The oboe first appeared during the 17th century. Even though the oboe made its orchestral debut in France in 1657, its earliest ancestral oboe like instruments were first used around 2800 B.C. The closest predecessor of the modern oboe is an instrument also part of the double reed family called the shawm, which dates way back to its creation in the 1200’s. The first baroque oboe made out of boxwood was created in France for the purpose of entertaining the French court. Its name was derived from the French word hautbois meaning “high wood” and is what it was actually referred to when it first emerged. The oboe gained immediate popularity and was found ubiquitous in many countries like Europe and England. By the 1800’s the oboe became an acknowledge member of the orchestra. Surely there were many modifications that evolved the oboe such as adding more keys (also the “slur key”) to the instrument in order to give it a wide range of notes. The reformations of the oboe eventually stopped and have remained basically the same since 1825. The modern oboe equipped with the “full conservatory” key system has 45 pieces of key work and has a range of more than two and a half octaves.
There is little known about the oboe’s exact creator or its creation date. But there are limitless brands and quite a few makers of the oboe. Some renown makers of the past that contributed to the oboe was the prominent instrument making Hotteterre family, oboe professors Georges Gillet and Francois Loree. Of course, they weren’t the only ones. Some of today’s famous oboe makers include but are not limited to F. Loree, Laubin, Howarth, Yamaha, Fox, Covey, Josef, and much, much more. Famous Performers
During the Baroque period (1600-1760) and Classical Period (1730-1820) the Besozzis reigned as one of the notable family of oboists. Many of the members of the Besozzis were Italian oboists. Many generations continued toward the path of becoming oboists and composers. From the Besozzis, a hautboy (Italian term for hautbois) band created by Antonio Farnese in1702. The members of the ducal Guardia Irlandese (Irish Guard) were Antonio Besozzi, Guiseppe Besozzi was, Cristoforo Besozzi, and Alessandro Besozzi. Alessandro Besozzi made quite an achievement during his times. He was responsible for almost two hundred chamber works, over a hundred sonatas, 65 trios, six oboe concertos, and twelve trio sonatas. Thanks to Alessandro Besozzi, there were successful students that stemmed from his teachings. In the Classical Era, Johann Carl Christian Fischer, a German composer and a famous oboe soloist was one of Besozzi’s successful pupils. Fischer’s music was mostly for oboe and possessed inventive and unexpected turns of melody and other expressive details. Fischer played until a stroke led him to his death. According to New York Times, Heinz Holliger is recognized as “World’s Most Famoust Oboist, arguably the world’s only famous oboist” to this day. He is a Swiss oboist born in 1939 and still alive today. Winning first place in musical competitions quickly got his skills famously recognized. Holliger gave many concert performances covering all sorts of genres ranging from stage works via orchestral, solo and chamber music works to numerous vocal pieces. One of this works even received a Grammy Award back in 2002. FAMOUS COMPOSERS
While going through this course, I came by a musical piece provided in the woodwinds sections. After listening to the Adagio excerpt of Oboe Concerto in D Minor by Benedetto Marcello, I just couldn’t stop. The Oboe Concerto piece may have been Benndetto Marcaello’s best known work. Marcello was a prominent Italian composer and was best known during his lifetime. Over 400 cantatas were written, nearly 100 small chamber works, opera pieces, and much more. Marcello was more renowned than his brother, Alessandro Marcello, who also had interest in music. However, his contributions are not...
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