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Musique pour basson et piano - Vol. 2
Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963)
Sonata for Bassoon and Piano (1938) [8 :04]
Olav BERG (b.1949)
Vertigo [11:13]
Othmar SCHOECK (1886 - 1957)
Sonata for Bassoon and Piano [13:48]
Olav BERG (b.1949)
Sonatine for Bassoon and Piano [8:51]
Otmar NUSSIO (1902-1990)
Variazioni su un’Arietta di Pergolesi [12:40]
Isang YUN (1917-1995)
Monologue for solo bassoon (1983) [11:09]
Manfred SCHOOF
Two Impromptus (1993) [10:29]
Dag Jensen (bassoon); Midori Kitagawa (piano)
rec. 31 October-2 November 1997, Fürstliche Reitbahn Arolsen. DDD
Experience Classicsonline

This is the second volume in a series of discs of music for bassoon and piano. Bassoonist Dag Jensen makes a sweet, rounded sound and is heard in duo with pianist by Midori Kitagawa.

Hindemith’s Bassoon Sonata is less harmonically angular than some of his works but nevertheless contains the composer’s unmistakable imprint, especially during the Marsch which shares similar melodic fragments with the flute sonata. The work was composed in 1938 and is one of a series of sonatas for each orchestral instrument. Hindemith writes well for the bassoon, understanding how to balance the instrument’s tenor range with the piano, and creating an impressive piece which is both lyrical and musically interesting.

Norwegian composer Olav Berg’s Vertigo is an atmospheric piece for solo bassoon. The recording has just enough reverb to give life to the sound without overpowering, and the sonorous lines have a sense of depth, while the faster moving passages have clarity. This is a dramatic performance of a piece which uses the instrument to the full, with a wide range of both dynamic and pitch. His Sonatine for bassoon and piano has a distinctly contemporary feel, with an evocative opening developing into an expressive and sometimes turbulent dialogue between the bassoon and piano.

The Sonata by Othmar Schoeck was originally composed for bass clarinet but was later reworked by the composer for bassoon. Schoeck was a contemporary of Hindemith’s, but his music is more Romantic in style, with jazz and ragtime influences apparent in his writing, especially in the second and third movements. There are some soulful moments in this piece, as well as some biting harmonies and a rousing and technically challenging finale.

The Variations on an Arietta by Pergolesi form a demanding piece by Otmar Nussio. Imaginatively handled, Pergolesi’s music is subjected to a number of unusual treatments, retaining his sense of tonality but with Nussio creating variety in the different sections, with styles ranging from rapid ostinati to a theatrical rhapsody, sentimental elegy and a ferocious dance.

Isang Yun is a Korean composer whose music combines his own native compositional styles with a Western influence. His Monologue for solo bassoon was composed in 1983 and features slow moving melody lines which seem to suspend time. Jensen gives an excellent rendition of this work, with some impressively controlled pitch bends and glissandi and a wonderful sound in the instrument’s top register. This is a challenging work which is given an commanding performance.

The disc ends with the Two Impromptus by Manfred Schoof. The music has a strong jazz influence, with the flowing lines having the sense of an improvisation. These are enjoyable works which are well constructed and full of expressive flair.

The range of repertoire on this disc is highly enjoyable, and the playing is excellent throughout. This disc provides a good insight into the capabilities of the bassoon and demonstrates the excellence of some of the composers who have written for the instrument in recent years.

Carla Rees
















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