Artist Hyperion Records
Francis, Sarah (oboe)
© Robert Carpenter Turner

Sarah Francis (oboe)

The leading oboe soloist Sarah Francis was born in London. Her parents were the flautist John Francis and the famous harpsichordist Millicent Silver. She studied with Terence MacDonagh at the Royal College of Music and with Pierre Pierlot in Paris.

Her first solo recording was of Benjamin Britten’s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for oboe solo, which the composer invited her to play at the Aldeburgh Festival. Her third recording of these wonderful pieces is on the Hyperion Helios label. She has broadcast regularly for the BBC in recitals and concerto performances including the Royal Albert Hall Promenade Concerts, where she appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra playing Gordon Crosse’s concerto Ariadne which he composed for her. She has given many solo performances in the South Bank concert halls in London, and all over Britain, including the Mozart and Strauss concertos. In 1985 she played Lutoslawski’s Double Concerto for oboe and harp, conducted by the composer, at the Dartington International Summer School. Composers who have written works for her include Gordon Crosse, Stephen Dodgson, Gordon Jacob, William Mathias, Anthony Payne and Phyllis Tate.

Sarah Francis is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music and director of The London Harpsichord Ensemble. Apart from participating regularly at Dartington, she has given masterclasses at many leading European music conservatoires ranging from Moscow and Kiev to Geneva.

Her recordings for Hyperion include not only all of Benjamin Britten’s oboe music, but also Rutland Boughton’s Oboe Concerto No 1 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vernon Handley, the Oboe Concertos of Mozart and Franz Krommer, English music for oboe and piano including the important Sonata by Herbert Howells (of which she gave the belated world premiere), and some very attractive and unusual eighteenth-century Czech chamber works for oboe and strings.

Albums

Boughton: String Quartets & Oboe Quartet No 1
CDA66936Archive Service
Boughton: Symphony No 3 & Oboe Concerto No 1
CDH55019Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Britten: Music for Oboe & Music for Piano
CDH55154Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive ServiceDownload currently discounted
Krommer & Mozart: Oboe Concertos
CDH55080Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Music for oboe
CDH55008Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Oboe Quintets
CDH55015Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Vanhal: 6 Quartette Concertante
CDH55033Helios (Hyperion's budget label)Download currently discounted

Complete works available for download

RUTLAND BOUGHTON (1878-1960)
Concerto for oboe and strings No 1 in Cwith Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Oboe Quartet No 1with The Rasumovsky Quartet
Somerset Pastoralwith The Rasumovsky Quartet
Three Songs without Words for oboe quartetwith The Rasumovsky Quartet
BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Phantasy Quartet, Op 2with Galina Solodchin (violin), John Underwood (viola), Jonathan Williams (cello)
Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Op 49
Temporal Variationswith Michael Dussek (piano)
Two Insect Pieceswith Michael Dussek (piano)
BERNHARD HENRIK CRUSELL (1775-1838)
Divertimento in C major, Op 9with The Allegri String Quartet
SIR HAMILTON HARTY (1879-1941)
Three Pieceswith Peter Dickinson (piano)
HERBERT HOWELLS (1892-1983)
Sonata for oboe and pianowith Peter Dickinson (piano)
RODOLPHE KREUTZER (1766-1831)
Grand Quintet in C majorwith The Allegri String Quartet
FRANTIŠEK KROMMER (1759-1831)
Oboe Concerto in F major, Op 37with The London Mozart Players, Howard Shelley (conductor)
Oboe Concerto in F major, Op 52with The London Mozart Players, Howard Shelley (conductor)
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791)
Oboe Concerto in C major, K314with The London Mozart Players, Howard Shelley (conductor)
ANTOINE REICHA (1770-1836)
Oboe Quintet in F major, Op 107with The Allegri String Quartet
EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986)
Sonata for oboe and piano in C major, Op 100with Peter Dickinson (piano)
JOHANN BAPTIST VANHAL (1739-1813)
Quartet in A major, Op 7 No 5with Tagore String Trio
Quartet in B flat major, Op 7 No 2with Tagore String Trio
Quartet in C major, Op 7 No 6with Tagore String Trio
Quartet in E flat major, Op 7 No 4with Tagore String Trio
Quartet in F major, Op 7 No 1with Tagore String Trio
Quartet in G major, Op 7 No 3with Tagore String Trio

Alphabetical listing of all musical works

Arethusa, who, flying from the love of Alpheus the river god, was turned into a fountain  
Bacchus, at whose feast is heard the noise of gaggling women's tattling tongues and shouting out of boys  
Barcarolle: Andante languido  
Concerto for oboe and strings No 1 in C (Boughton)
Divertimento in C major, Op 9 (Crusell)
Faery Flout: Allegro giocoso  
Grand Quintet in C major (Kreutzer)
Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image and became a flower  
Niobe, who, lamenting the death of her fourteen children, was turned into a mountain  
Oboe Concerto in C major, K314 (Mozart)
Oboe Concerto in F major, Op 37 (Krommer)
Oboe Concerto in F major, Op 52 (Krommer)
Oboe Quartet No 1 (Boughton)
Oboe Quintet in F major, Op 107 (Reicha)
Pan, who played upon the reed pipe which was Syrinx, his beloved  
Phaeton, who made upon the chariot of the sun for one day and was hurled into the river Padus by a thunderbolt  
Phantasy Quartet, Op 2 (Britten)
Quartet in A major, Op 7 No 5 (Vanhal)
Quartet in B flat major, Op 7 No 2 (Vanhal)
Quartet in C major, Op 7 No 6 (Vanhal)
Quartet in E flat major, Op 7 No 4 (Vanhal)
Quartet in F major, Op 7 No 1 (Vanhal)
Quartet in G major, Op 7 No 3 (Vanhal)
Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Op 49 (Britten)
Somerset Pastoral (Boughton)
Sonata for oboe and piano (Howells)
Sonata for oboe and piano in C major, Op 100 (Rubbra)
Temporal Variations (Britten)
The Grasshopper  
The Wasp  
Three Pieces (Harty)
Three Songs without Words for oboe quartet (Boughton)
Two Insect Pieces (Britten)
Whence! Andante delicato