Temporal Fantasies of Britten and Hindemith (Jared Hauser)

Temporal Fantasies of Britten and Hindemith (Jared Hauser)

15.99

Oboist Jared Hauser performs works by Britten and Hindemith

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PROGRAM
1.
Temporal Variations for Oboe and Piano by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  David Bjella (Cello), Jared Hauser (Oboe), Ayako Yonetani (Violin), 
Nicholas Roth (Piano) 

2.
Phantasy for Oboe and String Trio, Op. 2 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  David Bjella (Cello), Jared Hauser (Oboe), Ayako Yonetani (Violin), 
John Adams (Viola) 

3.
Insect Pieces by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  David Bjella (Cello), Jared Hauser (Oboe), Ayako Yonetani (Violin), 
Nicholas Roth (Piano) 
4.
Metamorphoses (6) after Ovid for Oboe solo, Op. 49 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  David Bjella (Cello), Jared Hauser (Oboe), Ayako Yonetani (Violin), 
Nicholas Roth (Piano) 

5.
Sonata for Oboe and Piano by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Nicholas Roth (Piano), Jared Hauser (Oboe) 
6.
Sonata for English Horn and Piano by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Nicholas Roth (Piano), Jared Hauser (English Horn) 

 

REVIEWS

Temporal Variations is one of Britten’s early (1936) little masterpieces, often forgotten or at least under-rated. A thoughtful oboe and an aggressive piano battle it out through nine brief movements, eventually dancing a hesitant Waltz and an awkward Polka together and finally coming to a fragile Resolution, where the oboe restates its initial position and the piano is momentarily submissive. Hauser and Roth make a fine case for the piece. The even earlier (1931) Phantasy Quartet has gained a stronger reputation, for less reason—by my lights. I have never come to grips with the piece, and this performance provides me with no more insight than have others. Two Insect Pieces (1935) portray “The Grasshopper” and “The Wasp” with accuracy and charm. 


We can all agree that Six Metamorphoses (1951) for solo oboe is major Britten, the work of a mature master in total control of his craft. Whether one follows each of the stories—easily done—or merely takes in the music, one is held at rapt attention. Hauser is again superb. There are lots of other fine recordings, one of them by the Cleveland Orchestra’s long-time first oboe, John Mack, on a Crystal CD. Thomas Indermühle plays a nearly identical Britten/Hindemith program on a Camerata disc, substituting a Pavel Haas Suite for the Phantasy Quartet and Insect Pieces. 


The segue into Hindemith seems entirely natural, the opening Langsam of the English-horn Sonata coming as welcome solace to Ovid’s distressed “Arethusa.” Although tiny compared to Mathis der Maler (symphony or opera), Hindemith’s solo sonatas—42 of them, for almost every instrument—may prove to be his most enduring legacy. Nearly every one has achieved a central place in the repertoire of its instrument, and the more one hears each, the deeper it settles into one’s mind, heart, and soul. Over the past half century, performances have become ever more subtle and more beautiful; Hauser and Roth continue that trend. Ensemble Villa Musica’s complete set of the sonatas on MDG, anchored by Kalle Randalu’s always-perceptive pianism, has set the standard. I would split the honors here, preferring Ingo Goritzki’s subtle oboe, but the warmth and depth of Hauser’s English horn. 


This is as satisfying a disc as any instrumental collection I can remember, for its choice of repertoire, the performances, and the pristine recorded sound. 


FANFARE: James H. North