Flautist Ana de la Vega teams up with oboist Ramón Ortega Quero and the Trondheim Soloists on her second Pentatone album, to explore the intricate and unique relationship between flute and oboe in concertos by Joseph Haydn and Carl Stamitz.
Within the orchestra it can be said that there is hardly any musical relationship more significant than that between the flute and the oboe. They were the first wind instruments to join the ‘Lully Orchestra” (considered the birth of the modern orchestra) in the second half of the 17th century, and were even often played by the same musician! They are commonly placed at the core of the orchestra and in the centre of the stage, symbolising the necessity that they be heard clearly by all other instrumentalists.
They are also unique in their supremely one-dimensional role: for their solo lines to soar and sing above an ocean of harmony, creating stories out of the infinite potentialities of a base line. Kircher (1650) beautifully surmises that the bass line can be considered the foundation of all possibility, but it is the melody who decides and defines which story will be told.
Throughout time the great symphonic composers have woven bountiful stories into the conversation between flute and oboe. In opera, their dialogue embodies the masculine and the feminine in its most beautiful and purest form.
It is a wonder, therefore, why this relationship has seldom been explored in concerto repertoire, or for that matter, concerto repertoire for each instrument alone. Most likely it is due to the fact both instruments were extremely late to evolve into the more versatile modern machines they are today, with the flute not undergoing technological developments until 1832 and the oboe not until circa 1855! Both instruments were criticised for being weak and out of tune.
Regardless of their slow evolution, symphonic composers have not been able to resist using the flute and oboe to express their most magical ideas, more often than not, woven together, in dialogue, in unison... symbiotically.
With this album, we are excited to introduce you to the magic of this relationship and to this sound world! Two voices so different, yet so alike, the oboe with a tendency to be precise and clear, penetrating, majestic and stately, the flute with tendencies of wafftiness and frivolity, sweet, often vulnerable, and pure. They at times contradict, at times argue, cry, agree, rejoice, love, and become one.
“This album is like a bottle of sparkling wine that you’ve opened after shaking it. You press the button of your audio device and the good vibes gush onto the floor. It’s as if chirpy Papageno were standing in front of you and whistling one birdcatcher’s song after the other into the room, full of grace and elegance. New wonder flautist Ana de la Vega and oboist Ramón Ortega Quero from Munich are sparkling themselves through works by Haydn for lira organizzata (a crossover between hurdy-gurdy and organ) as well as through solo and double concertos by Anton and Carl Stamitz. Spring has sprung.”