Three oboe concertos by Johann Baptist Waṅhal
Komp, Cassandra Joy
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The manuscript parts for a Concerto for Oboe in B-flat attributed to Johann Baptist Waṅhal (1739-1813) exist in the Istituto musicale Nicolò Paganini Biblioteca, Genoa, Italy. Investigation into relevant work lists and thematic catalogs reveals that not only is this concerto unreferenced, but also Waṅhal scholars have no consensus as to how many and which concertos Waṅhal wrote for the oboe. This study examines three possible oboe concertos, including the Concerto for Oboe in B-flat, and through the clues on and within the manuscript parts of these concertos, attempts to construct a case for the authenticity of each concerto. Tracing of the provenance of the manuscript parts as well as an analysis of Waṅhal’s distinct compositional style, account for the evidence that will deem not one, but three Waṅhal attributions as probably authentic. Examination of style reveals early Sturm und Drang characteristics as well as other semiology pointing to authenticity.