Great Music Chapter 3
This will be a change of pace in my series of Great Music. As many of you know I am a pianist and along with my wife a piano teacher. Obviously, I am partial to the wide selection of sounds a piano can make but I’ve also had a life long love of the sound produced by a good Oboe player. The Oboe is from the small family of double reed woodwinds which also include the oboe’s big brother, the Bassoon. The double reed produces a vibration in the air as it rushes through the instrument giving it a unique sound. Mastering an Oboe is a much more difficult task then the piano and it takes an artist’s hands to cut the raw cane and mold it into a perfect oboe reed. Commercially available oboe reeds will rarely, if ever, be used by a good oboe player since the reeds have to be tailored to the exact specifications of the player’s lips and mouth cavity as well as the exact thickness needed by the player’s lung capacity.
The particular piece I am showing today is called Gabriel’s Oboe from the movie, The Mission. It was composed by an Italian, Ennio Morricone, who specializes in movie music scores. The melody in this music is absolutely haunting and will stay with you long after you leave YouTube. This brings up a good point I want to make – great music did not die with the passing of all those old dead white guys from Europe, like Bach, Beethoven etc. Great music is still being created today, and the music in movies is the residence of music that can be on par with that created by the old masters.
The piece, Gabriel’s Oboe, is an example of great music. It is a pure melodic sound that goes straight to the soul. There are no extraneous notes. Every single note serves to move the sound toward a purpose. In the old days, composers made much of their money playing and composing for the nobility. Far too many compositions started with a good musical concept but in their haste to complete the project, many times filler material was put in the composition to round it out a length to fit expectations. That rarely happens in modern compositions.
Of particular note, the oboist in this music is Henrik Chaim Goldschmidt who may be the best oboist in the world. His principle venue is the Danish National Orchestra but I know him more for his work as the Jewish founder and leader of the Middle East Peace Orchestra. Henrik has collected some of the best musicians in the world be they Jewish, Muslim, Hindi, or Christian and have had them perform around the world, including Israel, Lebanon and Jordan. He is a wonderful man and a pure pleasure to be with. And the answer is no, I am not a good enough musician to be in his orchestra, something we laugh about together.
Here is Gabriel’s Oboe.