Alexei Ogrintchouk performs as soloist in Raskatov’s Time’s River

It’s a very special week for principal oboist Alexei Ogrintchouk, who is performing as soloist in Alexander Raskatov’s oboe concerto Time’s River, a work commissioned by the Concertgebouw Orchestra and dedicated to him by the composer. As Alexei says, ‘That makes it all the more personal.’

Check out this video compilation for an exciting look at the first rehearsa of Time’s River conducted by Klaus Mäkelä at the Broadcasting Music Centre.

‘This is a very special week not just for me, but probably also for all oboists later on. After all, it’s not every day that a new concerto is composed for our instrument.’
– Alexei Ogrintchouk, principal oboist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra

In the interview Alexei gave in Preludium to mark this premiere, he says, ‘A new concerto such as this one is always a bit of a mystery. It’s like putting your hand into a bag and waiting to see which rabbit you pull out.’

Raskatov took the title of his second oboe concerto (having composed his first in the mid-1980s) from the unfinished poem ‘Time’s River’, which the Russian poet Gavriil Derzhavin had worked on until shortly before his death in 1816. ‘The river of time, in rushing onward, | Will bear away all the deeds of men, | And drown in oblivion’s abyss | Peoples, kingdoms, and kings’ is the idea running through the oboe concerto like a golden thread. ‘It’s a suggestive work, with plenty of repetitions, whose aim is to enter the unconscious of an imaginary listener,’ says Raskatov.

‘I’m happy to have composed something for him because I love how he plays the instrument. He is a perfect, complete musician. He serves the music. The music does not serve him, but rather it is he who serves the music.’
– Alexander Raskatov, composer

Don’t miss the in-depth interview with Alexander Raskatov in Preludium. (Dutch)