I’m currently devoting my energy to Doug Lofstrom’s Concertino for Oboe. I premiered this terrific piece in 2007 with the New Philharmonic, and repeated it later that same year with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra. I’m playing it twice more this summer, though with piano rather than orchestra.
First, Tuesday evening June 26, at 7:30 pm, on the Dake Summer Chamber Music Institute’s Faculty Recital. It will be in the Little Theater at St Mary’s College in South Bend, and is free and open to the public.
Second, at 4:45 on July 9, for the International Double Reed Society Convention in Oxford, OH.
This Concertino is beautiful, tonal, and extremely well suited to the oboe. It’s a one-movement work - played without breaks - but takes the listener on an emotional journey. The opening is lush and rich, and its soaring quality is not lessened by the number of notes I have to squeeze in. The cheerful little hornpipe in the middle is goofy and fun, but with an undercurrent of angst, and when it has run its course the music abruptly slows and becomes more introspective and gentle. After a brief reprise of the rhapsodic opening, we blitz through a bright, jangly technical section, blow hard through a powerful restatement of the theme, and end joyously.
Since this piece was commissioned for me in 2006, I have played it many times, both with orchestra and with piano. I continue to love it, and hope that a performance at the Convention will give it some of the attention it deserves from other oboists. Who knows, maybe the Dake Faculty Recital will push it forward as well!