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NM Philharmonic’s principal oboist to be featured

Guest conductor David Felberg

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Kevin Vigneau’s “aha” moment occurred when he was just 11 years old and already committed to the clarinet.

“My folks had tickets to the Boston Symphony,” the New Mexico Philharmonic principal oboist said. “We went and heard the Brahms First Symphony and it’s full of these beautiful oboe solos. I said, ‘I want to switch from the clarinet.’ ”

That decision led him on musical adventures with the Opera Company of Boston, a stint in South Africa with the Capetown Symphony and a role in the Lisbon Orchestra before he came to Albuquerque 24 years ago.

Kevin Vigneau, oboe

The University of New Mexico oboe professor will perform the solo in Alessandro Marcello’s Oboe Concerto with the New Mexico Philharmonic on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Central United Methodist Church.

The concerto is an early 18th century work attributed to the Venetian composer Marcello. None other than Johann Sebastian Bach arranged a keyboard version of the piece, likely to play in his coffee house concerts in Leipzig, Germany, where he debuted many of his secular cantatas. The concerto dates to 1717.

Its authorship remains somewhat debatable: some sources attribute the work to Benedetto Marcello, Alessandro’s brother, a well-known composer.

“It’s your typical Baroque concerto,” Vigneau said. “Marcello was a gentleman composer in the Baroque era. He didn’t have to write, but he did.”

Born in Venice, Marcello was the son of a senator. He enjoyed a comfortable life that gave him the scope to pursue his interest in music.

As in most Baroque concertos, the music bridges from slow to fast to slow.

“The middle movement is especially beautiful and has been featured in movie scores,” Vigneau said.

The musician plans to adopt some of Bach’s ornamentation in his performance of the piece.

The program also will feature works by Albinoni, Boccherini and Bach, led by guest conductor and associate concert master David Felberg. The concert’s second half will feature Bach’s Cantata No. 4 featuring soloists Shea Perry, soprano; Curtis Storm, tenor and Alfredo Bertran, baritone, as well as the Central United Methodist Chancel Choir.

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