Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Op. 49
Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Op. 49
In this Oboe masterclass led by Céline Moinet, her student Clement Le Tetu work on breathing, rhythm, embodying the music, and more.
Produced by the Saline royale Academy in October, 2021 at Arc-et-Senans.
In this masterclass, Professor Céline Moinet, and student Clément Le Têtu take on a new challenge of playing Benjamin Britten’s Metamorphoses after Ovid, a piece for solo oboe written in 1951.
Firstly, Moinet instructs Clément to ‘incarnate Pan’ in order to embody the music and bring it to life. What’s more, elements such as ‘breathing’ is heavily emphasized throughout this session, and a remarkable level of energy is essential from the very beginning of the composition. The interpreter needs to be inspired because of the nature of the composition; everything is very free and reads like an improvisation piece.
Céline Moinet explains that if the piece is played too fast, it becomes too even. The beginning needs to be long, the rest short. In addition, the pair discuss the importance of maintaining a precise rhythm among other crucial details.
The Metamorphoses after Ovid demands a high level of energy.
Simple is better.
Rhythm needs to be precise.
Physicality and intention are the keys to interpreting the piece.
Playing too fast will result in something too uniform.
This program piece was written in 1951 by English composer Benjamin Britten and inspired by Roman Mythology. The six metamorphoses are based on six characters, the first one being Pan. Britten dedicated the oeuvre to oboist Joy Boughton, and was first featured at the Aldeburgh Festival in June 1951. The first movement is very free-spirited and reads like an improvisation. It is written without measures and has many pauses.
It can be especially challenging because of its free-form structure. Many musicians can feel confused and unsettled at first and one must make the piece its own to make sense of it in front of an audience.
What is important when you are not familiar with a piece is not the speed but the progress.
Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this oboe masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Céline Moinet’s feedback and comments.
In 2006 she won first prizes for oboe and chamber music in the classes of David Walter and Maurice Bourgue.
Born in Lille in 1984, Céline Moinet studied the oboe and chamber music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in the classes of David Walter and Maurice Bourgue.
In 2006 she was awarded a Premier Prix in both disciplines. She also studied the Baroque oboe with Marcel Ponseele and Xenia Löffler. In 2004 and 2005 she completed her orchestral training as a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester under the direction of Claudio Abbado.
After this experience, she was invited to appear as guest principal with leading German orchestras such as the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the SWR Radiosinfonieorchester Stuttgart, the Philharmoniker Hamburg, and the orchestra of the Frankfurt Opera. In 2006 she was appointed principal oboe of the Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim. Since June 2008 she has occupied the same position with the celebrated Staatskapelle Dresden. In the autumn of 2011, she was invited by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to appear on an extended tour of Asia and Australia. Céline Moinet performs regularly in solo and chamber repertoire. She plays the major oboe concertos with the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Prague Philharmonia, the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Kammerorchester Basel, and the Dresdner Kapellsolisten At the invitation of Fabio Luisi, she has given recitals and masterclasses at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo.
Céline Moinet plays an oboe by Marigaux, Paris.
Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London