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In his Bassoon Sonata (one of only two surviving works he wrote for the instrument) Mozart fully exploits the versatility and expressive range of the instrument. Originally for bassoon and cello, the cello part is here fascinatingly realized here on the fortepiano.
A 24-bit 192 kHz studio master for this album is available from the Linn Records website.
‘No other composer has ever understood the qualities of individual instruments as did Mozart. When he writes for the bassoon, it is like a sea-god speaking. 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.’ Whatever you think of Sacheverell Sitwell’s colourful description of Mozart’s bassoon writing in his biography of the composer, there is no denying that Mozart exploited the versatility and expressive range of the instrument to the full.
The brisk opening movement cheerfully overflows with the type of ornamentation and embellishment that one would expect from a work of the period. In contrast, the lyrical second movement is slow and thoughtful, with long, fluid phrases allowing the bassoon’s unique voice to come eloquently to the fore. The third movement showcases the technical capabilities of the player, as well as the flexibility of the instrument.
Stephen Strugnell © 2015