The Oboe Concerto (2018) by British composer Judith Weir (b. 1954) was written for and dedicated to distinguished British oboist Celia Craig. Now resident in South Australia, Craig is the Creative Director of Artaria, an organisation that stages bespoke musical events and releases high-quality recordings. 

In Weir’s two-movement Concerto, the oboe’s relatively small-scale accompaniment comprises wind octet with strings. This creates a sound world redolent of air, earth and breath that remains somehow elusive, even at its most full-bodied moments. These include some stunning writing for strings, with Craig’s fluid oboe soaring lyrically throughout. 

Also recently released on Artaria is Craig’s homage to Benjamin Britten, his Six Metamorphoses After Ovid (Op. 49). Each of these six short programmatic pieces for solo oboe describes a Roman mythological character (as featured in Ovid’s Metamorphoses) and features a narrated introductory sentence delivered in mellifluous tones by Anthony Steel. 

To sit alongside this recording, Craig commissioned South Australian composer Anne Cawrse (b. 1981) to write a 21st-century response to Britten’s original works. Her Carmen Perpetuum (Endless Song) takes...