June Emerson Wind Music
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Printed Edition
Composer:Saint-Saens, Camille (1835-1921)
Instrumentation:ob. pft.
Publisher Ref:EP9196
This is one of three sonatas for woodwinds which Saint-Saens wrote in 1921 to enlarge the repertoire for instruments less often heard in a solo role. He did not live to hear their first performances.

Price: £12.95
Editor:Zimmermann, Reiner
Skill Level:E
Publisher:Peters Edition
Year of Issue:1971
ISBN:none specified
The Oboe Sonata op. 166 was the first of three wind sonatas that Saint-Saëns wrote in his final year. Throughout his life he had been more familiar with keyboard and stringed instruments, so the composer this time found himself in rather unfamiliar territory. Yet he instantly hit upon the inflections and special characteristics of these instruments. To ensure that the parts reflected the technical and tonal idiosyncrasies of each instrument, he asked advice of wind soloists of his acquaintance before publication. His Sonata op. 166 met with the highest approval of the oboist Louis Bas, to whom it is dedicated, and the composer himself wrote that “It went like clockwork”. Henle Verlag were able to consult the autograph for the first time for this Urtext edition.

Op.166 does not follow the conventional sonata format of fast-slow-fast but starts slowly with the tempo increasing with each successive movement. The first movement 'Andantino' is in ABA form and pastoral in mood, reflecting the work of some of Saint-Saens' English contemporaries. It is followed by a romance marked 'Allegretto' which is framed by oboe recitatives over piano chords and marked 'ad lib.' as to tempo. The 'Molto allegro' finale is dance like, virtuosic and youthful, belying the composer's eighty-six years.

  • Andantino
  • Allegretto
  • Molto allegro

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