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Track(s) taken from CDA67453

The Bassoon 'Humorous Song'

after Mendelssohn's 'Spring Song', Lieder ohne Worte V, Op 62 No 6

Laurence Perkins (bassoon), Richard Suart (baritone), 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: 3 minutes 28 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)
J Quenton Ashlyn’s humorous song The Bassoon, with its mildly outrageous lyrics and bassoon-fuelled innuendos, has understandably been very popular amongst bassoonists for many years. However, virtually nothing is known about the composer. He was a singer and songwriter (presumably based in London) working in the music halls in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – several of his songs were issued by various publishers, including Just at that Critical Moment, The Ladies, Marriage à la Mandoline and Very Embarrasing, Very!. One of the songs, published between about 1895 and 1900, shows a photograph of him aged about thirty-five to forty years old, but beyond this there appears to be virtually no information about Ashlyn. The internet reveals nothing useful, the British Library has the published songs but no details, the PRS/MCPS copyright database contains no useful information, an in-depth search of the Stationer’s Hall entries at the Public Records Office in London produced nothing (he is not even listed in the 1901 census, which suggests that the name is a pseudonym), and searches of music publishers’ archives revealed nothing beyond the fact that his name began with ‘J’. An appeal for information from anyone who knew Ashlyn or knew of him, sent to every relevant national and regional newspaper in Britain, produced nothing. We do not even know his birth and death dates. All we know about the song is that it was originally published by Reynolds (a popular and prolific London-based song publisher in the late nineteenth century), and first appeared in about 1900. We can be confident in assuming that he did not play the bassoon, as the song does not offer a bassoon part – the bassoon ‘cue’ in the printed music is simply ‘pom, pom, pom’ in the lyrics! Why he wrote it, or who played the bassoon with him when he performed this song, is not known. Nevertheless, it is a hugely entertaining ditty that establishes beyond doubt the role of the bassoon as the leading instrument in the orchestra, a valuable asset when wooing your lover and a vital accessory around the home! What more could one ask for?

from notes by Laurence Perkins © 2004

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