oboe and piano
This Sonata for Oboe and Piano was composed for George Caird, for first performance with accompanist, Malcolm Wilson, at the Birmingham and Midland Institute on 20th October 1995.
The work was composed during the months following the composer´s visit to the beautiful gardens of the University of Burdwan in Bengal, India, and represents the composer´s emotional response to this part of India.
George Caird and Malcolm Wilson recorded this work for CD entitled 20th Century Music for Oboe and Piano in January 1999 (Classical Recording Company: CRC 1009-2).
Many performances of this work have taken place, in the UK and in Holland, notably one by George Caird and Duncan Honeybourne in a concert of Music by Andrew Downes, on June 21st 2005 in the Adrian Boult Hall Birmingham, to mark the composer´s retirement from Birmingham Conservatoire. The USA premiere was given by Marc Fink (oboe) and Todd Wellbourne (piano) in Wisconsin, January 2009, and these players gave the first broadcast performance on WPR Wisconsin in April 2009.
´... a substantial 4 movement Idyll, its sounds, as in all this approachable composers´ output, genuinely imagined. Its combination of Indian inspiration and ecclesiastical modality proved magical.´ BIRMINGHAM POST (21.10.95)
´ In Downes´ fantastic 1995 sonata In the Gardens of Burdwan, George Caird´s oboe swung from raucous Indian piping to limpid English pastels exactly as this ravishing score demanded.´ BIRMINGHAM POST (23.06.05)