Poulenc Sonata for Oboe and Piano

The Sonata for oboe and piano by Francis Poulenc dates from 1962. It is his opus number 185 and is dedicated to the memory of Sergei Prokofiev. According to many oboists, the last movement "Déploration" was the last piece he wrote before he died. It sits as a kind of obituary.

The Oboe Sonata is very difficult in places, especially the Scherzo. The sorrowful Déploration also requires great skill. To express his mourning for his friend Prokofiev, Poulenc uses the extremes of the oboe. For example, in one passage the player must play a phrase at the bottom of the oboe's range including B flat, the oboe's lowest note, very loudly (fortissimo). The same phrase is then repeated but is marked to be played very quietly (pianissimo). Another obvious example of Poulenc's use of extreme scoring in the first movement is the starting theme which is very high and the player must be skilled to control the notes and keep them in tune.

Source: Wikipedia

Forthcoming Concerts featuring Poulenc