Unique Contributions for Oboe in the Classical Period: Jacques Christian Michel Widerkehr's Duos for Oboe and Piano and François Devienne's Six Sonatas for Oboe and Basso Continuo

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Sonatas for oboe in the classical period are classified as 'solo sonatas.' These 'solo sonatas,' which originated in the baroque period, consist of a melody instrument and basso continuo. Solo sonatas for oboe, which account for a sizeable repertory in the baroque period, continued to be composed in the classical period but in the baroque style. The basso continuo setting for sonatas gradually disappeared toward the end of the period, developing into the duo sonata in which a solo instrument and piano played an equal role in presenting melodic material. While the fully developed classical sonata was written for piano ... continued below

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Schindler, Angela N. December 2006.

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  • Schindler, Angela N.

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Sonatas for oboe in the classical period are classified as 'solo sonatas.' These 'solo sonatas,' which originated in the baroque period, consist of a melody instrument and basso continuo. Solo sonatas for oboe, which account for a sizeable repertory in the baroque period, continued to be composed in the classical period but in the baroque style. The basso continuo setting for sonatas gradually disappeared toward the end of the period, developing into the duo sonata in which a solo instrument and piano played an equal role in presenting melodic material. While the fully developed classical sonata was written for piano alone, and duos for violin and piano and cello and piano, the sonatas for oboe did not make this transition. The duo sonatas for oboe and piano by Jacques Christian Michel Widerkehr are exceptions to the baroque style 'solo sonatas.' Widerkehr's sonatas are the only true 'duo sonatas' for oboe and piano written in the classical period. François Devienne's sonatas deserve special recognition as the only 'solo sonatas' for oboe written predominantly in the classical style. In addition to presenting an overview of sonatas for oboe, biographical information on Widerkehr and Devienne, current state of research of Widerkehr's sonatas, changes in performance venue and instrumental design of the oboe, an examination of Widerkehr's Duos for Oboe and Piano in E Minor and C Major will follow. Examples of classical style elements and procedures are identified in each analysis with an emphasis on the duo setting. Devienne's Sonata in G Major, Op. 71, No. 1, serves as an example of his six oboe sonatas. Although the work is composed in a basso continuo setting, examples of classical style characteristics are identified in an analysis of the three movements.

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  • December 2006

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Schindler, Angela N. Unique Contributions for Oboe in the Classical Period: Jacques Christian Michel Widerkehr's Duos for Oboe and Piano and François Devienne's Six Sonatas for Oboe and Basso Continuo, dissertation, December 2006; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5435/: accessed December 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .