What are your top Oboe jams to displease my roommate?
November 25, 2019 3:42 PM   Subscribe

My roommate has an irrational hatred of the Oboe. So naturally, for the annual winter gift-exchange season, I will be compiling and gifting him a mix CD entitled "Now That's What I Call Oboe 17". What are your favorite Oboe tracks for me to include?

The part I'm most excited about is designing the cover, liner notes, etc. Can AskMe help me compile the content?
Bonus points for an Oboe cover of the traditional song Greensleeves (which he hates) and for oboe covers of 60's surf and surf-adjacent (which he loves).
posted by Krawczak to Media & Arts (34 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
The duck in Peter and the Wolf is an oboe.
posted by eponym at 3:53 PM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Scheherazade, Rimsky-Korsakov. The oboe isn't the only instrument to get this theme IIRC, but it gets it... a lot.
posted by humbug at 3:57 PM on November 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Oh please include this clip from Amadeus, where Salieri describes the unwavering perfection of a Mozart oboe note. A phrase of such delight! Filled with unfulfillable longing! Like hearing the voice of God!
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:03 PM on November 25, 2019 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Ladytron by Roxy Music
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 4:08 PM on November 25, 2019 [7 favorites]

Air for Oboe composed by Alec Wilder, played by Mitch Miller with orchestra conducted by Frank Sinatra.
posted by in278s at 4:56 PM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Luciano Berio's Sequenza VII for solo oboe
posted by dfan at 5:15 PM on November 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

Best answer: R.E.M.'s Nightswimming features an oboe solo, which you could loop six or seven times for comedic effect.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:16 PM on November 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: This is all wonderful.
I think I'll use the Amadeus sample as track 0 to open the album.
Obviously the album will have to be pretty classical-heavy (for layperson definitions of "classical") so thanks in particular to those who have suggested pop/rock oboe.

Please keep em coming!!
posted by Krawczak at 5:33 PM on November 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher
posted by doctord at 5:54 PM on November 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Shawm is like an oboe. There's lots of Shawms in medieval music. Also featured in 'Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka.' Which would make a groovy bonus track on an oboe mix tape. (Which would be thrown away in disgust by an oboe-hater, hopefully right directly into the hands of an oboe-lover who would appreciate it. (Somewhat like myself, who would play it full-blast in the car when stuck in traffic))
posted by ovvl at 5:54 PM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Tanita Tikaram's "Twist In My Sobriety" has a prominent oboe part.
posted by sculpin at 6:03 PM on November 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

My professional oboist friend thinks this is a hilarious idea and suggests:
Gabriel's Oboe
That you look through the Mozart in the Jungle soundtracks
"I Got You Babe," which doctord just beat me to.
posted by jocelmeow at 6:07 PM on November 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

You probably want a selection from Bud Shank and Bob Cooper's jazz album "Flute 'n Oboe"
posted by neroli at 6:08 PM on November 25, 2019

And more jazz oboe from Yusef Lateef
posted by neroli at 6:10 PM on November 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: S Club 7's "Natural", which is based around an oboe sample from Fauré's Pavane in F-sharp minor, Op. 50.

p.s. it is a bop
posted by bcwinters at 6:19 PM on November 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

don't forget that a bassoon is just an oboe made of plumbing
posted by scruss at 6:26 PM on November 25, 2019 [15 favorites]

I just happened to be experimenting on youtube listening to southern indian music right before reading your post and was just starting to listen to a track featuring the Nadaswaram, billed as "among the world's loudest non-brass acoustic instruments" and which appears to be a very large oboid instrument. Synchronicity -- should annoy him plenty. (Though I should mention I like the oboe and indian music fine myself.)

Searching further on youtube might find you a briefer track to use. Like this one maybe.
posted by bertran at 6:46 PM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Still more jazz oboe from Paul McCandless, in his own groups or in the group Oregon. Far too many to link here.
posted by JonJacky at 8:52 PM on November 25, 2019

You're a naughty person, and I'm here for it. But perhaps give your friend a slight break by including an English horn solo. Cor anglais are a mellower breed, they're oboes that have seen some shit.


posted by NorthernLite at 9:25 PM on November 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

The fantastic soundtrack to Conan the Barbarian by Basil Poledouris has lots of great oboe moments.
posted by Illusory contour at 9:37 PM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There’s a lot of oboe in Sufjan Stevens’ music. This reddit post lists a few Sufjan songs with prominent oboe, some of them are even seasonal!
posted by sleeping bear at 10:52 PM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

A Pharaoh's Dream (Of Endless Time) off Level 42's album Standing in the Light has an electronic oboe solo at about 2:45. At least that's what it sounds like to me.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:22 AM on November 26, 2019

The oboe intro and obligato in "Ich habe genug" from Bach's cantata BWV 82 is magical.
posted by slkinsey at 7:00 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

My semi-professional oboist cousin without an account is sending me recommendations.

Le api, Antonino Pasculli - Giovanni Di Mauro, with the following comments:
this is not only annoying, but his fucking instrument is clicking all over the place
he needs so much cork work!!
and there's only one breath mark in the entire 5 minutes
and he doestn' even take the breath!
huzzah, Giovanni!
this is definitely one to end the CD on
his tone is just nasal enough to make you want to kill him at minute 3:45
More to come...
posted by mkb at 7:07 AM on November 26, 2019 [6 favorites]

Professional oboist here. Please include the Mozart Oboe Concerto linked upthread, as it is our warhorse and most of us are tired of it.

If you want to include video, these boys are delightful.
posted by Wossname at 8:07 AM on November 26, 2019 [5 favorites]

If you hate the oboe, just wait until you meet its Arabic-world cousin the mizmar.

What's better than one mizmar? A bunch of them playing heterophonically.
posted by dr. boludo at 8:19 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring with the oboe doing 5 minutes straight of the da-da-dazda--..

posted by SemiSalt at 9:46 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Dream Academy, "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" (or any Dream Academy, really)
posted by candyland at 10:56 AM on November 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Pizzicato Five's La guerre est finie and Baby Love Child are very oboe-forward for being pure pop confections.

Edit: Hold the phone! There's a Wikipedia article on this! Apologies if someone above linked it and I had missed it.
posted by eschatfische at 12:02 PM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

+1 for Wossname's video oboe duet.

I would add for your consideration, the unbearably cute oboe duo of Sa and Si Wong playing Albinoni.
posted by flug at 2:40 PM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I looked up a few of the examples from eschatfische's link to Wikipedia/Oboes in popular songs.

Most of them are quite short sections of much longer songs, or just not great examples of oboe playing, so it's a bit of a challenge to find some really nice ones.

I had high hopes for the original version of the Beatles Penny Lane, but I tracked it down and unfortunately it's a great argument for smashing all oboes (or in this case, cors anglais) back into kindling.

On the other hand, Skálmöld - Kvaðning is pretty damn good. Skálmöld is an Icelandic metal band and Kvaðning is pretty much the polar opposite of everything you ever expected an oboe to be featured in. Death Metal Oboe FTW . . .
posted by flug at 2:49 PM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oboe is all over Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, including an instrumental track midway through.
posted by kensington314 at 4:55 PM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

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