I wrote my Oboe Sonata in 1965 when I was a second year student at the Royal Academy of Music. The Sonata is in three movements following the usual pattern – fast, slow, fast.
As a young and aspiring composer I was obviously influenced at that stage by a number of composers and I am sure that this can be heard in this particular work. The most obviously influences are perhaps Poulenc, Hindemith and Bernstein. However, there is something of the English tradition in the lyrical slow movement. The first movement is structured in a contracted sonata form, whilst the last movement is an exuberant and highly rhythmic rondo exploiting the extravert side of the oboe.
I have always admired Gregson’s clean-cut lines, clear textures and bright open harmonies. Although this oboe sonata dates from the very beginning of Gregson’s career… it is full of invention and exuberance.
Winds Magazine, 1988
… while it sounds undeniably English in style, there is a deal of French refinement in the writing, with touches of blues and Latin rhythms in places.
Guy Richards, Klassisk.com, March 2022
This is one of the finest Oboe Sonatas that I have heard; it amazes me that it is not in the mainstream repertoire of all oboists. After all these years, this is the premiere recording. Let’s hope it reaches a wide audience of instrumentalists.
John France, MusicWeb International
oboe and piano
Publisher: Emerson Edition
First Performance: 1965
Royal Academy of Music, London, UK
Helen Powell (oboe), Edward Gregson (piano)