, May 2011
The young Spanish oboist Ramón Ortega Quero believes that early music can be as well served by modern instruments as by ancient ones, and to test this proposition he has assembled a program of sonatas (and a suite) from the Italian and French Baroque. It’s also a borrowed program—Blavet was an itinerant flutist; Dieupart’s instrument was the harpsichord; Veracini and Vivaldi played the violin. Only Vivaldi’s C-Minor Sonata was intended for the oboe. But such borrowing was standard practice at the time. Quero’s program was also designed to contrast the opposing styles of the French and Italian Baroque, though only Dieupart’s suite is essentially French. Blavet’s sonatas are strongly influenced by the Italian mode, exemplified by Veracini and perfected by Vivaldi. As for his primary thesis, Quero offers what I deem to be irrefutable proof. His tone may be a little narrower than one he might adopt for Strauss or Tchaikovsky in his day job as principal oboist for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, but it suits the music well, and he dispatches the technical issues with apparent ease and infectious spirit. He is joined by two other superb and like-minded young instrumentalists in a most rewarding partnership. Very enjoyable.
A minor complaint: The 25 movements are banded separately, but only the six pieces are numbered in the booklet.
As before, my lips are sealed. You’ll have to buy this disc to find out. You won’t regret it.