“Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra: The Clearing”

“Conceptually, the concerto’s structure begins with a quiet, shimmering background of strings and harp setting up the opening oboe solo. DeAlmeida’s gorgeous tone is beautifully suited to being the calm, assured psalmist moving through the changing landscape before arriving at the clearing that is at the center of the concerto. Along the way, voices in the orchestra call out from the thicket of textures Richman has woven into the very interesting ensemble writing that continuously shifts from threatening, ominous images to more open spaces that allow the oboe’s delicate, linear to sing clearly. Moving from dense, complicated layering to open, translucent passages while the oboe moves forward is certainly the work of a confident composer. It is also original, thought provoking and intellectually intriguing. If there has been anything heard recently that deserved a standing ovation, Richman’s concerto and DeAlmeida’s performance, was it.”