Richard Strauss

Oboe Concerto in D major, o.Op. 144 (TrV 292, AV 144)

    Description by James Zychowicz

    Strauss' Oboe Concerto (1945-1946) dates from the final stages of the composer's career. As a product of his lifetime of experience, it ranks as one of the finest works ever composed for the instrument. Strauss wrote the concerto at the suggestion of John De Lancie, an American soldier and professional oboist stationed near Garmisch at the end of the Second World War. (De Lancie went on to a career as principal oboist of the Philadelphia Orchestra; he also commissioned works for oboe from a number of other composers.) Though De Lancie both recorded the concerto and performed it throughout his career, the work was premiered by Marcel Saillet in Zurich on February 26, 1946.

    Following the classical model, the concerto is cast in a fast-slow-fast three-movement form. The opening Allegro moderato features interplay between the oboe and solo flute and clarinet in a sort of concertato treatment. The elegiac Andante echoes the more meditative moods of the composer's later operas. While the harmonic language is essentially diatonic, Strauss makes full use of colorful chromatic inflections. The movement is remarkable for its intensity and seamlessness, in contrast to the more motivic and episodic nature of some of Strauss' music. The concluding Vivace has the playful character of the composer's incidental score to Der Bürger aus Edelmann (1917) or the opera Der Rosenkavalier (1909-1910). The oboe commands center stage throughout with angular leaps and shifts of register.

    The concerto is further notable for Strauss' economical scoring. This mode of relative austerity -- in comparison to the expansive instrumentation of Strauss' earlier tone poems and operas -- is a feature of much of the composer's late music, including the Sonatina No. 2 for 16 winds (1943-1945) and Metamorphosen for 23 strings (1944-1945).

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro moderato
    2. Andante
    3. Vivace - Allegro

    Appears On

    Year Title / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    2019
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4836622
    2018
    Audite
    AUDITE 95604
    2017
    BIS
    BIS 2163
    2016
    Champs Hill Records
    CHRCD 116
    2016
    Decca / Philips
    4788977
    2014
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4792686
    2014
    Oehms Classics
    OC 1802
    2012
    Equilibrium
    EQ 109
    2012
    Deutsche Grammophon
    002894770055
    2012
    MDG / Zebralution
    2012
    MDG
    MDG 9031598
    2012
    ATMA Classique
    ACD 22580
    2011
    Various Artists
    Brilliant Classics
    9249
    2011
    Newton Classics
    88020662
    2011
    Alto
    ALC 1134
    2011
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4779814
    2011
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2010
    Denon Records
    2010
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2010
    Apex
    256467940
    2010
    Apex
    256467940
    2010
    Deutsche Grammophon
    423 888-2GGA
    2009
    Oehms Classics
    737
    2009
    Various Artists
    Denon Records
    2008
    Caro Mitis
    0062005
    2008
    Supraphon
    39552
    2006
    Various Artists
    Universal Classics & Jazz
    2006
    Various Artists
    Deutsche Grammophon
    000661002
    2006
    COE Records
    CDCOE 808
    2006
    Arte Nova
    984950
    2005
    Brilliant
    7591
    2005
    Avie
    2071
    2004
    Arte Nova
    95999
    2003
    Albany Music Distribution
    593
    2003
    Nimbus
    5330
    2002
    Summit Records
    320
    2002
    Boston Records
    1045
    2002
    Various Artists
    ASV
    PLT8519
    2001
    Haenssler
    93026
    2001
    Teldec
    23913
    2000
    Sony Music Distribution
    61884
    2000
    Virgin
    561766-2
    1999
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4297502
    1999
    Claves
    509010
    1999
    Angel Records
    73614
    1999
    Chandos
    9286
    1999
    Various Artists
    Decca
    460 296-2DF2
    1999
    Carlton
    00212
    1997
    Deutsche Grammophon
    453483
    1997
    Carlton Classics
    00652
    1996
    Sony Music Distribution
    62652
    1996
    EMI Music Distribution
    56149
    1995
    Koch International Classics
    37023
    1995
    Camerata Records
    346
    1994
    Philips
    438733
    1994
    BIS
    470
    1993
    Decca
    436415
    1993
    Amati
    9205
    1992
    Testament
    SBT1009
    1992
    EMI Music Distribution
    64342
    1992
    Simax
    1064
    1991
    RCA
    7989
    1990
    Kontrapunkt
    32039
    Vox
    5136
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4238882
    Carlton Classics
    91382
    EMI Music Distribution
    696612
    Brilliant
    7591/1
    Capriccio Records
    10231
    Virgo
    759686
    Virgin
    59686