Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Richard Stoker: Four Miniatures

Richard Stoker's Four Miniatures for oboe, bassoon and piano is “short and sweet.” In fact it is just possible that it is a little too brief! This four movement work is extremely approachable and needs little commentary.
The first movement has the unusual title of 'ballabile.' Richard explained to me that this simply means 'suitable for dancing.' Certainly the mood of this music is appropriate. The ‘duettino’ is the heart of the work - I certainly wish that it would go on a bit longer than the one minute twenty odd seconds that it does. This music is quiet, reflective and quite beautiful. The ‘intermezzo’ is attractive music that nods towards jazz in some indefinable manner. The last movement is quite French in character, but perhaps this reflects the composer's time studying with Nadia Boulanger? The work certainly has its antecedents in Stravinsky and Poulenc, but it is not pastiche – it becomes Stoker’s own creation.
Four Miniatures are well written, if somewhat short. Like much of Richard Stoker's music it little deserves being sidelined in the concert programmes and radio play lists. It is a near perfect work that in its own way is a minor masterpiece.
Thanks to MusicWeb

Oboe Classics

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