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By Theodore W. Libbey Jr. May 8, Credit To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. One has come to expect certain things when Heinz Holliger plays the oboe: phenomenal control of embouchure and phrasing, brilliant fingerwork, and a lightness and purity of tone close to the French ideal.
While these attributes are extraordinary in combination, and the despair of solo oboists worldwide, they are expected of Mr. Holliger, and were much in evidence on Thursday evening during his recital in the Metropolitan Museum. If Mr. Holliger is skilled at achieving the expected, he is inspired when it comes to dropping the unexpected into a listener's lap.
Thursday's program did just that, offering three of Bach's sonatas as the bread in a sandwich that contained two contemporary works, one of which was a late addition to the program. Holliger and received its American premiere in his performance. A challenging set - its ''Fugue a trois voix'' and muted ''Berceuse'' proved especially appealing - it made a fine foil for Benjamin Britten's ''Six Metamorphoses After Ovid'' Op. John Steele Ritter was a steady accompanist in the Bach, and contributed pleasant accounts of two harpsichord sonatas by Scarlatti to the evening's fare.
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