A transcription from the original oboe quintet.
Published by: Highbridge Music Ltd
Instrumentation: Oboe, violin 1 & 2, viola, cello, contrabass

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Duration: 14 mins
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  • 1: Moderato 6 minutes 03 seconds
  • 2: Larghetto 2 minutes 37 seconds
  • 3: Presto 5 minutes 22 seconds


In 1971 Howard composed the quintet for oboe and string quartet (opus 131) which was given a student performance at the RCM by David Powell, later oboist with the BBC Philharmonic. This version for string orchestra was made at the same time but no further promotion of either work was made after that time and the composer left them amongst  pieces 'under consideration for revision'. In 2009 a suggestion was made by Len Mullenger of Music Web International that Howard should hear the brilliant young bassoonist Karen Geoghegan at a forthcoming Prom with a view to possibly writing a concerto for her. Howard met her briefly after the concert and she expressed an interest in the proposal. On reflection Howard believed that the early oboe quintet might translate well for bassoon and during the course of the summer he reshaped the material into a concerto for bassoon and string orchestra. The material of this Oboe Concerto (Opus 131b) is therefore similar to the Bassoon Concerto (opus 607), which, due to contractual difficulties, was refused exploitatation by Chandos Records in relation to Karen Geoghegan. Fortunately the Bassoon Concerto was taken up by Pentatone for a recording with Gustavo Nunez and The Academy under Sir Neville Marriner in 2012. The Oboe Concerto however currently remains unperfomed.

in 2010 Bob Briggs wrote: 'The Concerto is in three movements. A medium paced opening one - Moderato - a very beautiful slow movement and a sparkling Presto finale with a cadenza which brings together music from all three movements.'

Related Works

'OBOE QUINTET (for oboe and string quartet)' op.131 (July 1971) (Audio Sample Available)
Concert work in 3 movements
An arrangement by Helen Burrows, see opus 131

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