Concerto for Oboe and Strings in D minor (Marcello)

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The Concerto for Oboe and Strings in D minor by Alessandro Marcello is one of the most performed oboe concertos in the repertory. It was written in the early 18th century and has become Marcello's most famous work. In the past, and continuing to the present, it has been mistakenly attributed to both Alessandro Marcello's brother Benedetto Marcello and to Antonio Vivaldi. Johann Sebastian Bach made the piece famous by writing a transcription of the piece in D minor for harpsichord (BWV 974). The concerto has also been recorded played on a piccolo trumpet - a notoriously challenging concerto due to the breath control and tight embouchure required for its sustained passages in the higher register.

The piece has three movements:

  1. Andante spiccato
  2. Adagio
  3. Presto

There exist at least two different versions of the Adagio, both of which are performed with frequency. The differences concern the melodic line in the middle of the movement, and a few small harmonic differences in the orchestra. Bach wrote a keyboard transcription for the Adagio which has gained popularity in the modern age.

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