Best Bassoon Week Ever! (10/14-10/20)

Hey Bassoonists!  Hope you had a good week, because this is the Best Bassoon Week EVER!

So, I did take last week off.  I’m sorry.  I know you missed me, but I have a legitimate excuse! I was preparing for my recital, which hasn’t happened yet….but it will.  It. Has. To.

Basically last week, I felt a little like this:

So something had to give.  Anyways……


So, the program didn’t end up as cool as I wanted it to be, because, well….I don’t want to kill my face and die on stage.  We as musicians should probably avoid that at all costs…….

Not that my pieces aren’t awesome, I just wanted a couple more on there that got axed (maybe for the next one?)

So the first piece is going to be the Libby Larsen Concerpiece.  First of all, I think it makes a really great opening piece, and secondly, it has some really high notes, and is loud.  So, if I want to play it, it’s a good first-at-bat piece.  Also, it’s probably one of the more entertaining pieces for bassoon.  Here’s the third movement.

Any piece that has the instructions “flat out, grove” at the top of the last movement should automatically become standard repertoire, in my book.

I suggest you listen to some other pieces by Libby Larsen.  Start with Holy Roller.

That was my graduation ceremony at Peabody.  Yours wasn’t nearly as cool, I know….it’s ok 😉

Next will be a piece by a Peabody Alum, Roger Zare.  Triptych was premiered by a bassoonist in my studio at Peabody, and Imani did an incredible  job with this really difficult piece. It’s really an interesting example of what happens when composers aren’t thinking about what they think the bassoon can’t do, but what it’s voice means to them.  I hope I can do it justice.

My bassoon duets are Seven Duos by Gordon Sherwood.  If you haven’t heard of Gordon Sherwood, don’t worry….it took me forever to find him. You can find his music here.  He wrote quite a little bit for the bassoon if you are willing to look through all the music on that website.

And for the last piece, and my little standard bit of repertoire, the Weber Andante and Hungarian Rondo.  

I’m still freaking out that everything won’t be ready on time, but here goes nothin’!  I have one month left.  Cross your fingers everybody!

Some of the pieces that didn’t make the cut:

The Weeping,  by Alexander Vustin.

Isn’t Valeri Popov incredible?  Of all the bassoonists in the world, he’s probably my biggest idol.  I want to play this piece so badly.  Vustin wrote another piece I cannot find a recording of called To Flame. I have the score, and it looks hideous to play.  It’s going to rock.

The Dark Hours by Judah Adashi is another really amazing work. Peter Kolkay performed it on his CD BassoonMusic. 

If you don’t own the CD, freaking buy it already.  For god sake, the man won the Avery Fisher grant!   The only bassoonist to do so….ever. So, he’s kind of a BAMF on the bassoon, and he makes that piece come alive.  The rest of the pieces on the album are great too.  BassoonMusic, by George Perle is also on the album, and was on the Gillet-Fox competition last year.

The only reason this piece didn’t make the cut?  Too long for my recital.  I wanted to play the Weber, and there was no wiggle room.

Well, this has been one of my tamer BBWE’s, but this has seriously taken over my life.  I will do better next week!  Next week we will cover Jazz Bassoonists, boys and girls.

Also Also….Bassoon Youtube Video of the Week.  Ummm….did anyone know Klaus Thunemann was this cool?  More research is definitely needed.

6 thoughts on “Best Bassoon Week Ever! (10/14-10/20)

  1. Wow! I’ve been looking for that Michael Naura album with Thunemann for a few years. Glad to see some of it at least turn up on YouTube. The only copies I’ve been able to find were $50 or more, and I wasn’t sure it’d be worth it. But after hearing this, I think I might actually take the plunge.

    Thanks for posting it, and good luck with your recital!

    1. Thanks! I had no idea this existed until last night. It came up just in the nick of time for the blog. I was like….is this really Thunemann? But then I looked up Naura on the German Wikipedia, and it’s definitely him!

      1. Oh yeah, it’s him! BTW, if you’re interested in jazz bassoon, you should take a look at my dissertation, which is a history and discography of the bassoon’s use in jazz. It should be findable via ProQuest, or I’d be happy to send you a PDF copy.

  2. I forgot that’s what your dissertation was about. It’s been so long since I read your biography. I think the last time I read it, you were a musicology student in Wisconsin still. haha I will see if I can find it and read it before the end of next week! Thanks for the heads up 🙂

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