A. Marcello Oboe Concerto in D Minor

1552 words 7 pages
Charles Pridgen
From the journal of Antonio Vivaldi
December 12, 1717
As noted in a previous journal entry, I had made a trip to Cöthen where the great composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, is under the service of Prince Leopold. There I heard a recent keyboard transcription of Bach’s. The transcription was of a piece called Concerto in D minor for Oboe, Strings and Basso Continuo. Bach listed the composer as the well-known Venetian composer Benedetto Marcello. As I listened to the piece, I was captured by the simple yet eloquent melodies that were presented but I also was curious as I had not known of Benedetto to write for oboe. I also know that Marcello stated, “Oboes, flutes, trumpets, bassoons, etc., will always be out of
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When the oboe finally enters, the melody line is simple but it carries you and makes you want to listen. It is almost like there isn’t an oboist on stage but a vocalist singing to you. The first movement, Andante e spiccato, is not very technical but has a motion and energy that drives each phrase. I have noticed that I don’t hear the same ornaments as the Bach transcription which leads me to believe that Bach added his own ornaments to his work. The second movement, Adagio, I believe is one of the most graceful melodies to have come upon my ears. The strings begin on a repeated unison note of D using slow eighths. The next measure only contains a repeated E and D in the same pattern but it leads you to a wonderful cadence in measure three. This motion brings in the oboe part playing a lifting, airy melody that almost makes you float out of your seat. You can clearly hear the combination of poetry and music. The slow, melancholy melody makes the performer sound as if he is crying out for something that has been lost to him. The final movement, Presto, is the most technical of the piece but it doesn’t lose the emotion the rest of the work contains. The Presto has a sense of urgency that is released on the final cadence which ends on a major chord.
Afterwards, I was unable to find the composer to give him my impression of his work. Alessandro may be the lesser known composer but his work shows him to be a master of music and the many other undertakings in the