Christopher Redgate – Oboe
Pasculli has been described as the 'Paganini of the Oboe'. Just listen to Christopher Redgate's amazing high-wire act in Pasculli's Study Le Api (The Bees).
This is not just idle virtuosity; listen to how Pasculli uses it to develop a theme in the Sicilian Vespers. And what themes! Here is one of melting simplicity from the Les Hugenots Fantasia.
Pasculli's writing is leavened with a spirit of geniality, as in this episode in Poliuto, evoking the Italian countryside. But virtuosity is the keynote, with seemingly impossible feats of derring-do, as in this variation from La Favorita
To call Pasculli the "Paganini of the oboe" is almost faint praise. This extraordinary technical music, which Christopher Redgate admits to finding the most challenging of the 19th century, manages to both thrill and dazzle the listener, yet remain melodic and tuneful.
The opening piece "Le Api" (The Bees) is a buzzing flurry of notes from start to finish and perfectly captures the melee of a busy hive. To think Pasculli performed it on the boxwood Triebert oboe pictured on the inlaycard stretches credulity. It only has eleven keys!
Redgate's Howarth XL has significantly more keywork, but his playing is a tour de force that the novice (and even the professional) oboist will find at the same time inspirational and daunting. With this CD he has given us a splendid showcase of his skill, and provided a marvelous tribute the the great Pasculli himself.