Patricia Sharpe Malone, professor of music at The University of
Southern Mississippi, was the featured oboe soloist April 26 for
the American premiere of the recently reconstituted movement of
Beethoven's "Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra," which had
been "lost" - until now.
Symphony Orchestra, of which Malone has been a member and principal
oboist since its inception in 1997, is under the direction of its
young and energetic music director Scott Speck, who secured from
the Netherlands first-time rights to perform the recently found
piece. The historic performance was held at the Saenger Theatre
As part of
the symphony's season-finale concert, the Beethoven movement was
sandwiched rather quietly between such musical showstoppers as Aaron
Copland's "Old American Songs" and George Gershwin's poignant
"Porgy and Bess." The late addition to the program of
American classics came about after Speck spotted a blip on CNN's
ticker that read, "Beethoven oboe concerto premieres in the
his eyes, Speck did his homework and found out that there was indeed
a discovered eight-minute Largo movement of Beethoven's oboe concerto,
and it was reconstructed by Dutch musicologist Jos van der Zanden
and composer Cees
After connecting with Van der Zanden, who had been soliciting American
orchestras to perform the piece in the United States, Scott jumped
at the chance to be the first.
Thomas Harrison, arts and entertainment editor for the Mobile Register,
that she found the prospect of performing the American premiere
of this lost piece "very exciting."
on me what this is, and I became more and more excited and started
calling people," Malone told Harrison. She was teaching a lesson
in her studio in the Fine Arts Building on campus when she received
the call from Speck.
the conversation by saying 'I have a proposition for you,'"
Malone said. "He told me of what he had seen on the CNN ticker,
while watching the war coverage, and immediately thought of me."
a vast amount of oboe literature in her teaching and performing
career, she qualified that the piece was "a very nice little
piece, not a great piece." Written by a young 22-year-old Beethoven,
it lacked the maturity and technique that he exhibited later in
as I played it more and more, I realized how the piece had become
very charming and beautiful in its own way," Malone said.
a review of the concert, said the Largo was "a tantalizing
hint of the composer's greatness." He also praised Malone's
artistry in "giving the audience a sense of the lilting sweetness
of the work, which suggests nothing so much as a technician on the
verge of becoming an artist."
Malone, a native
of Dallas, Texas, also serves as principal oboe in the Mobile Opera
Orchestra and the Meridian Symphony. Previously, she has performed
with the Victoria (Texas) Bach Festival, the Pensacola (Fla.) Symphony,
the Mississippi Gulf Coast Symphony, the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony
and the Savannah (Ga.) Symphony.
As a member
of the Baroque chamber ensemble, Promenade, Malone has performed
in concerts throughout the United States and Europe.