Repertoire to make reeds by.
The bassoon is such a colourful and varied musical instrument. It can be comical, lyrical, flamboyant or just plain crazy. Below is a selection of works I find reflect just how versatile this instrument can be.
Elegy for Innocence - Jeff Scott
This piece was premiered by Monica Ellis, to whom it is dedicated to critical acclaim, at the 2009 IDRS Conference in Provo. A challenging, tuneful, and creative single movement work by the hornist of the Imani Quintet.
Dead Elvis (1993) was commissioned by Boston Musica Viva and Chuck Ullery, principal bassoonist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. a 10-minute, single-movement work inspired by the King of Rock and Roll - Elvis Presley.
Lauro for bassoon (Five Venezuelan Waltzes for Solo Bassoon) - Paquito D’Rivera / Antonio Lauro
The Cuban-born saxophonist, clarinetist and composer Paquito D’Rivera, who has written and arranged ensemble pieces for the Imani Winds, adapted five pieces by the legendary Venezuelan guitarist/composer Antonio Lauro for solo bassoon. “These pieces are so effective,” said Ellis. “He’s able to translate these traditional solo guitar pieces – and that same effect of having twenty fingers – for bassoon without it sounding awkward. I’ve enjoyed playing them.”
'Love Serenade was written with the intention of composing a very lyrical and impassioned work. It was first composed for the bassoon, and certainly there are not enough pieces for the bassoon that have that character'. - notes by Matthew Hindson.
Sonata for Bassoon and Piano - Saint-Saëns
Following the sonatas for oboe and clarinet, the bassoon sonata is the last of the compositions for wind from 1921, the year of Saint-Saëns’ death. He did not have a chance to write the sonata for cor anglais he had planned. The humorous, technically not very demanding work hardly shows that the composer was not particularly well acquainted with the instrument. In a letter he admitted to his publisher that he had preferred to check a school to confirm the range of the bassoon at a high passage. However, trial runs with the subsequent dedicatee Léon Letellier went extremely well for both parties.
Variationen über ein Thema von Pergolesi für Fagott und Streichorchester - Otmar Nussio
This composition for bassoon and string orchestra by Otmar Nussio was written in 1953 for the Geneva International Music Competition.
Lucy Long Theme and Variations - Fred Godfrey
It was in the popular Lancashire seaside resort of Blackpool that Lucy Long received its first performance, written for and played by the orchestra’s seventeen-year-old bassoonist Philip Langdale. There is a surprising Australian connection also.
Migrant for Bassoon and String Quartet - Bernd Redmann
Premiered in 2011 by Lyndon Watts in Munich this contemporary work shows how far the bassoon has come.