Hyperion Records

Bassoon Concerto in B flat major, K191 K186e
composer
June 1774

Recordings
'Bassoon Concertos' (CDA67288)
Bassoon Concertos
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67288  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Details
Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Andante ma adagio
Movement 3: Rondo: Tempo di Menuetto

Bassoon Concerto in B flat major, K191 K186e
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

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDA67288 track 1
Allegro
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-02-28801
Duration
7'23
Recording date
12 April 2001
Recording venue
Concert Hall of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Bassoon Concertos (CDA67288)
    Disc 1 Track 1
    Release date: January 2002
   English   Français   Deutsch