Vocalise: Classical Music for Bassoon and Piano

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Composers: Alessandro Longo, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann
Artists: Massimo Data (bassoon), Piero Barbareschi (piano)

The chamber literature for bassoon is not as rich and varied as the instrument deserves. Despite its widely recognised beauty of timbre and expressive potentialities, used and celebrated in solos from many significant orchestral and operatic compositions, a fitting chamber literature in the 19th and 20th centuries, especially in duo with the piano, is conspicuously absent. The pieces recorded on this CD are an attempt to demonstrate how this repertoire may be expanded and built upon, both by using original compositions for bassoon and piano and by transcribing significant pieces by Romantic and 20th-century authors originally intended for other expressive instruments.

The pieces themselves range from atmospheric 19th-century compositions such as Schumann’s Drei Romanzen Op.98, in which the bassoon takes on a distinctly vocal quality, to beautiful and at times melancholic 20th-century pieces, including Piazzolla’s Oblivion, in which the flexibility of the instrument’s timbre truly comes to the fore. Bridging these two groups is the ‘title track’ by Rachmaninoff, the implications of whose name are certainly done justice in this set, for the bassoon truly ‘finds its own voice’ here.

Bassoonist Massimo Data has played as principal bassoonist for several orchestras in Italy and beyond, and has given masterclasses across the world. He is accompanied by pianist Piero Barbareschi, who collaborates on chamber music duos with a wide variety of instrumentalists and plays a broad repertoire of music ranging from the 17th century to the present day.

The Bassoon, the bass member of the woodwind family, is a surprisingly versatile, agile, and expressive instrument. Its expression ranges from the joyful and even comic, sonorous, melancholic to the mournful. Regretfully classical composers wrote little of substance for the solo bassoon, therefore this new recording presents a selection of delightful arrangements of classical evergreens: Schumann’s Fantasiestücke Op. 73 (itself written for clarinet or cello), a Mendelssohn Lied ohne Worte, Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, an original piece by Gabriel Pierné, a heartbreaking Pavane by Ravel, and two raucous Piazzolla tangos.

00:00:00 Lied ohne Worte in E Major, Op. 19 No. 1
00:03:48 Fantasiestücke, Op. 73: I. Zart und mit Ausdruck
00:06:58 Fantasiestücke, Op. 73: II. Lebhaft, leicht
00:10:57 Fantasiestücke, Op. 73: III. Rasch und mit Feuer
00:15:29 Suite for Bassoon and Piano: I. Andante con variazioni
00:20:08 Suite for Bassoon and Piano: II. Romanza
00:25:06 Suite for Bassoon and Piano: III. Vivace
00:28:41 14 Romances, Op. 34: No. 14, Vocalise
00:34:25 Drei Romanzen, Op. 98: I. Nicht schnell
00:37:42 Drei Romanzen, Op. 98: II. Einfach, innig
00:41:39 Drei Romanzen, Op. 98: III. Nicht schnell
00:45:45 Enrico IV: Oblivion
00:48:45 Solo de concert, Op. 35
00:54:42 Pavane pour une infante défunte in G Major, M. 19
00:59:03 Libertango

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