Beethoven Oboe Trio, recorded by 3 New York oboe legends!

15 08 2017

For over 14 years, I traveled to the town of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey to study with the retired oboist and English horn player of the New York Philharmonic, Engelbert Brenner.  His oboe studio was at the very top of his house, and getting there required


Leonard Bernstein and Engelbert Brenner

some stair climbing.  Once arriving at the very top, one entered a studio, museum, and reed factory.  The walls were covered with autographed photos of the last century’s greatest conductors and players.  Arturo Toscanini’s baton was on a table.  It was truly awe inspiring.  When I met Mr. Brenner, he was already well into his 70s, yet he flew up and down those stairs like he was in his 30s.


Lois Wann

When you entered his studio, if you glanced immediately to your left, there was a table with a stack of phonograph records.  These were not the off-the-shelf type of disks, but I believed them to be masters cut on a record cutting machine.  There were no printed labels – just hand-written notes.  I asked about them once, and he told me that the top one was a recording of the Beethoven Oboe Trio that he recorded with Lois Wann.  Brenner’s studio contained no audio equipment at all.  If I were to ask to hear the Beethoven, there was no way to play it.

Fast forward 40+ years, and with the wonders of Google and YouTube, I have located this recording online.  It was recorded in 1939, presumably in New York, as the other two players featured on the recording were also legendary New York oboists – Lois Wann and Ferdinand Prior.


Beethoven: Variations on ‘La Ci Darem’
Lois Wann & Ferdinand Prior on oboes,
Engelbert Brenner on English horn.

What a thrill it is to finally hear this recording!  Here is the YouTube video that I located of the recording:   YouTube Link

Here is another sound-only file (I prefer this one, as I added a tiny bit of reverb to enhance the very old recording capabilities of the day):   Click here


  •  I was unable to find a photo of Mr. Prior.  Does anyone have one that I can include?