Notes and Editorial Reviews
Grammy Award-winner Alex Klein, former principal oboist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performs sonatas that signify the oboe’s 20th-century reemergence as a brilliant solo instrument. One of the world’s most famous oboe players, Klein says he waited to acquire a professional lifetime’s worth of experience before putting his stamp on the six sonatas heard here. With pianist Phillip Bush, Klein plays works that he says “define the modern oboe”: Camille Saint-Saëns’ jovial, late-Romantic Sonata for Oboe and Piano, Op. 166; York Bowen’s lushly beautiful Sonata for Oboe and Pianoforte, Op. 85; Henri Dutilleux’s emotionally wide-ranging Sonata for Oboe and Piano; Petr Eben’s youthful, inventive Oboe Sonata, Op.1; Francis Poulenc’s late, philosophical Sonata for Oboe and Piano, FP 185; and Eugène Bozza’s Sonata for Oboe and Piano, an ethereal, rarely heard tour de force. Klein possesses a “tone so unique and beautiful that musicians from around the globe would flock to [Chicago’s] Symphony Center to hear him play” (Chicago Magazine). He won a Grammy Award in 2002 for Best Instrumental Solo Performance (with Orchestra) for his recording of Richard Strauss’s oboe concerto with conductor Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Oboe playing simply does not get any better than this. The collaborative support of pianist Phillip Bush could also not be bettered, nor could the recorded sound offered by Cedille. This recital, then, is nothing less than an essential acquisition for any fan of the oboe or superlative wind playing in general.