A Beautiful Oboe and Friends


W. A. Mozart
QUARTET in A Major for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello, K. 370/368b

Sergei Prokofiev
QUINTET in G minor for Oboe, Clarinet, Violin, Viola and Bass, Op. 39 (1924)

W. A. Mozart
SONATA in B-Flat Major for Bass Oboe and Cello, K.292/196c

Franz Schubert
QUINTET in A Major (Trout) for Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass and Piano, D. 667

🎵 Listen to this program recorded live on WFMT 


September 24, 2017 7:00 PM
First Baptist Church of Geneva
2300 South St., Geneva IL
September 27, 2017 7:30 PM
PianoForte Studios
1335 South Michigan Ave., Chicago IL
October 1, 2017 7:30 PM
Music Institute of Chicago Nichols Hall
1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston IL


Alex Klein, oboe
Robert Kassinger, bass

Program Notes

For these concerts, Orion revives two works the ensemble performed with Klein in 2002. Mozart composed his Quartet in A Major for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello, K. 370/368b, for Friedrich Ramm (1744-1813), a brilliant oboist whose artistic connections Mozart was anxious to renew. Hailed as a concerto within the intimate genre of chamber music, the piece's towering first movement leads to the heart-rending Adagio, one of Mozart's finest. The concluding Rondeau is famous for the ingenious passage in which the oboe plays in common time against the energetic 6/8 accompaniment.

Prokofiev's Quintet in G minor for Oboe, Clarinet, Violin, Viola and Bass, the second piece Orion and Klein performed together previously, is a wonderfully imaginative work with colorful scoring that accentuates the composer at his original best. While Prokofiev was visiting Paris in 1924, a traveling dance company commissioned him to write a chamber ballet. As there were only five players to accompany the dancers, Prokofiev created a quintet of wondrous beauty using the instruments available to him.

Thaddaus von Durnitz, a talented amateur bassoonist, commissioned Mozart's delightfully charming Sonata in B-flat Major, here adapted for Bass, Oboe and Cello, K. 292/196c, in 1775. The piece offers each musician opportunities for highly lyrical expression.

In 1819, the 22-year-old Schubert was on vacation in the mountains. Relaxing in the most congenial of surroundings, he met Sylvester Paumgartner, a wealthy amateur cellist. Paumgartner commissioned Schubert to compose a work for his group, which consisted of Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass, and the result was the famous "Trout" Quintet in A Major. The work takes its name from the fourth movement's theme and variations, which use the melody from Schubert's earlier art song "Die Forelle" (The Trout). The wavering ascending accompaniment accentuates the irresistible straight-forwardness of the melody.