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Track(s) taken from CDA67453

The Playful Pachyderm


Laurence Perkins (bassoon), New London Orchestra, Ronald Corp (conductor)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: July 2003
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Will Brown & Simon Eadon
Release date: November 2004
Total duration: 6 minutes 33 seconds


'… one of the jolliest CDs to have crossed my desk in ages … the indefatigable Perkins has assembled some genuine rarities for our delight' (The Mail on Sunday)

'Perkins is a compelling advocate of the instrument, not only in his painstaking work as orchestrator and arranger, and his enthusiastic and well-researched booklet notes, but most of all in his playing … This is a delightful disc which will be of interest to a much wider audience than merely the bassoon-crazy' (International Record Review)

'Perkins is an excellent bassoonist who managed to collect some interesting and unusual pieces for his instrument, arranging others himself. His enthusiasm for the repertoire and the bassoon itself are immediately apparent. He plays with a spontaneity that makes us entirely forget technique, so that we never feel like we are witnessing a feat of bravura. His beautiful sound and effortless dexterity all work towards making the music gently caress the ear' (Fanfare, USA)

'I admire Perkins' playing very much; it is expressive and highly polished' (Classical Music Web)

'The playing here is not just comical (where required), it's also very beautiful—a lovely example of music-making' (Manchester Evening News)
Here is music by Gilbert Vinter. He was born in Lincoln and trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he later became a bassoon teacher. He is chiefly remembered for his numerous highly imaginative compositions, and for his work as a light music conductor with the BBC Midland Light Orchestra from 1946 until his death, and briefly with the BBC Concert Orchestra in the early 1950s. A sample of Vinter’s characterful bassoon playing can be heard on a 10-inch 78rpm record of him playing Godfrey’s Lucy Long and Ganglberger’s Mein Teddybär, but after his wartime service, a busy conducting, composing and teaching schedule left little time for playing work. His compositions for brass band are frequently performed, as are his chamber and instrumental works, notably Hunter’s Moon for horn and strings, and Two Miniatures (From Norfolk and From Devon) for wind quintet. There is also his delightful Scherzo for three bassoons, subtitled ‘Three Men in a Tub’. In addition to a Quintet for bassoon and string quartet, he left two solo compositions for the bassoon – a lyrical Reverie, and The Playful Pachyderm, which was first published by Boosey and Hawkes in 1942. It was originally written with piano accompaniment, but the characterful writing seemed to cry out for orchestral colour, hence my orchestration which was made specifically for this performance. Vinter did not provide any notes or information about the piece, but my visualization of it is that of a large Disney-like creature sleeping (perhaps snoring) at the beginning, until he suddenly wakes up and, with little jumps for joy, greets the day. Then he is off on his journey, which certainly does turn out to be a playful one – until the music suddenly stops. A new melody emerges – languid, amourous, possibly an encounter with a female pachyderm? There is a respectful but nevertheless tongue-in-cheek nod in the direction of Debussy here (another animal-inspired piece) before our pachyderm returns to his fun-filled journey. Then, as the music winds down near the end, our thick-skinned quadruped returns to slumber after his exhausting adventures.

from notes by Laurence Perkins © 2004

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