An album of modern classical works performed by Robin Williams (oboe) and Julian Kelly (piano), originally released on CD (FACD 236) by the Factory Classical label in 1989.
"Robin I knew from college," Factory Classical curator John Metcalfe told writer Stuart Huggett. "I thought of him just because he was - and still is - an amazing player. He had the most exquisite sound of any oboist that I knew."
With the exception of another work by Britten, the classical portraits of Six Metamorphoses, all Williams' performances here are accompanied by the pianist Julian Kelly. Surrounded by sonatas by Francis Poulenc and Paul Hindemith, Williams' solo Britten pieces are some of the album's most evocative pieces, the listener easily able to conjure up the mythological figures of the titles (lively Pan, sorrowful Niobe).
Perhaps the most recognisable moment comes at the end of the album. Prelude and Variation by Theodore Lalliet is perhaps better known to generations of schoolchildren around the world as My Hat Has Three Corners, a banal yet mind-bending tune forced into many an infant's ear in music classes.
"Robin Williams' 236 showcases the oboe's peerless melancholy with impressive technique on Benjamin Britten and, particularly, Francis Poulenc's "Oboe Sonata"," (Uncut, 04/2023)
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