Required recordings, spring 2014

Here are the recordings I’m requiring my university students to add to their collections this semester (depending on which instrument they play). All are available on CD or for download from Amazon or iTunes.

Allan Vogel: Oboe Obsession

Amazon (CD) | Amazon (download)

Repertoire: Saint-Saëns Sonata, Poulenc SonataBritten 6 Metamorphoses after Ovid, Schumann Three Romances, W. F. Bach Duet, Shinohara Obsession. Continue reading “Required recordings, spring 2014”

Required recordings, fall 2013

As you know, I require my university woodwind students (oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone) to grow their personal listening libraries by a minimum of one recording per semester. Here are this semester’s picks. They are all available from Amazon on CD or MP3 or both (links provided), and also on iTunes.

Carolyn Hove: English Horn & Oboe

Oboists get some key English horn repertoire this time around, as performed by the reigning queen.

Carolyn Hove: English Horn & Oboe

Amazon (CD)

Repertoire: Hindemith Sonata; Salonen Second Meeting (oboe); Marvin Pieces; Persichetti Parable; Carter Pastorale; Stevens Triangles IV Continue reading “Required recordings, fall 2013”

Required recordings, spring 2013

As regular readers know, I have my university students (oboists, clarinetists, bassoonists, and saxophonists) each add a new recording to their library each semester. During the course of their respective degree programs, they should each accumulate a nice curated collection of recordings. Here are this semester’s selections:

Peter Cooper: Cooper & Marriner

Peter Cooper: Cooper/Marriner

Amazon (CD) | Amazon (download)

Repertoire: Concerti by Strauss and Mullikin. Continue reading “Required recordings, spring 2013”

Required recordings, fall 2012

Here, once again, are my required recordings for the new semester. These are recordings I select each semester for my university students, a different one for each instrument (I teach oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone), so that over the course of their degree program they build up a collection of great players playing great repertoire.

Humbert Lucarelli: Wolf-Ferrari/Strauss/Vaughan Willams/Barber

 

Amazon (CD) | Amazon (download)

Repertoire: Barber CanzonettaStrauss Concerto, Wolf-Ferrari Idillio-ConcertinoVaughan Williams Concerto.
Continue reading “Required recordings, fall 2012”

Required recordings, spring 2012

It’s a new semester, so it’s time again for required recordings. I think I’ve got an exceptional group of recordings picked out for my students (and myself) this semester: lots of beautiful, virtuosic playing, and  great repertoire.

Enjoy:

Joseph Robinson: Principal Oboe, New York Philharmonic

Find it on: Amazon | iTunes

Repertoire: Saint-Saëns Sonata, Piston Suite, Poulenc TrioNielsen Two Fantasy Pieces, Dring Trio, Shickele Gardens, Still Incantation and Dance, Martin Petite Complainte Continue reading “Required recordings, spring 2012”

Required recordings, fall 2011

The fall semester has begun, so it’s time for my students to buy their required recordings for the semester. This semester I wanted to address a few glaring gaps in the library my students have built so far:

  • The oboists don’t have anything Baroque yet.
  • The clarinetists don’t have anything by Weber yet.
  • The bassoonists don’t have the Mozart concerto yet.
  • The saxophonists don’t have the Glazunov concerto yet.

I think I found some great recordings to fill those voids. As a diversity bonus, three of the four are talented women, and one of those is a native Israeli.

Here are the selections:

Ray Still: A Chicago Legend: Baroque Oboe Sonatas

Find it on: Amazon | iTunes

Repertoire: Bach Sonata in G minor, Handel Sonatas nos. 1 and 2, Telemann Partitas 2, 5, and 6, Vivaldi Sonata no. 6 Continue reading “Required recordings, fall 2011”

Required recordings, spring 2011

Once again it’s time for required recordings.

This semester, I’m having my each of my students add a good chamber music recording to their library. The students required to buy these recordings are technically enrolled in applied lessons, which means they study solo repertoire, although I do also coach some of them in chamber music. But even those whose degree requirements don’t specify chamber group participation ought to have at least the most passing of acquaintances with chamber music for their instrument.

For the saxophonists, choosing a format was simple enough—the saxophone quartet is the only significant chamber music setting with saxophones (although I did consider using this recording).

For the other reed players, I considered some options (double reed quartets, clarinet quartets or choirs, bassoon quartets…) but ultimately settled on a wind quintet recording for the clarinetists and double reeders. This may be the only chamber recording I require any of them to buy during the course of their 4-year (well, hopefully 4-year) education—I could possibly choose one more in another couple of years—and I wanted to make it count. The wind quintet tradition is rich and, in woodwind terms, long.

As usual, I was looking for good collections of fairly standard repertoire by exemplary musicians, reasonably priced and readily available. I had to steer clear of some tempting wind quintet choices by outstanding European groups, since I wanted to make sure my students are absorbing American-school ideas about tone. I also gave strong consideration to a great 2-disc set by the Utah Saxophone Quartet (which includes a couple of my former teachers; incidentally, all four members are really excellent doublers and they play some nice clarinet quartets on this recording, too), which I ultimately passed on because it’s not (yet?) available on iTunes and I’m trying to be 21st-century enough not to demand that my students buy physical discs.

So here’s what I finally settled on:

Borealis Wind Quintet, A La Carte: Short Works for Winds

Find it on: Amazon | iTunes

Repertoire: Rota Petite Offrande Musicale, Farkas Hungarian Dances, Beach Pastorale, Schuller Suite, Grainger: Walking Tune, Turrin: Three Summer Dances, Persichetti: Pastoral, Milhaud: La Cheminee du Roi Rene, Briccialdi: Potpourri Fantastico

This album was nominated for a Grammy award in 2006.

New Century Saxophone Quartet: Standards

Find it on: Amazon | iTunes

Repertoire: Singelee Quartet No. 1, Desenclos Quartet, del Borgo Quartet, Mintzer Quartet No. 1, Torke July

Required recordings, fall 2010

A new semester is starting, and my university students have new required recordings.

There are a number of criteria that go into these selections, but I mentioned one in particular back in the spring:

So far my two-semester tally, selecting recordings for four different instruments, is six white men and two white women. I’d like to improve on that in the future, though I do think that, ultimately, what comes through the earphones is more central to this project than the colors or genders represented on the CD covers.

I think I did manage to pick out two this semester that add a little diversity, and certainly without compromising one bit on quality: my oboe students are getting a fine recording by Brazilian oboist Alex Klein, and the saxophonists will be enjoying a new release by African-American saxophonist (and one of my teachers) Otis Murphy. On the other hand, I did end up with all men this time around.

One other victory this semester is that all these recordings are available for download on iTunes. I still like having the CD myself, but iTunes is a convenient and, more importantly, economical option for my students.

Here are the selections:

Oboe: Alex Klein, Oboe Concertos of the Classical Era

Find it on: iTunes | Amazon

Repertoire: Krommer Concertos, Hummel Introduction, Theme, and Variations Continue reading “Required recordings, fall 2010”

Required recordings, spring 2010

As I explained back in August, I’m having my university students purchase a required recording every semester.

The purpose of this, of course, is to help the students develop good aural concepts of tone, phrasing, expression, vibrato, ensemble, and so forth. To try to learn to play an instrument well without a solid aural concept is like trying to learn a foreign language from a textbook. You might pick up a few things, but you’ll be sunk unless you get to really hear—over and over—how the words and phrases sound.

I’m discovering that it’s a challenge to make the recording selections meet all the criteria I’d like. For example, I would like for each one to:

  • Be by a major soloist, preferably living
  • Contain very standard literature that my students should know, without too many repeats from previous selections
  • Contrast with last semester’s selection (for example, if last semester’s recording was music with piano, I tried to pick a concerto recording this time around)
  • If at all possible, contribute to a sense of diversity

The last one has been a challenge. So far my two-semester tally, selecting recordings for four different instruments, is six white men and two white women. I’d like to improve on that in the future, though I do think that, ultimately, what comes through the earphones is more central to this project than the colors or genders represented on the CD covers. I’ve got a few ideas for future selections and welcome additional suggestions.

Here are this semester’s selections: Continue reading “Required recordings, spring 2010”

Required recordings, fall 2009

I’m requiring each of my applied students at Delta State to purchase a recording of their instrument this semester as a sort of textbook. A number of them have confessed to me that this will be the first such recording they will own. I plan to require a different recording for each instrument each semester, so that, over the course of several semesters of study, the students will begin to build their personal libraries of great players playing great literature.

The purpose of this, of course, is to help the students develop good aural concepts of tone, phrasing, expression, vibrato, ensemble, and so forth. To try to learn to play an instrument well without a solid aural concept is like trying to learn a foreign language from a textbook. You might pick up a few things, but you’ll be sunk unless you get to really hear—over and over—how the words and phrases sound.

Here are the recordings I’ve selected for this semester. They are recordings of some of the most admired and relatively current performers (all are actively performing except for the late, great Mr. Mack), performing core solo literature. There’s no flute recording because I’m only teaching reeds, but maybe something like this would have been a good choice.

Oboe: John Mack, Oboe

John Mack, Oboe

Repertoire: Schumann Three Romances, Saint-Saëns Sonata, Hindemith Sonata, Poulenc Sonata, short pieces by Murgier, Berghmans, Planel, and Barraud. Continue reading “Required recordings, fall 2009”