Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy 100th, Lady Barbirolli!

Monday will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Evelyn Rothwell, latterly known as Lady Barbirolli (1911-2008), oboist (a student of Leon Goossens, with whom she shared a wonderfully expressive way of playing the instrument) and the wife of conductor Sir John Barbirolli.  They are both pictured above, in a photograph accompanying the Daily Telegraph's obituary of her, which can be read here; she died only three years ago, one day after her 97th birthday.  To celebrate her birthday, I present the first two recordings she made in collaboration with her husband, both oboe concertos arranged by him from works in other media by Corelli and Pergolesi.  (Actually, all but one of the movements of the Pergolesi arrangement are now thought to be by other composers.)  Here are the details:

Corelli (arr. Barbirolli): Concerto in F for oboe and strings
Recorded June 7, 1946
HMV C 3540, one 78-rpm record

Pergolesi (arr. Barbirolli): Concerto in C minor for oboe and strings
Recorded March 25, 1948
HMV C 3731, one 78-rpm record

Both by Evelyn Rothwell with the Hallé Orchestra conducted by John Barbirolli
Link (FLAC files, 41.96 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 17.78 MB)

The sources for both works are spelled out in text files accompanying the recordings.

The Barbirollis' third recorded collaboration, a 2-disc set of the Mozart Oboe Concerto from December, 1948, can be heard at the CHARM website.

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