The Oboe, like the Viola is usually used to express
melancholy within the orchestra and its soft, plaintive tone can be heard even against its
background. It is best suited to slow, lyrical phrases and delicate runs.
The Oboe has a double reed, made by folding a piece of
thin cane in half and shaving it to the correct shape. It is decended from the 15th
century Shawm family. The present design was achieved in the 19th century when
accurate hole positioning and the Boehm key system were introduced to the instrument.
The modern Oboe has a long, tapering rosewood body ending in a gently flared bell.
A relative of the Oboe is the Cor Anglais (a corruption of the French meaning
'Angled Horn') which has a softer, velvety tone due to its larger size and globular bell.
Amongst the best works for Oboe are Rossini's Overture
to 'The ItalianGirl in Algiers' and Strauss' Oboe Concerto.
|Cor Anglais length