Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Karen Geoghegan, Wallfisch, Orchestra of Opera North|
Karen Geoghegan plays Bassoon Concertos
Genres: Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
Buy this for the Hummel, stay for the rest (especially the G
M. Ramshaw | 05/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had heard the Hummel concerto on the radio and was looking for a good recording.
I owned a recording that I was not happy with, and so I asked an expert and read
the reviews here. But my memory of what the expert had to say played me false, and
I bought this one by mistake.
I could not be happier. This is the first recording of the Hummel concerto that I
have listened to and not ended up wishing for a better performance/recording. The
first time that I listened to it, I thought that the performer did not bring enough
age and maturity to the delicate emotionality of the second movement. But the next
time it seemed to me that her youth and passion were more than equal to expressing
the extreme anguish evident later in the movement. While I think that her playing
lacks polish and precision in one or two places, I think she more than makes up for
this with her tempo and feeling for the music. It's worthwhile noting that this
piece is often an examination piece and a bit of a 'bete noire' for bassoonists.
There follows a 'tour de force' of music most of which was previously unknown to
me, mainly in historical order. Carl Maria von Weber is probably well-known for his
music for Bassoon (and there is some nice light music from him), but there is also
Franz Berwald and Carl Heinrich Jacobi with some very fine music. With music from
these, as well as composers such as Ritter and Vanhal, it is perhaps not entirely
surprising that the giants of classical music did not write very much for Bassoon
(especially Mozart, who I am sure would not have been able to resist 'fart' jokes).
There follows a piece written by Elgar for a friend while he was also composing a
much grander work. It is probably the first piece on the CD that was definitely
written for modern Bassoon, and seems to be a very definite shift in tonality.
The CD ends up with perhaps the strongest piece; a bluesy rendition of 'Summertime'
by George Gershwin. The arrangement has a little more ornamentation than I'd like,
but is still very pleasant to listen to and probably much more to modern taste.
Buy this CD, all of the pieces are gems and there will be one or two surprises!
I look forward to hearing more from this performer and to hearing her tackle works
by Vanhal, Ritter, Onslow and perhaps even Devienne (whose solo parts are original
but whose accompaniments seem endlessly trite and cliche)."