Heckelphone / Bass Oboe Repertoire

Excerpt: Operas using 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.

1910-1919

Delius, Frederick (1862-1934): Fennimore and Gerda (Two episodes from the life of Niels Lyhne in eleven pictures), 1908-1910

Publisher: Universal Edition, Wien

Remarks: German-language opera with four interludes; dedicated to Sir Thomas Beecham; premiere on 21 October 1919 at the Opernhaus in Frankfurt, Germany, under Gustav Brecher; according to Klapproth (2008), it is likely that the bass oboe part in the score was originally intended for heckelphone

Duration: 80min

Tags: heckelphone, bass oboe; opera

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

Dupont, Gabriel (1878-1914): Antar, 1912-1913

Publisher: Heugel (1921)

Remarks: heroic tale in four acts and five tableaux; premiere on 11 March 1921 at the Opéra Comique, Paris; in act 4, a backstage ensemble is requested including 2 bass oboes

Duration: 130min

Tags: bass oboe; opera, multiple

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


1980-1989

Birtwistle, Harrison (1934-): The Mask of Orpheus, 1986

Publisher: B&H

Remarks: premiere on 21 May 1986 at the Coliseum in London, UK

Duration: 210min

Tags: bass oboe; opera

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


1990-1999

Glanert, Detlev (1960-): Der Spiegel des großen Kaisers, op. 24, 1989-1993

Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes

Remarks: opera in two acts; libretto by Detlev Glanert and Ulfert Becker, based on the novel by Arnold Zweig; premiere on 23 November 1995 at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, under Peter Theiler (director) and Jun Märkl (conductor)

Duration: 110min

Tags: heckelphone, bass oboe; opera

Additional information can be found here.


2000-2009

Oehring, Helmut (1961-): Wozzeck kehrt zurück, 2003-2004

Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes

Remarks: sound-scriptural SNAPSHOT in three proofs (12 contacts); premiere on 26 June 2004 in Aachen, Germany, by the Orchestra and Choir of Theater Aachen under Jeremy Hulin

Duration: 90min

Tags: bass oboe; opera

Additional information can be found here.


2010-2019

Ward, David (1941-): Cupid and Psyche, 2012

Publisher: Vanderbeek & Imrie Ltd.

Remarks: opera in 3 scenes, for 6 singers and 23 instrumentalists (plus dancers ad lib.); libretto by Kevin Ireland; dedicated to Em and Brian

Duration: 90min

Tags: bass oboe; opera

Additional information can be found 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.