Updated: Mar 4
From various posts on social media today I see that the amazing Heinz Holliger is having his 80th Birthday. I thought I would do a quick blog post with links to some of the performances I have found on You Tube.
When I was growing up in the 1970's and 1980's I used to listen to a lot of oboe recordings. These were on record and tape mostly, it seems like the dark ages compared to all the technology around now! If I wanted to listen to a piece it was a case of seeing if they had it at the library and I would borrow the tape or record and bring it home to listen to. Now if you want to listen to some music a quick internet search and you've often found it which is incredible for all you budding musicians! So much music to find and listen to.
When I was growing up there were a few Oboists that were well known but I feel that Heinz Holliger was the top one though with lots of recordings. I had so many tapes and CD's of his Albinoni concertos, Mozart concerto , Telemann concertos, Marcello concerto along with Hummel, Vivaldi and numerous others. These were the pieces that made me want to play the oboe more and more.
I remember watching him perform the Strauss Concerto at the Barbican in around 1995/6, (maybe a little later) and it was incredible. Not just because he performed it and looked relaxed and like he could do it again, (I mean it's an incredible work but we all know how tiring it is!), but, he didn't just play it, when he wasn't playing his oboe was on a stand and he turned around and conducted and would swing round, pick his oboe up and start playing in what seemed like one motion! I was at the edge of my seat thinking he wouldn't get to the entries on time but every single one was spot on and controlled.
Heinz Holliger has gone on to be not only an amazing Oboist but a very contemporary composer who has written for some amazing pieces for the oboe amongst many other things. He is also now a conductor of great skill and I recently heard from a violinist friend who had been working with Heinz Holliger to say what an inspiration he was was.
I think most Oboists, certainly of my generation can also say he has been a huge inspiration!
Happy Birthday Heinz Holliger.