I was captured by the simple yet eloquent melodies that were presented UT I also was curious as I had not known of Benefited to write for oboe. I also know that Marcello stated, “Oboes, flutes, trumpets, bassoons, etc. , will always be out of tune, too sharp, etc. ” I acquired the published edition of the oboe concerto from a company in Amsterdam and it listed the composer as Teeter Statistical. Since this only added to the mystery of who the true composer of the piece Is, I decided to return to my home In Venice so that I might Investigate for myself and find out the truth.
I have arrived back at Venice and I feel it should be noted the rise In compositions and reference of the woodwind instruments, especially the oboe. For many years string players have dominated the performing scene here in the Italian republics. Before the turn of the century, there was a sudden increase of instruments being produced. The recorder, transverse flute, oboe, bassoon were becoming a regular part of the musical life here and masterpieces were being written for these Instruments. Italian woodwind players are considered the finest In Europe and many are becoming quite famous.
The oboe in particular has become a primary Instrument here in Venice. The Escapade Della Petite; where I teach, has had many of the finest oboe teachers. These teachers are the virtuosi of our day and include Ignition Orion, Inform, Pennant, Ludwig Redrawn and Ignition Giber. Myself have taken oboe lessons from these gentlemen at the insistence of Francesco Aspiring. I have digressed enough from my original mission. It is now time to seek out the true composer of this wonderful oboe concerto. There are three Marcello brothers, Alexandra, Benefited and Giordano, who were born of nobility here in Venice.
Benefited is well-known for his music. Alexandra composes also but his interests actually lie more with philosophy, mathematics, history, chemistry, painting and poetry. Alexandra has a small body of work in music. This is probably due to him being much more of a fugue head in the Venetian government since his father passed away in 1707. Benefited has a much larger body of work composing of many Instrumental and sacred vocal pieces. I recalled that considering the academic pursuits of the Marcello, that It was possible that they were members of the Arcadian colony.
The Arcadian were a new movement of intellectuals that emphasized the respect of artistic achievement and a return to the Greek ideals that music and poetry worked together. They also wished to avoid lavish displays and encouraged simplicity. The Arcadian would also use pseudonyms and I discovered that the pseudonym of “Teeter Statistical” belonged to Alexandra. It is typical of nobles such as the Marcello to conduct concerts in their home. I went to the Palazzo Marcello and discovered a concert was being performed that had the concerto on its program. The oboist was unknown to me.
The audience contained mostly nobles and government officials. I arrived Just as the concert was about to being. You can hear the Acadia ideals in Leaseholder’s piece. When the oboe finally enters, the melody line is simple but it carries you and makes you want to listen. It is almost like there isn’t an oboist on stage but a vocalist singing to you. The first movement, Andante e copycats, is not very technical but has a motion and energy that drives each phrase. I have noticed that I don’t hear the same ornaments as the Bach transcription which leads me to believe that Bach added his own ornaments to his work.
The second movement, Adagio, I believe is one of the most graceful melodies to have come upon my ears. The strings begin on a repeated unison note of D using slow eighths. The next measure only contains a repeated E and D in the same pattern but it leads you to a wonderful cadence in measure three. This motion brings in the oboe part playing a lifting, airy melody that almost makes you float out of your seat. You can clearly hear the combination of poetry and music. The slow, melancholy melody makes the performer sound as if he is crying out for something that has been lost to him.
The final movement, Presto, is the most technical of the piece but it doesn’t lose the emotion the rest of the work contains. The Presto has a sense of urgency that is released on the final cadence which ends on a major chord. Afterwards, I was unable to find the composer to give him my impression of his work. Alexandra may be the lesser known composer but his work shows him to be a master of music and the many other undertakings in the intellectual world that he has. I can only pray that time doesn’t lose sight of not only Alexandra but also Benefited and the contributions they have given to the musical world.