CD review: Vaughan Williams and MacMillan oboe concertos (Irish Times)
This strongly performed collection opens with Vaughan Williams’s folksily pastoral 1944 Oboe Concerto. The Scottish and Irish traditional music influences in James MacMillan’s 2012 short orchestral monody, One, provide an effective link to the same composer’s 2010 Oboe Concerto. Here, the outer movements echo some of the frolicking of the Vaughan Williams, though in a fully contemporary way. The piece’s heart is an intense, keening Largo, developing material written in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The always-inspirational Nicholas Daniel, for whom it was written, rates it as more difficult than the concerto by Elliott Carter. Britten’s Suite on English Folk Tunes offers a kind of converse to the Vaughan Williams.
Michael Dervan, Irish Times, May 2015