Hard to believe that the reed pipe whose sound was too bloodcurdling to be endured anywhere other than in wide open spaces could have evolved into the most exquisite and expressive of chamber instruments. Diana Doherty is simply one of the world’s best oboe players. She was born in Australia, and we are blessed that she remains living here, due both to her gorgeous contributions to the orchestral repertoire in Sydney, and her sought-after appearances as a soloist across the country.
This lovely concert features two works specifically written for the rare combination of oboe, violin, cello and piano. The first is a tuneful and attractive quartet written just after the war by Czech émigré Bohuslav Martinů. This amazing and still under-rated composer, whose retentive memory for music was literally prodigious, probably wrote it in his head while on a long evening walk before returning to his Manhattan brownstone to jot it down. The second is the world premiere of a work by acclaimed young Australian Lachlan Skipworth, whose new Oboe Quartet is a musical portrait of the couple in whose memory it was commissioned, reflecting their shared love of Bach, their hobbies, and characters in its vibrant colours, interlaced lines and lively textures.
New musical experiences aside, familiar melodies will abound too, in Mendelssohn’s much- loved Piano Trio No.1, played by the Streeton Trio.