The two-movement quartet for oboe and string trio by Alessandro Rolla was presumed lost when Luigi Inzaghi and Luigi Alberto Bianchi were preparing their thematic catalogue of the composerís works in the late 1970s. In actual fact, the autograph score of the work has been held at the Royal Library in Copenhagen since 1929, even though it would appear to have been catalogued and made available to scholars only recently. Thoroughly Classical in terms of its musical language and structure (in spite of some unexpected virtuoso episodes for the violin), the work is a welcome addition to the sparse repertoire of compositions for oboe and strings emanating from early nineteenth-century Italy.
The oboe part displays the full range of technical demands required of students at a Conservatorio, with lyrical playing, florid semiquaver passages, many grace notes and trills, and a tessitura equal to that of Mozart's Quartet, reaching top F. In common with the competition pieces written in similar circumstances for students at the Conservatoire in Paris, it is in a comfortable key and the passagework lies well under the fingers. This is an attractive short piece, which could either take centre stage or make an excellent encore item.