"Breathtakingly beautiful performances"
The Sunday Times
"Altogether this is a thoroughly rewarding collection,
superbly played and recorded."
An exciting release of contemporary British repertoire from The Berlin Oboe Quartet features Colin Matthews’ 1st and 2nd Oboe Quartets in the year of his 70th birthday. Framed by classics of the oboe quartet repertoire, the Phantasy Op. 2 by Benjamin Britten and the Quartet for oboe and string trio by Richard Rodney Bennett, the CD also presents the first recording of Helen Grime’s Oboe Quartet, written in 2011. The Berlin Oboe Quartet have always been inspired in their choice of repertoire by Benjamin Britten’s masterful Phantasy. Early on in their concert career they took the decision to make British oboe quartets central to their concert programming and took the Phantasy as their starting point. One composer with whom The Berlin Oboe Quartet have had a special relationship for many years is Colin Matthews, having championed his Oboe Quartet No. 1 in the 1980’s. After hearing their performances of this first work, Colin Matthews offered to write a second quartet for the ensemble, which they premiered in The Purcell Room, London in 1990. The Berlin Oboe Quartet are also lucky enough to have known and worked with Richard Rodney Bennett. They were invited to play his Quartet for oboe and string trio at his 50th birthday celebrations, and performed this work regularly from then on. It was therefore natural that it should be included on this CD. Always looking for new works to add to the oboe quartet repertoire, The Berlin Oboe Quartet were particularly excited to get to know the Oboe Quartet by Helen Grime. This thrilling work by a young British composer makes a fitting addition to a disc which traces the history of this genre over nearly 80 years.