Trading on the success of the Fantasiestücke
, the Drei Romanzen
, Op 94 for oboe (or violin, or clarinet) and piano are likewise centred on A, major or minor, though here the minor has the last word. While there is no attempt at cyclic unity, all three movements unfold at a similar moderate tempo, with minimal contrast of mood. The peculiarly plangent timbre of the oboe colours the opening piece, a folk lament refined for the drawing room. The A major second movement, marked Einfach, innig
(‘Simple, intimate’), contrasts guileless song with a smouldering, dark-textured interlude in F sharp minor (Etwas lebhafter
, ‘A little more lively’), while the third movement is memorable above all for its assuaging F major central episode.
from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2012