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Michael Berkeley chose the oboe to express personal grief in his powerful Fierce Tears I and II, and James MacMillan evoked the desolation of 9/11 with In Angustiis II for solo oboe. But contemporary composers have taken the instrument to heart in less traditional ways, as in John Woolrich’s vividly pictorial The Kingdom of Dreams, Tansy Davies’ witty exploration of timbre in Forgotten Game (2) and Colin Matthews’ essay on sustained tone, Night-Spell. There is much more in this sensitively delivered exploration.

PHILLIP SOMMERICH Read the full review on Agora Classica

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