Xenia Loffler Handel My favourite instrumentXenia Löffler
Handel. My Favourite Instrument

with Marie Friederike Schöder, soprano

Batzdorfer Hofkapelle

Accent, 2015

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This album takes its title from Georg Friedrich Handel’s quote, in which the composer states that the oboe is his favourite instrument, and collects his early works, dating from his Italian period, together with the compositions of maturity. Among other compositions, there are the Concerto for Oboe no. 3, the Sonata for Oboe no. 1, the Suite and the aria Vedrai, s’a tuo dispetto from Almira and the Overture and aria Morirò, ma vendicata from Teseo.

The album mixes thus compositions for solo instrument with others in which the oboe accompanies the voice, showing that Handel’s interest for it has never waned and giving in addition a touch of variety.

My Favourite Instrument is an album of delicate shades, where Xenia Löffler, acclaimed oboist and member of the Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin, plays now with sweetness, now with irony. Her performance is nuanced and vivacious and shows an extremely refined taste, which make immediately recognizable an outstanding interpreter of the Baroque repertoire.

The vocal part is less exciting and is carried out by soprano Marie Friederike Schöder. Schöder does not have a remarkable voice (her high notes are shrill and the low register is weak) and sings the coloratura with accuracy, but, if she manages to be correct in Vedrai, a tuo dispetto, she is at the point of reaching hysteria in Morirò, ma vendicata. This aria, in other respects, represents the successful synthesis of the collaboration between soprano and oboe because the echoes of the voice are immediately played by the instrument: just remember the beginning, where the long note of «Morirò» is immediately echoed by the oboe.

The ensemble of Batzdorfer Hofkapelle plays with great energy and enthusiasm, making the brilliant Baroque music full of life.

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