Best Bassoon Week Ever!!! 01/20/15

Guys!  It’s the new year!  So roll out the resolutions, because this is the…

Best Bassoon Week Ever!

FIRST OF ALL.  Go buy Trent Jacob’s Album. No seriously.  Do it.  It’s good, it has some great pieces on it, AND if you do your homework, you will have listened to it before I review it next week.  Also, because I said so.  Also, we have to support each other, and Trent is awesome.  So just do it.

Second of all, I feel like people are just premiering stuff left, and right (well not really), but this is a pretty big deal.  Christopher Millard premiered a piece by Marc Neikrug with the NACO, and compared us to Japanese food. It’s a good article.  READ IT. The commission is from several major orchestras, and will probably be a great addition to the rep.

Good.  Now that we’ve gone through the syllabus…onto todays lesson:

Of course, the coolest, sickest cat with a bassoon in his hands is the ever amazing Paul Hanson.  In this video he is with the “oboman”  Jean-Luc Fillon.  This is probably some of the best playing I have heard from anyone in a long time.  Like, anyone. How can you not just geek the hell out on his playing?  Especially at 9:09, when “Aisha” comes up, and oboman is playing a freaking bass, and Paul is just killing it.  Around 11:00 it just gets dirty and sexy, but so well executed.  And then for the last piece, Hanson just uses loops so they can free-improv like freaks of nature!  Hanson has a wonderful control over the instrument and his music.  Make an album ya jerks, so I can listen to this all the time!

This next piece, Fanfare and Raga for Bassoon and Tape, is seriously an interesting thing to have on youtube, of all places. I’ve had this CD for a couple of months, but I’m glad it went up here, because it’s a really great example of early electroacoustic music for bassoon, which is awesome!  (I’m a nerd…shut it)  But seriously, this piece is kind of a big deal as a historical notch-in-our-belt kind of way.

Emerson Meyers died in 1990, but founded the Electronic Music program at Catholic University in Washington D.C. He is quoted:

“I couldn’t stand the sounds when I first came into contact with them,” Mr. Meyers said in an interview 26 years ago. “There was no direction, no form; they were just sensational noises, not music. In fact, I disliked them so much that electronic music aroused my curiosity, and I decided to look into it.” He said he soon discovered that a composer had greater control over that kind of music than any other form.”

Just think if every artist reacted to music they didn’t like, like that.  Amazing.

The bassoonist is Frank Heintz.  Heintz was probably a student at Catholic University at the time of the composition, but was contrabassoonist for the Cincinnati Symphony for many years.

The last piece in our installment for the week is Yaylada by Fazil Arslan.  Andrea Bressan is an Italian bassoonist with a lovely European sound.  Very light, but full.  The piece clearly has some wonderful middle eastern music references, with moments of chant-like music (9:40), and later some amazing dance moments (11:40).  The composer is a professor of theology in turkish religious music at the University of Istanbul, so I’m sure there are plenty of Turkish influences in this music.

I wish you all a good reed week.  Good luck!


Bassoon Video of the Week….

I. Want. The. Music. To. This.

Shameless plugs:

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Composers!  Got a composition for bassoon, or that includes bassoon, and want me to know about it?  Performers!  Commissioning a new piece and want others involved? Send me a score, a link, soundcloud, whatever… to, or twitter, and I will try my best to get it up here.  I want to support everyone!


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