What a wonderful disc! Sure, it'll drive purists howling mad because two of the three major works on the disc are "reconstructions" -- transcriptions might be a more accurate word -- and two of the shorter works are "excerpts" -- extracts might be a more accurate word. But what does it matter when reconstructions/transcriptions and the excerpts/extracts are of such high quality and the performances are of even higher quality? Simply put, Anthony Robson is the sweetest period oboist this side of heaven. In the two cantata excerpts, his tone is dulcet and so lovingly phrased that it might as well be sung. In the Concerto in D minor, BWV 1059, his tone is sweet and so tenderly phrased that it might as well be alive. In the Concerto in D major, BWV 1053a, his tone is rich and so warmly phrased that it might as well have blood coursing through its veins. And although Robson doesn't play on the Concerto for flute, violin, and harpsichord, BWV 1044, the playing of Lisa Beznosiuk, Elizabeth Wallfisch, and Paul Nicholson is powerful and so compelling that one can forgive its inclusion on a disc otherwise devoted to concerted works for the oboe. Virgin's digital sound is warm and round.
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