Keeping it simple- how I programmed my ANAM Recital


Words by:
Alex Allan (oboe WA)

Alex Allan's Financial assistance is supported by ANAM Primo donors - Bill and Sandra Burdett.


Alex Allan 
Photo credit: Pia Johnson for ANAM

Programming a recital is an enjoyable task, but also quite a daunting one for the indecisive like myself.  There’s much to consider in curating an apt selection. Is it varied, yet cohesive? Am I challenging myself too much or not enough? Is this as enjoyable for the audience as it is for me? Is there diversity in the voices represented? And the list goes on. Being decisive isn’t my strong suit.

For my first ANAM recital last year, I made an excel spreadsheet of every piece of oboe repertoire I could find. And then listened to all of it. But I still wasn’t convinced I knew everything there was to know about making to the best decision possible, so I made another spreadsheet of every oboe recital program I could find, including data points around durations and styles, which I then analysed to observe recent trends.

By then I thought that quite possibly I was getting close to knowing everything there was to know to be able to arrive at the best decision possible. But maybe I knew too much - instead of coming up with one recital program, I had nine.

So this year I’ve made it very simple: I’ve programmed music that I love that I think you will enjoy too. Nothing too esoteric or emotionally wrought. Just a brief brunchtime diversion in the middle of your Friday.

It’ll kick off with two effervescent 20th-century French works. Jean Françaix’s L'Horloge de Flore (1959) depicts the 24-hour progression of a Linnean flower clock as seven species bloom in seven short movements. In Francis Poulenc’s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano (1926), the composer’s dualistic persona as both hedonistic libertine and devout Roman Catholic is evident as he vacillates turbulently between earnest reveries and satirical scherzos.

Rounding up the recital is Jeffrey Agrell’s ‘Blues for DD’, which the composer has described as an oboist’s Everest. It looked challenging from base camp, but as I climb further up, I begin to realise how tall the summit really is! In any case, I’m enjoying the ascent.

Fri 2 Sep 11am Rosina Auditorium

FRANÇAIX L’Horloge de Flore
POULENC Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano
AGRELL Blues for DD

Alex Allan (WA) oboe
Jye Todorov (alumnus) bassoon
Peter de Jager (ANAM Associate Artist) piano

TICKETS l $5 or Free for ANAMates

Bookings: or call 9645 7911



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