Back to historic concerts this week. From the 1971 Aldeburgh Festival, a performance by the English Chamber orchestra, guest conducted by Paul Sacher, with Heinz Holliger, oboe in the world premier of Richard Rodney Bennett‘s Oboe Concerto.
A relatively short concert, but an important one – with the legendary Paul Sacher leading the ECO in a program of Mozart and Honegger, in addition to the Richard Rodney Bennett.
Beginning the program with the March in D Major k. 335 by Mozart – followed by the world premier of the Oboe Concerto of Richard Rodney Bennett, with Heinz Holliger as soloist. And ending with the Symphony Number 2 by Artur Honegger.
Paul Sacher has long been known as one of the world’s great conductors, but also one of the great promoters and benefactors of modern music. His commissions have made possible some of the greatest works of the 20th century, and as Music Director of the Basle Chamber Orchestra had been at the podium for practically all of these world premiers.
Heinz Holliger, one of the world’s preeminent oboists as well as conductor, has had a long and celebrated career. And, like Sacher, has had an extensive recording catalog that has been recipient of numerous awards and stellar reviews.
This recording, made by the BBC during the Aldeburgh Festival in 1971 might take a little getting used to. In typical “Stereo Presentation” of the period, the announcer is curiously placed at the extreme left and gets buried from time to time in applause. It was typical of the period, much the same way as The Cleveland Orchestra and Boston Symphony broadcasts of the 1960s and early 70s.
But the important thing is the historic nature of this concert and the joining of legendary forces in the cause of music making in a festival setting.