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Towards the end of his long life the organist Christian Michael Wolff (1707–1789), resident in the Baltic port of Stettin (today, Szczecin in Poland), achieved a degree of fame as a composer through the successive collections of sonatas, songs, flute duets and chorale preludes he committed to print. But much earlier, around 1740, he had produced some exquisite compositions for orchestra. For his Concerto in E flat major for oboe, strings and basso continuo Wolff created three exceptionally spacious movements full of attractive musical ideas as well as rhythmic and contrapuntal invention. In the slow movement, marked ‘Adagio con affetto’, he had the happy idea of entrusting the accompaniment of solo passages to pizzicato strings, and his Allegro finale is a tour de force of energy and thematic concentration. This is an imposing composition in every respect.
Music example (pdf)