S∅le Daly (oboe)
Studie ⁿber MehrklΣngeHeinz Holliger
Cloud FigureToshi Ichiyanagi
'S∅le Daly, musician and mountaineer, sees adventure as the keynote in her life."
This proved an appropriate opening sentence for the performer-biography in last Thursday's concert in the Bank of Ireland Mostly Modern series. The music was written within the last 30 years, or so, and explored some of the wilder shores of playing techniques and compositional thinking.
The oboe's solo repertoire has increased enormously over the last 70 years, partly because of the contributions of outstanding players like Leon Goosens, in England, and, especially, the Swiss player-composer Heinz Holliger, whose Studie ⁿber MehrklΣnge opened this concert. Its relentless multi-phonics were startling and always interesting. It was for Holliger that Luciano Berio wrote his Sequenza VII. Far more subtle than Hollinger's own composition, it still bears the marks of that player's own unique capabilities.
Cloud Figures by the Japanese composer Toshi Ichiyanagi and Hz by German Gunther Becker, were the poles of compositional style on this recital. Ichiyanagi's lyrical, ethereal exploration of the oboe's extremes of register and dynamics showed thinking closely attached to the instrument's traditional qualities.
Becker's composition was a characteristically forceful, aggressive example of 19070s electronic manipulation of natural sound.
This was an uplifting concert, even though I have heard the oboe played with more technical polish.
Sile Daly's grip on each piece, her cherry spoken introductions, and her communicative playing - all full of character yet remarkably free of ego- made her personality, the music-making and the occasion inseparable.