malcolm lipkin, composer

Oboe Concerto

First performed at St John's Smith Square, London on 16 January 1991 by Gareth Hulse (oboe) and the London Chamber Symphony conducted by Odaline de la Martínez

The Guardian:

The premiere of Malcolm Lipkin's Oboe Concerto, at the height of the Gulf crisis, could hardly have been more timely. Although it was completed nearly a year ago, on a commission from the BBC, the work was in part an act of remembrance for the millions killed in Cambodia: and musically it embodied many sombre symbolic overtones to do with war and death. The longest movement used a quotation from Bach's St Matthew Passion (Ach Golgotha!) in its main climax.

At the same time, the piece remained a true concerto. The soloist with the London Chamber Symphony was Gareth Hulse, and he took the foreground almost from start to finish: and only briefly did the conductor, Odaline de la Martínez, allow him to become swamped. Hulse's oboe solos charted a path through the restless tempo changes, imparted firmness to the equally unsettled, ominous scherzo-like middle movement and provided a somewhat ambiguous denouement in the finale, a short cadenza in the widely-found "doina" folk style. If Lipkin's concerto conveyed the impression of craftsmanship, it also had enough individuality of expression to set it apart as a convincing musical statement.