I've been feeling a bit defeated about the oboe lately. My Lorée has had crack catastrophe after crack catastrophe, and I'm starting to feel like it might be the end of it's useful life - every time I start to play intensely on it there's a sneaky lack of suction, and although I'm much faster at spotting it these days, it's still wreaking havoc on my reed making. I'm certainly glad I made the somewhat impulsive decision to buy the lined Yamaha, as it has saved me several times, but switching between the two instruments has a definite adjustment period, so now I'm just playing the yamaha.

I've found I'm just not enjoying my own sound these days - I over-finish my reeds, or destroy them and I feel like the stable ones are too hard to play in performance. SIGH. So, in a fit of desperation I Googled "Oboe inspiration" and worked my way from there to listening to this:

Albrecht Mayer & Matthieu Gauci-Ancelin Play Handel

 I'm always blown away by how Mr Mayer seems to sing through his oboe/english horn. Then I decided to listen to a bunch of people playing the Strauss concerto, because I love it, but can never seem to get even close to memorizing it:
Marin Tinev
Elaine Douvas

 and then somehow ended up listening to more Mayer...

    Albrecht Mayer plays a bit of Strauss

...and now I feel like going home and making some reeds. :)