Heckelphone / Bass Oboe Repertoire

Excerpt: Orchestral music for bass oboe (chronological)

by Peter Hurd; reorganized and amended by Holger Hoos, editor-in-chief since 2020

version 1.2 (21 March 2021)

This collection is based on the catalogue of musical works requiring heckelphone or bass oboe instrumentation assembled by Peter Hurd beginning in 1998. For this new edition, the original version of the repertoire list has been edited for accuracy, completeness and consistency, and it has been extended with a number of newly discovered pieces.

Some entries could not (yet) be rigorously verified for accuracy; these were included nonetheless, to provide leads for future investigation, but are marked clearly. Pieces were selected for inclusion based solely on the use of heckelphone, bass oboe or lupophone, without any attempt at assessing their artistic merit. Arrangements of pieces not originally intended for these instruments were included when there was clear evidence that they had found a significant audience.

The authors gratefully acknowledge contributions by Michael Finkelman, Alain Girard, Thomas Hiniker, Robert Howe, Gunther Joppig, Georg Otto Klapproth, Mark Perchanok, Andrew Shreeves and Michael Sluman.

1900-1909

Delius, Frederick (1862-1934): Eine Messe des Lebens (A Mass of Life), 1904-1905

Publisher: Harmonie Verlag, Berlin

Remarks: dedicated to Fritz Cassirer; premiere on 7 June 1909 at Queen's Hall, London, under Thomas Beecham; part 2 was first performed on 4 June 1908 in Munich by the Hofkapelle München; according to Klapproth (2008), the bass oboe part in the score was originally intended for heckelphone

Duration: 135min

Tags: heckelphone, bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Delius, Frederick (1862-1934): Songs of Sunset, 1906-1907

Publisher: F.E.C. Leuckart, Leipzig

Remarks: for soprano, baritone, mixed chorus and orchestra; dedicated to the Elberfelder Gesangverein (Elberfeld Choral Society)

Duration: 30min

Tags: heckelphone, bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Delius, Frederick (1862-1934): A Dance Rhapsody, 1908

Publisher: F.E.C. Leuckart, Leipzig

Remarks: dedicated to Hermann Suter; according to Klapproth (2008), the bass oboe part in the score was originally intended for heckelphone

Duration: 12min

Tags: heckelphone, bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.


1910-1919

Delius, Frederick (1862-1934): An Arabesque, 1911

Publisher: Universal Edition, Wien

Remarks: for baritone, mixed chorus and orchestra; dedicated to Halfdan Jebe; premiere on 28 May 1920 by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Welsh Musical Festival Choral Society under Albert Ernest Sims

Duration: 13min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Vaughan Williams, Ralph (1872-1958): A London Symphony, 1913-1914

Publisher: Stainer & Bell, London

Remarks: dedicated to George Butterworth; premier on 27 March 1914 in London, UK, under Geoffrey Toye; several versions exist of which the last, from 1934, was intended by the composer to supersede all earlier versions; the 1934 version no longer uses bass oboe

Duration: 45min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here.

Delius, Frederick (1862-1934): Requiem, 1913-1916

Publisher: Universal Edition, Wien

Remarks: dedicated to the memory of all young artists fallen in the war; premiere on 23 March 1922 at Queen's Hall, London, under Albert Coates

Duration: 30min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Grainger, Percy (1882-1961): The Warriors (Music to an imaginary ballet), 1913-1916

Publisher: B. Schott's Söhne, Mainz (B.S.S.31023b)

Remarks: for orchestra & 3 pianos; dedicated to Frederick Delius; premiere on 26 December 1926 in Chicago, by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Frederick Stock

Duration: 18min

Tags: bass oboe, heckelphone; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Holst, Gustav (1874-1934): The Planets, op. 32, 1914-1916

Publisher: Goodwin & Tabb, London, 1921

Remarks: for female chorus and orchestra; premiere on 29 September 1918 in London, UK, by the Queen's Hall Orchestra under Adrian Boult; dedicated to Imogen Holst

Duration: 47min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here.

Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji (1892-1988): Concerto pour Piano et Grand Orchestre (Piano Concerto No. 4), 1918

Publisher: Sorabji Archive (KKS18)

Duration: 25min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here.


1920-1929

Bax, Arnold (1883-1953): Symphony No. 1, 1922

Publisher: Warner Chappell Music

Remarks: the score lists "Heckelphone or Bass-Oboe"; dedicated to John Ireland; premiere on 4 December 1922 in London, by the London Symphony Orchestra under Albert Coates

Duration: 32min

Tags: heckelphone, bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji (1892-1988): Symphony for Piano, Large Orchestra, Chorus and Organ (Symphony No. 1), 1921-1922

Publisher: Sorabji Archive (KSS30)

Remarks: dedicated to Madelaine Mathilde Sorabji

Duration: 100min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here.

Brian, Havergal (1876-1972): Symphony No. 1 in D minor ("The Gothic"), 1919-1927

Publisher: August Cranz, Leipzig (1932); United Music Publishers Limited (1976)

Remarks: originally No. 2 - re-numbering authorised by the composer 1967; dedicated to Richard Strauss; premiere 24 June 1961

Duration: 105min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji (1892-1988): Concerto V for Piano and Large Orchestra (Piano Concerto No. 8), 1927-1928

Publisher: Sorabji Archive (KSS45)

Remarks: dedicated to Aldo Solito de Solis

Duration: 100min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here.


1950-1959

Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji (1892-1988): Symphony "Jāmī" for Large Orchestra, Wordless Chorus and Baritone Solo (Symphony No. 3), 1942-1951

Publisher: Sorabji Archive (KSS72)

Remarks: dedicated to Mervyn Vicars

Duration: 280min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here.

Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji (1892-1988): Opus Clavisymphonicum (Concerto for Piano & Large Orchestra), 1957-1959

Publisher: Sorabji Archive (KSS80)

Remarks: dedicated to John Ireland; scored for two bass oboes

Duration: 100min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra, multiple

Additional information can be found here.


1960-1969

Searle, Humphrey (1915-1982): Symphony No. 3, op. 36, 1959-1960

Publisher: Schott

Remarks: dedicated to Yolande Sonnabend; premiere in 1960 in Edinburgh, UK, under John Pritchard

Duration: 18min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji (1892-1988): Messa Alta Sinfonica, 1955-1961

Publisher: Sorabji Archive (KSS84)

Remarks: dedicated to Reginald Best

Duration: 320min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here.


1970-1979

Tippett, Michael (1905-1998): Triple Concerto, 1978-1979

Publisher: Schott Music

Remarks: for violin, viola, cello and orchestra; commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra with assistance from the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust; premiere on 22 August 1980 in London, UK, by György Pauk (violin), Nobuko Imai (viola), Ralph Kirshbaum (cello) and the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis

Duration: 32min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.


1980-1989

Sargon, Simon (1938-): Symphony No. 1 (Holocaust), 1985

Publisher: available from the composer (rental)

Remarks: for male chorus, baritone, orchestra; dedicated to Eduardo Mata; premiere in 1991 by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Eduardo Mata

Duration: 22min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here.


1990-1999

Vidjeskog, Patrick (1964-): Två tämligen höga visor, op. 24, 1990-1992

Publisher: Music Finland (MF12400)

Remarks: for baritone and orchestra; text by Ole Torvalds

Duration: 14min

Tags: heckelphone, bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here.

Bryars, Gavin (1943-): The East Coast, 1994

Remarks: for bass oboe solo with orchestra; commissioned by Lawrence Cherney, with additional funds made available by the Arts Council of England; premiere in January 1995 in Winnipeg, Canada, by Lawrence Cherney (bass oboe) and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra under Bramwell Tovey

Duration: 15min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra, solo

Additional information can be found here.

Goebbels, Heiner (1952-): Suite for Sampler and Orchestra (from "Surrogate Cities"), 1993-1994

Publisher: Ricordi, Berlin (Sy. 3296)

Remarks: for sampler and large orchestra; premiere on 31 August 1994 in Frankfurt/Main; alternate version for sampler and ensemble

Duration: 30min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Goebbels, Heiner (1952-): Drei Horatier-Songs (from "Surrogate Cities"), 1993-1994

Publisher: Ricordi, Berlin (Sy. 3297)

Remarks: for mezzo-soprano and orchestra; based upon texts by Heiner Mueller; premiere on 31 August 1994 in Frankfurt/Main; alternate version for mezzo-soprano and ensemble

Duration: 15min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Davis, Carl (1936-): A Circle of Stones, 1996

Remarks: four symphonic pictures for orchestra

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here.

Mozetich, Marjan (1948-): Postcards from the Sky II (Earthly Descent, At the Tomb of Maurice, Ascension), 1996

Remarks: for oboe, cor anglais, bass oboe and string orchestra

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra, concertante

Additional information can be found here.

Adès, Thomas (1971-): Asyla, op. 17, 1997

Publisher: Faber Music (057151863X)

Remarks: for large orchestra; commissioned by the John Feeney Charitable Trust for the CBSO; first performed on 1997/10/01 in the Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Simon Rattle

Duration: 22-25min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

James, Joseph: Requiem after J.S. Bach, 1997  [?]this entry is only partially verified

Remarks: based on music by Johann Sebastian Bach; premiere in October 1997 in London, UK; "Joseph James" is the pseudonym for the collaboration between US composers and arrangers Stanley Joseph Seeger and Francis James Brown

Duration: 36min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Aho, Kalevi (1949-): Symphony No. 11 for six percussionists and orchestra, 1997-1998

Publisher: Fennica Gehrman

Remarks: premiere on 10 March 2000, by the Kroumata ensemble and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä

Duration: 34min

Tags: heckelphone, bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Kennedy, Nigel (1956-): Melody in the Wind, 1998

Remarks: arrangement by Nigel Kennedy, John Lenahan and Malcolm Messiter; recorded in June 1998 in London, UK, with the English Chamber Orchestra under Paul Barritt and released on EMI Classics; bass oboe played by Janice Knight

Duration: 6min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.


2000-2009

Matthews, Colin (1946-): Pluto the Renewer, 2000

Publisher: Faber Music (0-571-52074-X)

Remarks: commissioned by the Hallé Concerts Society for performance with Holst’s "The Planets"; premiere on 11 May 2000 in Manchester, England, by the Hallé Orchestra under Kent Nagano

Duration: 6min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Rihm, Wolfgang (1952-): Deus Passus (Passions-Stücke nach Lukas), 1999-2000

Publisher: Universal Edition

Remarks: oratorio; commissioned by Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart; premiere in August 2000 in Stuttgart, Germany

Duration: 100min

Tags: bass oboe, heckelphone; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Schuller, Gunther (1925-2015): Encounters, 2003

Publisher: Wise Music (rental)

Remarks: for large orchestra and jass ensemble

Duration: 24min

Tags: heckelphone, bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

McCabe, John (1939-2015): Symphony on a Pavane (Np. 6), 2006

Publisher: Novello & Co. Ltd. (rental)

Remarks: commissioned by and dedicated to the London Philharmonic Orchestra; premiere on 10 January 2007 in London, England, by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Steven Sloane

Duration: 21min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here.

Adès, Thomas (1971-): Tevot, 2007

Publisher: Faber Music (ISBN 0571536743)

Remarks: symphony in one movement for large orchestra; commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall; premiere 2007/02/21 by the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle at the Berliner Philharmonie

Duration: 22min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Aulio, Maxime (1980-): Symphonie de l'espace, op. 20, 2004-2009

Publisher: Association Française pour l’Essor des Ensembles à Vent (AFEEV)

Remarks: for large wind orchestra and chorus; the score shows the instrumentation to include "Heckelphone (Bass Oboe)", but labels the part "Baritone Oboe"

Duration: 50min

Tags: heckelphone, bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Tyler, Brian (1972-): Fast & Furious (film), 2009

Publisher: Universal Pictures

Remarks: bass oboe played by Chris Bleth

Duration: 107min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here.

Wilson, Dall: Bluegrass Symphony, 2009  [?]this entry is only partially verified

Publisher: Dall Wilson Music

Remarks: for orchestra, saxophone, bass oboe and bass clarinet

Duration: 17min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra, concertante

A recording is available here.


2010-2019

Stephenson, James M. (1969-): Duels & Dances, 2011

Remarks: for solo oboe and wind ensemble; uses 5 different oboes (oboe, oboe d’amore, cor anglains, oboe and musette); other versions also exist; commissioned by the Minnesota Commissioning Club; dedicated to and premiered by Alex Klein (oboe) and The “President’s Own” United States Marine Band under Jason K. Fettig

Duration: 13min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Talbot, Joby (1971-): Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity, 2012

Publisher: Chester Music Ltd

Remarks: for orchestra and chorus; commissioned by the Philharmonia Orchestra as part of the interactive installation "Universe of Sound"; premiere 2012/07/08 by the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Royal Festival Hall, London, UK

Duration: 7min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Nickel, Christopher Tyler (1978-): Concerto for Bass Oboe, 2016

Publisher: Canadian Music Centre (MI 1622 N641con)

Duration: 21min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Perks, Stephen (1956-): The Daughters of Zelophehad (Fantasia for bass oboe and small orchestra), 2016

Duration: 17min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

A recording is available here.

Dalton, Owen (1997-): Behind Closed Doors, 2017

Remarks: for orchestra

Duration: 8min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

A recording is available here.

Powley, James: Eventide Shadows, 2017

Remarks: for solo tenor and large orchestra, based on the Moors murders

Duration: 11min

Tags: bass oboe; orchestra

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.


To suggest additions or corrections to the repertoire list, please contact heckelphone@gmx.net.
All rights reserved by Peter Hurd and Holger H. Hoos, 2021.