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With Proper Graces: Sonatas For Oboe And B.c. By William Babell

Babell / Koln
Release Date: 01/25/2011 
Label:  Musicaphon   Catalog #: 56924   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BABELL Sonatas for Oboe and Continuo Karla Schröter (ob); Concert Royal Köln (period instruments) MUSICAPHON M 56924 (SACD: 72:30)


William Babell (c.1690–1723), son of a theater musician and a Londoner all his too brief life, rates 10 lines in Norton/Grove Concise , five in Oxford , and none at all in Harvard Biographical . He studied with Read more Berlin-born Johann Christoph Pepusch (of The Beggar’s Opera ); frequently collaborated with an esteemed French recorder player and composer, Jacques Paisible; wrote sonatas in the Italian style; and gained notoriety by transcribing arias from Handel’s operas and playing them on the harpsichord—an example, perhaps, of England’s musical deference. Or not. Handel, of course, dominated England’s music at the time. But Handel would have dominated the musical scene wherever he chose to live, and a nation with a Byrd in hand and an Elgar in the wings can hardly be branded musically deficient. Just as you must have a Schmelzer before you can have a Handel, you must have a Babell before you can have a Britten. And Babell, remember, died younger than Mozart.


Named to the King’s Band, George I’s private ensemble, as a violinist, Babell went on to become its director. He was an active chamber musician and recitalist (playing the harpsichord), and, for the last five years of his life, organist of All Hallows Church. These 12 sonatas attest to his skill at composition. They were mostly cast in the slow-fast-slow-fast, sonata da chiesa mold and, as published, intended for violin or oboe. Karla Schröter, however, as oboists must, determined that all fall into the oboe’s natural range, and has claimed them for her instrument. Configurations of the continuo group vary from work to work, adding welcome variety to the presentation. The sonatas are of special interest to scholars because in many instances Babell wrote out his ornamentations rather than relying on the performers to devise them, according to the custom of the time. The performances, by yet another splendid Cologne-based period-instrument ensemble, are thoroughly winning. The disc is well worth exploring.


Our protagonist, by the way, not only died too soon but also lived too early. If he had been around during the latter part of the past century, emigrated to the New World, and found employment with a certain now defunct but sorely missed national retail record chain, he could have introduced himself as, “Hi! I’m Babell of ….”


FANFARE: George Chien
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Oboe and Basso Continuo no 1 in B major by William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Period: Baroque 
Written: England 
Venue:  Katholische Kirche St. Martinus, histori 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
2.
Sonata no 2 in C minor by William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Venue:  Katholische Kirche St. Martinus, histori 
Length: 9 Minutes 24 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for oboe & continuo No. 3 in F minor by William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Venue:  Katholische Kirche St. Martinus, histori 
Length: 7 Minutes 25 Secs. 
4.
Sonata for oboe & continuo No. 4 in G minor by William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Venue:  Katholische Kirche St. Martinus, histori 
Length: 6 Minutes 4 Secs. 
5.
Sonata for oboe & continuo No. 5 in E flat major by William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Venue:  Katholische Kirche St. Martinus, histori 
Length: 6 Minutes 0 Secs. 
6.
Sonata for oboe & continuo No. 6 in F major by William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Venue:  Katholische Kirche St. Martinus, histori 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
7.
Sonata for oboe & continuo No. 7 in B flat major by William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Venue:  Katholische Kirche St. Martinus, histori 
Length: 6 Minutes 18 Secs. 
8.
Sonata for oboe & continuo No. 8 in E flat major by William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Venue:  Katholische Kirche St. Martinus, histori 
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
9.
Sonata for oboe & continuo No. 9 in B flat major by William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Venue:  Katholische Kirche St. Martinus, histori 
Length: 5 Minutes 28 Secs. 
10.
Sonata for oboe & continuo No. 10 in E flat major by William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Venue:  Katholische Kirche St. Martinus, histori 
Length: 5 Minutes 10 Secs. 
11.
Sonata for oboe & continuo No. 11 in G minor by William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Venue:  Katholische Kirche St. Martinus, histori 
Length: 5 Minutes 41 Secs. 
12.
Sonata for oboe & continuo No. 12 in C minor by William Babell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Concert Royal Köln
Venue:  Katholische Kirche St. Martinus, histori 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Lovely disc! July 6, 2012 By Ruth Lepp (Verona, NJ) See All My Reviews "I'm an amateur oboe player, and was given the music for an oboe sonata by Babell. This fine recording gave me insight on playing this piece." Report Abuse
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