they all evolved in the same direction that would be incredibly boring. At that point, we may as well just have the sound computer generated.

We can say that the European oboists sound better - that they sound less like a trumpet or a flute or what ever, than they did in the past but if we do that, then we should also applaud the fact that they took an oboe and experimented with it in different directions in the past. All of these musicians are and were brilliant artists. Let's not ever forget that. We may not appreciate their efforts but we should always applaud them.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: oboe1960 
Date:   2007-01-13 23:44

I agree 100% with what you say, lucyw--- and would like to add my own 2 cents.

Listening to Marcel Tabteau reminded me of watching old footage of Sonja Henie figure skating in the 1920's. She was the world's best skater in her time--- and today, 10-year olds routinely surpass her best efforts on the ice! To use a more recent example, think of Peggy Fleming--- her best efforts are duplicated all over the world by kids in middle school. And the standards have changed as well- in the 20's the "compulsories" were much more important than today, where the free-skate segments dominate, and athleticism dominates over stringent rules and figures.

I guess what I'm saying is that as the bar is raised, we realize that humans are capable of more and more and more--- and that talent continues to evolve and push itself as far as it must to be the best. Each generation manages to move the bar higher, and somehow the challenge is always met and exceeded! And in the process, a "new" sound, and a higher level of technique, becomes the norm instead of the exceptional.

It certainly doesn't subtract from the accomplishments of the past and should not give us a sesnse of superiority--- no more than feeling superior to our ancestors because they only had the telegraph and we have computers!



 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-14 00:49

Gulp. You scare me.

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: oboe1960 
Date:   2007-01-14 01:11

?????

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ElVizconde 
Date:   2007-01-14 01:32

This is very interesting, check out the Double CD of Historic Recordings of famous old oboe playerr: Henri de Bussher, Sidney Sutcliffe, Bruno Labate (NY Philarmonic), Louis Bleuzet (teacher of Pierre Pierlot).. Goossens. That is nice! Also Janet Craxton and Han de Vries. Very interesting


http://www.oboeclassics.co.uk/catalogue.htm



Post Edited (2007-01-14 01:45)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Bobo 
Date:   2007-01-14 15:28

Oboe1960 has hit the nail on the head...the American oboe geneaology tree is still so easily traceable to a handful of giants in the early 20th century...wasn't it Newton who said, "If I have seen further than others it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." There are just so many more points of reference today! I'm sure it's no different in Holland with Han de Vries, or in Germany with Lothar Koch, etc....so comparing today's great players to those of the past is a bit of a circular exercise...Alex Klein and Eugene Izotov would not be the artists they are without Tabuteau and his progeny. As someone who put down the oboe for 25 years and then started to play again, I stepped out of a time capsule to find a world in which the playing field has been transformed by the information revolution, better oboes, numerous suppliers of oboe gadgets, forums like this one, IDRS, reedmaking manuals, etc. Inevitably, the threshhold for greatness has to rise. To use another sports analogy, it's like comparing today's baseball players to the '27 yankees...take one look at Babe Ruth: he would definitely have had to pump iron to be competitive today! Also, even though the instrument and reeds haven't evolved THAT much, we're dipping into much larger population pools for talent...many of the Tabuteau heirs stumbled into playing the oboe because there was actually more demand than supply for oboists back in the day (imagine that!). So, i guess I agree that we should treasure the variety of sounds that results from this evolution, even if we don't find them all equally agreeable to listen to!



 
 Re: American Sound
Author: lucyw 
Date:   2007-01-14 17:27

Bobo said " So, i guess I agree that we should treasure the variety of sounds that results from this evolution, even if we don't find them all equally agreeable to listen to!"

That's exactly what I was saying. Yes! Let's treasure them all.

One other point - we have discussed the oboe sound as having evolved, and we have discussed the oboe sound as it fits into the orchestra...now consider this. Other instruments have also evolved, yes? And every oboist sitting in every orchestra has told their sound with the sound of the orchestra that they're performing with. (You can see where I'm going with this.) So, the oboist must evolve along with the rest of the musicians (in the orchestra) as they, too, evolve because they are all producing the music together as a team.

Case in point, a large number of USA oboists use a Loree oboe because that's the sound that fits in with their orchestras at this point. European oboists use Howarths, and other brands for the same reason. Different sounds require different brands of oboes, different reed scrapes, etc.

I think that all of these great oboists that we have been talking about have done an excellent job of keeping their ears open and tweaking their sounds to evolve with the orchestras that they were playing with. Listen to some old clarinet recordings sometime and look at how the clarinets have changed. It may not be as huge of a change as the oboe because the oboe seems to have a larger range of sounds available than other instruments (or it seems that way to me).

Also, then we should look at the great orchestra conductors....what were they asking of their orchestras over the last 100 years??? How did what they wanted from the musicians change??? Conductors, and the sounds that they wanted to hear have also evolved - a lot!

It's all a group effort!!

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Bobo 
Date:   2007-01-14 17:53

Lucyw,

good point on the choice of oboe and orchestral demands..there is a great article by Robert Howe on the evolution of the loree oboe in the latest IDRS Double Reed...John Mack started using the Royal in the '90s because of a perceived need to bring a darker, more focused tone to his orchestral playing to match the evolving demands of the orchestra. To quote,

"As American orchestras became louder and darker in overall sound during the '80s, Mack and other players demanded oboes to match. He found that the more massive, larger holed Royal oboe allowed him more projection and a more secure low register...Thus in the 1990s, Mack and his colleagues adroitly exploited the Royal's characteristics to meet the demands of playing in large orchestras, even as musical fashions called simultaneously for bigger and darker woodwind sounds. Players and instruments thus affected each other as they have for centuries."

Liang Wang uses a Royal, and I believe so does Izotov (based on a photo on his website where the metal ring on the bell is conspicuously absent). I bet there aren't any European oboists using Royals, but it would be interesting to find out that some are. I think Howarth's top of the line is a heavy oboe like the Royal. I wonder if Izotov used the Royal on his solo album. Does anyone know what Klein uses?

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: oboist 
Date:   2007-01-14 20:34

First oboist that used Loree Royale ever was Hansjorg Schellenberger from Berliner Philharmoniker.And also he was very much ivolved in desinging this model.
Izotov uses Royale and Laubin.The album is recorded with Royale I think.
Klein uses Royale

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: oboist 
Date:   2007-01-14 20:43

Yes Loree and Royle in particular is not used much in Europe,but very few people actually play it
Nickolas Daniel international soloist
Alexei Utkin soloist,Moscow Virtuosi
Georges Haas former principal Jerusalem Symphony
Hansjorg Shellenberger former principal Berliner Philharmoniker
I can't remember any other names right now ,but I'll probably post some later

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ElVizconde 
Date:   2007-01-14 21:21

In general, French oboe players prefer Rigoutat, Marigaux and Buffet
English prefer Howarth, German oboe players prefer Marigaux and I have heard that Italian prefer Patricola with Prestini system.



Post Edited (2007-01-14 21:25)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: lucyw 
Date:   2007-01-15 00:33

Right, and all of these oboists are working to achieve a specific sound for their orchestras and ensembles.

I wonder what Tabuteau would be doing today if he were in his 20's? I wonder what kind of sound he would be working on? He moved an entire continent in a different direction 70 years ago and opened a lot of eyes and ears.

Who do you think will be leading the new directional change in this century? Is anyone taking the lead yet?

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: cjwright 
Date:   2007-01-15 00:39

"Who do you think will be leading the new directional change in this century? Is anyone taking the lead yet?"


I think there was a link regarding this a while back ago, but it's worth starting a new thread. You should repost. 80 posts is long enough, don't you think?

Blog, An Oboe In Paradise
Solo Oboe, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra

Post Edited (2007-01-15 00:39)

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ElVizconde 
Date:   2007-02-25 20:59

BTW Alex Klein is not american he is Brazilian..

 
 Re: American Sound
Author: Bobo 
Date:   2007-02-26 18:40

True, but went to Oberlin, studied with Caldwell, which i believe is philly school...question is, what 'school' does he most belong to? Is there a brazilian school of oboe?



 
 Re: American Sound
Author: ElVizconde 
Date:   2007-02-27 20:26

I believe they have German influence, it´s been awhile since the last time I talked with a Brazilian oboe player, certainly Klein does not have a German sound.

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