Music

Celine Moinet: Oboe Recital

Want 64 minutes of solo oboe? Here you go.


Celine Moinet

Oboe Recital

Label: Harmonia Mundi
US Release Date: 2012-02-06
UK Release Date: 2012-02-06
Label website
Artist website
Amazon
iTunes

The oboe is a funny instrument, isn't it? With its reedy, nasal inflection, it's not often heard in isolation. To be fair though, many instruments might strike a listener as somewhat odd if taken out of the expected context and transmuted into a solo performer. (Glockenspiel, anyone? Trombone? Cowbell? Theramin?) The number of instruments which can comfortably hold their own as solo voices are relatively few—stringed instruments like guitar and lute come to mind, along with keyboards such as piano and harpsichord, and perhaps violin. This is probably why so much music, including classical music, was written for ensembles—orchestras, chamber musicians and so forth.

One is apt to ruminate on such ideas when listening to Céline Moinet's fine collection of solo oboe pieces, Céline Moinet: Oboe Recital, because this is truly a solo record in every sense of the word. There is no accompaniment here at all, placing the weight of these compositions on the shoulders of Moinet's supple and expressive playing. This proves to be a task that she is more than adequately prepared for, although by the end of the disc's 64-minute run time, you might be forgiven for thinking you had heard enough oboe for a while.

The CD features a mixed bag of pieces, and wisely leads off with the most accessible: J.S. Bach's "Partita in A minor, BWV 1013", originally written for flute. The piece is as symmetrical and orderly as one would expect, and casts a pleasing spell over the listener for the length of its 18 minutes.

This spell is shattered quite thoroughly by Luciano Berio's "Sequenza VII", a piece written in 1969. Perhaps inspired by some of Paganini's more virulent outbursts, the shrill and at times discordant "Sequenza VII" reminds this listener of nothing so much as Neil Young's feedback-laced Arc Weld recording from the early 1990s. It's courageous of Moinet to include such an unapologetically demanding piece on the record—and hot on the heels of Bach, no less. Its inclusion here, never mind its placement, strikes the listener as almost a challenge. Some listeners will love it; others will find no need to listen more than once, if that.

This outburst is followed by Benjamin Britten's "Six Metamorphoses After Ovid", another modern piece (1951) but a far more melodic and, perhaps, traditional one. Inspired by figures from Greek mythology such as Pan, Bacchus and Narcissus, these short pieces each convey their own character and mood.

After this comes 1992's "Inner Song" by Elliot Carter, a brief, moody piece inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke's sentiment that "Words still peter out that which cannot be expressed…" As might be expected, it is a slow, contemplative air. Closing out the proceedings is C.P.E. Bach's "Sonata in A Minor, Wq 132", a nice counterpoint to his father's "Partita" that opened the record. Traditionalists out there will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief that the album comes full circle, closing out the recital with the familiar three-piece structure of poco adagio, allegro, allegro. In his way, of course, C.P.E. Bach was as forward-thinking and experimental as any 20th-century composer. It can't be denied, though, that his compositions were a fair bit easier to listen to.

6

Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.

Music

Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.

Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

Music

Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.

Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.

Music

Gloom Balloon Deliver an Uplifting Video for "All My Feelings For You" (premiere)

Gloom Balloon's Patrick Tape Fleming considers what making a music video during a pandemic might involve because, well, he made one. Could Fellini come up with this plot twist?

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Brian Cullman Gets Bluesy with "Someday Miss You" (premiere)

Brian Cullman's "Someday Miss You" taps into American roots music, carries it across the Atlantic and back for a sound that is both of the past and present.

Music

IDLES Have Some Words for Fans and Critics on 'Ultra Mono'

On their new album, Ultra Mono, IDLES tackle both the troubling world around them and the dissenters that want to bring them down.

Music

Napalm Death Return With Their Most Vital Album in Decades

Grindcore institution Napalm Death finally reconcile their experimental side with their ultra-harsh roots on Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism.

Film

NYFF: 'Notturno' Looks Passively at the Chaos in the Middle East

Gianfranco Rosi's expansive documentary, Notturno, is far too remote for its burningly immediate subject matter.

Music

The Avett Brothers Go Back-to-Basics with 'The Third Gleam'

For their latest EP, The Third Gleam, the Avett Brothers leave everything behind but their songs and a couple of acoustic guitars, a bass, and a banjo.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 1: Rett Madison, Folk Devils + More

The first PopMatters Picks Playlist column features searing Americana from Rett Madison, synthpop from Everything and Everybody, the stunning electropop of Jodie Nicholson, the return of post-punk's Folk Devils, and the glammy pop of Baby FuzZ.

Books

David Lazar's 'Celeste Holm  Syndrome' Appreciates Hollywood's Unsung Character Actors

David Lazar's Celeste Holm Syndrome documents how character actor work is about scene-defining, not scene-stealing.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.