Heinz Holliger - Reviews


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"Reconsider the oboe. If an orchestral concert features a concerto, odds are that it will showcase either a pianist or violinist. But Holliger demonstrated on both the Carter concerto and a set of dances by Frank Martin that the oboe is an evocative and versatile instrument, spanning the sonic spectrum from sweet singing to urgent alarms...Holliger made Carter's Oboe Concerto a fascinating journey, one that moved from anxious percussion-enhanced agitation to questioning reverie and back again, resolving in a lonely cry above the murmuring strings."   - St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, with Thomas Zehetmair and Ursula Holliger, The Pioneer Press, May 28, 2011

"His oboe was hypnotic and mesmerizing, carrying the audience lyrically through some bracingly challenging music."   - St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, with Thomas Zehetmair and Ursula Holliger, The Star Tribune, May 27, 2011

"As his playing career has slowed down so Holliger's stature as a composer has steadily risen, and he's now widely recognised as one of the most important figures of his European generation...Those intense miniatures, as well as his own Surrogò for cor anglais and harp, which he played with his wife Ursula, were enough to show that Holliger remains as extraordinary a performer as ever..."   - Heinz Holliger residency, Kings Place, London, The Guardian, March 27, 2011

"Holliger is without doubt one of the finest oboists on the planet and an authority on Carter's music...It would require another skilled oboist to tell you if some of the more extreme squeals and rasps are exactly as represented on the page. Yet during the incantatory slow section, Holliger's astringent sound softened into a sublime singing tone."   - Carter Oboe Concerto, Northern Sinfonia, The Guardian, November 22, 2009

"As the music gradually descends into madness, Holliger imagines the choruses of angels and demons swirling inside Schumann's head. With orchestral writing that recalls Alban Berg, this is strong, even disturbing stuff, but its visceral and intellectual impact is undeniable."   - CD Holliger Original Works on ECM, John von Rhein for Chicago Tribune, June 21, 2009

"Mr. Holliger closed the recital with a shapely account of the unaccompanied "HBHH," an exploration of the oboe's range and the warmer side of its palette. Later, in the main concert, he gave taut, high-energy performances of Mr. Carter's more dramatic work for solo English horn, "A 6 Letter Letter" (1996) and the best of his pieces for Mr. Holliger, the Quartet for Oboe and Strings (2001). "   - Holliger Carter Celebrations at 92nd Street Y, Allan Kozinn for the New York Times, April 24, 2009