Nicholas Daniel, Britten Oboe Quartet : ‘a Tribute To Janet’


96kHz/24-bit, FLAC; Harmonia Mundi HMM 907672 (supplied by

The album title refers to oboist Nicholas Daniel’s teacher Janet Craxton, whose London Oboe Quartet premiered the Knussen Cantata, Op.15, and Françaix’s Cor Anglais Quartet here. Besides the familiar Mozart Qt, there’s a completion of his fragment K580a, Adagio For English Horn, and – not mentioned in the booklet – a bonus track, Colin Matthews’ arrangement of Schumann’s song ‘Mondnacht’. It is a programme of extremely wide contrasts – the Mozart classic fresh as new paint, the Françaix (Daniel playing a cor anglais) the epitome of Twenties Gallic sophistication and the Britten precociously clever (he was 19). Oliver Knussen’s 1977 Cantata was a memorial to Craxton’s group’s cellist Kenneth Heath. Perhaps best savoured a piece at a time, these are beautifully recorded performances, Daniel sitting (perhaps unexpectedly) to the right. CB

Sound Quality: 90%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Recorded at The Apex Bury, St Edmunds it’s the violin harmonics that carry most significantly up the ~45kHz bandwidth of this genuine 96kHz recording. The available dynamic range is well used, but pity about the spurious 20kHz tone. PM