Hilarious bassoonists, but leave out the vocalists!
oohlookasquirrel | Medford, Massachusetts United States | 02/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love everything the Caliban Quartet has done so far, and this is my least favorite of their albums. There are a lot of tracks that I really love and feature the quartet on their own with a lot of humor and wonderful bassoon work, and these tracks will be appreciated by fans of the quartet's other work. The other tracks, however, feature a lot of guest vocalists with bassoon accompaniment (along with more normal instruments). These tracks would be perfect for a bassoonist to play for a family that doesn't want to hear wacky bassoon music. At first, I wanted to be able to mute the shrill voice of one of the guest artists so I could hear the instrument I bought the album for. I hoped the tracks would grow on me, but there are many of them that I simply cannot listen to.
This album tries to be a wacky bassoon quartet version of some seasonal music for those of us who get sick of the traditional versions of the carols, but it also has a lot of tracks suggesting some new carols that will leave the bassoon fans straining to hear their favorite instrument as they do on so many other recordings. Yes, the new carols often have clever lyrics, but their style often nauseatingly perky like traditional carols (even though there's some bassoon in the background) and, as someone more at home in the bass clef, I cannot stand the voices of many sopranos.
I can't possibly give fewer than 4 stars to an album featuring the Sugar Plum Fairy theme played by a contrabassoon, and there's a lot of awesome bassoon work on here that makes me happy to own it, but be warned that whatever you're after, you will probably only enjoy half of the CD."