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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67288
Recording details: April 2001
Concert Hall of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: January 2002
Total duration: 18 minutes 22 seconds

'A delightful and generous collection' (Gramophone)

'Dazzling. Hyperion's perceptive talent-spotting has produced a charming disc from performers virtually new to the catalogue – unreservedly recommended' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The performances are all sophisticated … a pleasure to listen to' (American Record Guide)

'a recording of airy clarity … a most recommendable disc, with much to enjoy' (International Record Review)

'Perkins brings out the fun in much of the inspiration as well as the lyrical beauty, warmly accompanied by the Camerata' (The Guardian)

'Dynamic and expressive contrasts are carefully and adroitly created and the orchestra meticulously managed. The result is a lovely and technically superior recording, not to mention another star in the crown of the folks at Hyperion' (Fanfare, USA)

'The playing of the Manchester Camerata (on modern instruments) is excellent throughout … They and their oboist conductor support their principal bassoonist with such care and attention that it is fair to call this a labour of love all round. Enjoy' (MusicWeb International)

'La Manchester Camerata propose un excellent encadrement orchestral, spirituel, avec des tutti aux contours finement dessinés, une articulation franche et une pulsation énergique' (Répertoire, France)

Bassoon Concerto in B flat major, K191 K186e
June 1774

Allegro  [7'23]

Other recordings available for download
Ursula Leveaux (bassoon), Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Alexander Janiczek (conductor)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
No composer has ever understood the qualities of individual instruments as did Mozart … with the bassoon, it is like a Sea-god speaking, and the most beautiful and elaborate fancies of Debussy, in La Mer, are not more evocative of the spray, of Neptune with his flashing trident, and of the tritons sounding their conch-shells. (Mozart by Sacheverell Sitwell (1932)

Whatever you think of Sacheverell Sitwell’s colourful description of the sound of the solo bassoon, there is undoubtedly a versatility and expressive range in the bassoon’s voice which I hope is evident in the work featured here. It is easy to forget that the composer was just eighteen years of age when he wrote this highly imaginative work in June 1774 whilst in Salzburg. There is evidence that he wrote another two concertos for the instrument but, sadly, there is no trace of them, the only other solo work to have survived being the Sonata K292 with cello accompaniment. Throughout the concerto there is a satisfying balance of humour without caricature, virtuosity without note-spinning, and a lyricism which establishes more than ever before the bassoon’s expressive qualities throughout the three-octave range available at the time. The slow movement in particular is a jewel of melodic writing, using a melody which Mozart wrote into a notebook at the age of eight, and later re-used in a modified form as ‘Porgi amor’ in Le Nozze di Figaro. The last movement is a minuet in rondo form, where the bassoon presents a playful set of variations on the main minuet theme, the latter appearing in the solo part only near the end of the movement. Throughout the concerto the orchestral writing is equally colourful, with delightful interactions between the strings and soloist, and a particularly beautiful muted accompaniment in the slow movement, all of which is further enhanced by some playful writing for the oboes and often spectacularly high B flat alto horn parts.

from notes by Laurence Perkins © 2002

Other albums featuring this work
'Mozart: Wind Concertos' (CKD273)
Mozart: Wind Concertos
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £18.00ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £18.00 CKD273  Download only   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

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