Duration: 6 minutes
First Performance: August 1998, given by Diana Nuttall (Oboe) and Robin Hales (Piano) at the Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester
Ian Venables’ Sonatina for Oboe and Piano is a one movement work which, in spite of this, can be seen as three distinct sections. The first is scherzando-like, in which the oboe plays a strong, mainly diatonic melody, with the piano accompanying with obtrusive staccato figures, occasionally punctuating the longer notes in the oboe line. The second section acts as a ‘slow movement’, where the oboe plays a more passionate melodic idea, and where both instruments reach an almost rhapsodic climax. After a short bridge passage, the opening material returns, acting as an introduction to the third section. This is a more florid passage where rushing quavers are passed between both instruments. By way of a coda, the opening theme is brought back, this time more heroically; a final rush of semiquavers from the oboe brings the work to an affirmative, almost whimsical end.