The oboe appears in Grażyna Bacewiczs works on several occasions at different periods of her creative work in a variety of different instrumental combinations, owing to which it stands out from other instruments, and especially wind instruments (Quintet for wind instruments 1932, Trio for oboe, violin and cello 1935, Trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon 1948, Sonatina for oboe and piano 1955, Trio for oboe, harp and percussion 1965). The Sonata for oboe and piano from 1937 was inspired by an outstanding Polish oboist, Seweryn Śnieckowski, to whom it was dedicated.
Sonata form, so highly valued by Grażyna Bacewicz, is evident in this work. The Sonata, written during the first, most classical period of her creative work, is a three- movement form, the first movement Allegro ma non troppo being the most extended, cast in the form of a typical sonata allegro with an exposition and a reprise. The first subject, with a characteristic, skillfully rhythmicised descending third, appears in D major, but as early as the first bar, this key is disrupted by the presence of the subdominant. The second subject, contrasting with the first, is quiet and tuneful. Interesting harmonic and melodic ideas appear as well as rhythmical shifts and anticipations intensifying the motor-rhythm of the work, so typical of this period of her creative work. The dance- like second movement Tempo di Valse is, as it were, a little barrel organ waltz, ethereal, fleeting, delicate, fading away at the end, as if something has been left unsaid. The third movement Vivace is cheerful and amusing, with short sighs expressed by means of modest cadenzas, the second of which launches the virtuosic finale.
This excellently written, structurally compact composition, with some virtuosic traits, is one of those works which is readily performed. It possesses an individual atmosphere and can take pride of place at any recital or concert, giving pleasure to both performer and audience.
The work was first performed in March 1937 by Seweryn Śnieckowski (oboe) and I. Rosenbaum (piano).
The present edition is the first publication of the work and has been prepared on the basis of two extant manuscripts: a score (the oboe part with piano) and a separate oboe part. In the first movement, in bars 10 and 11 as well as 97 and 98, the trills have been abandoned because of their difficulty. In the third movement, between bars presently numbered 114 and 115 in both manuscripts, there is a section lasting several bars that has been omitted in print on account of the composers unclear intentions, evident in incomplete harmony, crossings out and the clearly unfinished, sketch-like character of this passage. In bar 114 pauses have been supplied, whereas the upbeat to bar 115 has been changed, in analogy with the beginning of the third movement, into a four-note scalic figure (in the manuscript of the score, there is a crotchet rest in the oboe part above the piano, while the semiquaver scale d´d´´ has been crossed out in the separate manuscript of the oboe part; the scale has also been crossed out in the manuscript of the score). The notation of the cadenzas has been standardised by placing them consistently in bars. In all the movements inconsistencies in the notation of articulation and dynamics have been corrected on the basis of both manuscript sources.
- Cover: softcover
solo part (instrumental) + accompaniment