Tall Poppies


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 TP (1-901)


Bright Vessel
Recent Australian Oboe Music

Stephen Robinson - oboe, oboe d'amore
Merlyn Quaife - soprano
Elyane Laussade - piano
Marshall McGuire - harp
Peter Neville - percussion
Slava Grigoryan - guitar

$23   (Australian dollars)


buy at: AMC - Buywell - iTunes

Tall Poppies Records is proud to release Bright Vessel – an important collection of Australian works for solo oboe and oboe d’amore.

Bright Vessel is the culmination of an extensive project by renowned Australian oboist, Stephen Robinson, to capture and preserve many fine examples of Australian oboe repertoire that had not previously been recorded.

It features some superb music written by our best composers including Richard Mills, Liza Lim, Elena Kats-Chernin, Brenton Broadstock, Larry Sitsky, Michael Smetanin, Shaun Rigney, Matthew Hindson and Dennis Vaughan. The compositions range from edgy avant-garde and jazz-influenced works, to more traditional and easy-listening styles.

Robinson has achieved outstanding performances of the eclectic program, teaming with other notable Australian musicians – harpist Marshall McGuire, soprano Merlyn Quaife, pianist Elyane Laussade, percussionist Peter Neville and guitarist Slava Grigoryan.

Robinson is Principal Oboe with Orchestra Victoria and also performed with ELISION Ensemble for many years. In this recording, he combines the lyricism, expressiveness and synthesis of line gained from his experience in the theatre, with the extended techniques developed through collaboration with other musicians in the performance of contemporary music. He is one of very few Australian oboists to give serious attention to Australian repertoire.

Bright Vessel, funded by Dame Elisabeth Murdoch and Arts Victoria, was recorded in Melbourne.

Richard Mills Pastoral for solo oboe
Liza Lim Min qi (Bright Vessel) for oboe and percussion
Brenton Broadstock I Touched Your Glistening Tears for oboe and piano
Matthew Hindson Night Pieces for oboe and piano
Dennis Vaughan Mary’s Plea for oboe d’amore soprano and harp
Words are History for oboe soprano and harp
Larry Sitsky Sayat Nova for solo oboe
Michael Smetanin Chromium Yellow for oboe d’amore, harp and tape
Richard Mills Six Preludes for solo oboe
Elena Kats-Chernin Charmer’s Apprentice for oboe and piano


Stephen Robinson, Principal Oboe with Orchestra Victoria, gives us a new release of post 1990s Australian oboe music. This includes solo works, oboe & piano and chamber music selections. Robinson draws on his deep understanding of contemporary performance techniques along with a small who’s who of contemporary music performance in Australia including Merlyn Quaife, Marshall McGuire and Slava Grigoryan.

Robinson, with this recording, shows that he is one of the few oboists who give any serious attention to the current Australian oboe repertoire, alongside colleagues such as David Nuttall, for whom several of the compositions on this disc were written, and Diana Doherty for whom, most famously, the Ross Edwards and Graeme Kohene concertos were written.

This disc covers a wide range of contemporary styles, with elements of the late 20th century avant guarde oboe techniques being employed in several of the compositions to picturesque melodic material that could be set for theatre or film.

The Hindson two Night Pieces for Oboe and Piano is a combination of these, with a subtle and sweet opening work followed by the Night Dance a work using micro tonal timbre fingerings, key clicks and striking rhythm to create an exotic feel and energy with the piano.

This recording also brings to the audience the first full rendition of the Six Preludes for Solo Oboe by Richard Mills. Three of these were previously released by Queensland Oboist Tania Fraser (Disc:4MBSFM10 Southern Cross Soloists). This work has been a main stay in the Australian Music Examinations Board Syllabus for Oboe along with the Mills Pastoral for solo oboe and the Larry Sitsky Sayat Nova for solo oboe, and to have them now finally available on a single disc will aid in the expansion of these works into the better-known repertoire.

The real surprise was the work by Brenton Broadstock. Titled ‘I Touched Your Glistening Tears’ this work is very accessible to the listener with a highly melodic content that weaves and moves very well with the piano over this almost 9 minute work. This piece deserves a substantial listening along with the jazz rhythms and overall joy of Elena Kats-Chernin Charmer’s Apprentice.

Aspiring oboist, Australian music devote or just looking for a new an interesting disc, there are more than enough reasons to add this recording to your collection.
Stephen Moschner
Journal of the Australasian Double Reed Society

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 TP (1-901)



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