Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Camille Saint-Saens, Umberto Bertoni, Paul Hindemith|
20th Century Bassoon
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Listen to Samples
A great recording for bassoon and piano
Robert Paterson | New York, NY, USA | 06/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are certain types of ensembles that have a tremendous amount of literature: string quartets, works for piano and violin and piano trios are a few that come to mind. There are also different combinations of instruments that sound wonderful together but have had very few works written for them, such as the combination of bassoon and piano. These two CDs are an excellent representation of how beautiful this instrumental combination can sound.
I listened to two CDs back to back: 20th Century Bassoon with Mauro Monguzzi on bassoon and Music for Bassoon, Piano and Cello with bassoonist Bruce Grainger. Both CDs are excellent. Coincidentally, both CDs were recorded in 1995; the Monguzzi is an Italian recording and the Grainger is American.
Two Sonatas for Bassoon and Piano appear on both CDs, works by Saint-Saëns's and Hindemith. I went back and forth many times between listening to the two recordings, particularly to the Saint-Saëns work. I am particularly fond of this Saint-Saëns sonata, so this exercise was a treat. I think this piece is probably the epitome of a great work for this combination, and it is obvious why it would be hard not to want to include it on a recording of bassoon and piano works.
The 20th Century Bassoon CD Saint-Saëns recording sounds a little quicker and the interpretation sounds a little more aggressive and grittier than the Grainger recording. The second movement comes in attacca - the sound is refreshing compared to using a typical separation between the movements. There are a few key clicks in this recording, but nothing too distracting. The excellent pianist, Giovanni Brollo, lengthens the beginning notes in the third movement, giving the beginning a more lugubrious sound. This gives a different feel from the pianist for the Grainger, Gail Niwa, who plays the beginning in more of a tenuto fashion.
In general, the Grainger recording sound more precise and controlled and the Monguzzi recording sounds like it has more contrasts. For example, the dynamic levels in the Monguzzi between "soft and loud" sound a little more dramatic. It sounds like the microphone placement for the Monguzzi recording in a little closer than in the Grainger which seems to have more of a blended sound. Do not get me wrong: both recordings are very sensitive and "musical," yet each recording has its own voice.
The Roger Boutry "Interferences' work on the Grainger CD is particularly exciting and interesting, as is the first work, the Sonata for bassoon and Piano by Alvin Etler. On the 20th Century Bassoon CD, the Tansman works struck me as being a very solid. Another added treat on the Grainger CD is the addition of the cellist Gary Stucka for the Mozart Sonata for bassoon and Cello in B-flat, K. 292.
All of the other works-as well as the performances-sound great on both recordings. Although the playing and interpretations by the players on each CD is quite different, both CDs are excellent-I highly recommend both of them."