Oboe d'amore

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Modern oboe d'amore by F. Lorée, Paris
Copy of a historical oboe d'amore

The oboe d'amore (French hautbois d'amour ; also love oboe and large oboe ) belongs to the family of oboe instruments . The term "d'amore" (German "Liebes-") is a holdover from the Renaissance , in which other instruments (e.g. viola d'amore ) received this nickname because of their warm and lovely sound.

The spherical or pear-shaped bell (“love foot”) is characteristic of this woodwind instrument . Like the similar English horn , it is an altoboe .

Design and sound

It is tuned in a , a minor third lower than the oboe, and is therefore in the mezzo-soprano range . The range extends from a sounding a flat to a three-stroke e. Its structure is similar to that of the oboe, but with a total length of 72 cm, the instrument is 7 cm longer. As with the English horn , the mouthpiece (is double reed , called by oboe short "tube") on the so-called S-bow , a metal, bent tapered connecting piece between the body and tube, placed. The S-bow has a strong influence on the sound character and intonation.

The foot piece is called the " love foot ". It is not shaped like a bell like the oboe, but rather narrowed at the lower end similar to the shape of a pear. Some modern models also have a funnel-shaped base.

The timbre is generally softer than that of the oboe, especially in the low register it is very similar to the cor anglais, but becomes more similar to the oboe with increasing pitch. For a long time, the oboe d'amore represented a great challenge in instrument making and was considered unbalanced in the various registers, with strong weaknesses in intonation and was therefore very uncomfortable to play. The reasons were mainly due to the infrequent use, mostly only at Christmas and Passion times, and accordingly few instruments were built and played. Modern designs have largely eliminated these problems, and the instrument can now be played comfortably after getting used to its peculiarities.

The oboe d'amore was still very popular in the baroque era , but then disappeared completely in the classical period, especially due to the increasing popularity of the horn and clarinet , and was forgotten. In the middle of the 19th century, Bach's music again experienced increasing interest in line with the zeitgeist of the time, but since there were no longer any playable instruments, the passages intended for the oboe d'amore were transposed to either oboe or cor anglais. It was not until 1874 that an oboe d'amore was developed and built by Victor-Charles Mahillon again . Currently, manufacturers such as B. Mönnig Brothers - Oscar Adler & Co., Marigaux , Lorée and Bulgheroni instruments.

Use in music

In general, the oboe d'amore was mainly used in Protestant church music during the Baroque period. Johann Sebastian Bach transferred the oboe d'amore large solos with pronounced cantilenas, e.g. B. in Quia respexit ( Magnificat ), and used it as a polyphonic accompanying voice , e.g. B. in Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris ( B minor Mass ). In the Christmas Oratorio two oboes d'amore play, mostly instead of the oboe and often in pairs - mainly when the key suggests it. It is used, for example, as the upper voice in the parody aria Enlighten my dark senses ( F sharp minor ).

In the modern symphony orchestra, the oboe d'amore is used comparatively seldom; B. in the Sinfonia domestica by Richard Strauss or in Ravel's Boléro . Gustav Mahler composed an oboe d'amore part in one of his Rückertlieder At Midnight , which provides a glissando effect that cannot be implemented on the oboe d'amore.

The oboe d'amore was mainly used as a soloist in the Baroque period. The works by Georg Philipp Telemann are particularly noteworthy : the Concerto in G major for oboe d'amore, strings and basso continuo (TWV 51: G3) and the Concerto in A major for oboe d'amore, strings and bc (TWV 51 : A2). Johann Sebastian Bach wrote the Concerto in A major for oboe d'amore, strings and Bc (basso continuo) (BWV 1055R) and the Concerto in D major for oboe d'amore, strings and Bc (BWV 1053R) this form also exists in E flat or F major for oboe. Both concerts are so-called reconstructions , which means that it cannot be said with certainty whether these works were actually originally composed for the oboe d'amore or oboe, but the leadership of the solo instrument and peculiarities of the composition, such as: B. Close range limits. A Concerto in A major for oboe d'amore, strings and bc is attributed to Antonio Lotti . Two other concerts come from Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf .

In chamber music, the concerto for flute, oboe d'amore and viola d'amore in E major (TWV 53: E1) by Georg Philipp Telemann should be mentioned.

In later to present literature, arrangements can be found almost exclusively in which suitable pieces that were originally written for violin, cello or clarinet are appropriately transposed, e.g. B. Robert Schumann's Three Fantasies op.73.


  • Virginia Snodgrass Gifford: Music for oboe, oboe d'amore, and English horn. A bibliography of materials at the Library of Congress (in The Music Reference Collection No. 1). Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut 1983, ISBN 0-313-23762-X .
  • Joppig, Gunther: oboe and bassoon. Their story, their supporting instruments and their music , 1981 . ISBN 3-7957-2345-0

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Wieland Ziegenrücker: General music theory with questions and tasks for self-control. German Publishing House for Music, Leipzig 1977; Paperback edition: Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag, and Musikverlag B. Schott's Söhne, Mainz 1979, ISBN 3-442-33003-3 , p. 173.
  2. ^ Gebrüder Mönnig website
  3. Joppig, Gunther: Oboe and Bassoon. Their history, their secondary instruments and their music , 1981. ISBN 3-7957-2345-0
  4. ^ Recovered oboe concerts , Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, introductory text by Michael Märker and Ingo Goritzki