Bas­soon Con­cer­tos

BBC Music Magazine - - Reviews -

Works by Mozart, Win­ter, Hum­mel and Rossini

Jaako Luoma (bas­soon); Ta­pi­ola Sin­foni­etta/janne Niso­nen

On­dine ODE 1324-2 68:51 mins What­ever hap­pened to the bas­soon as a solo in­stru­ment?

Its use­ful­ness in blend­ing seam­lessly with other or­ches­tral mem­bers around it, like a vi­tal in­gre­di­ent in a recipe, seems to have led com­posers to over­look its like­able pos­si­bil­i­ties as a con­certo soloist, at least since the early 19th cen­tury and the grow­ing size of the Ro­man­tic or­ches­tra. All four works recorded here, apart from Rossini’s (whose au­thor­ship is dis­puted), date from the Beethoven era. Even a player of Jaakko Luoma’s masterful ex­per­tise can’t dis­guise that the bas­soon’s range of tone and vol­ume is lim­ited within each of its var­i­ous reg­is­ters. But it also has a ca­pac­ity for colour­ful ex­pres­sive line which gives it gen­uine op­tions as a solo in­stru­ment, plus re­mark­able agility when re­quired. Luoma’s play­ing ex­cels in both de­part­ments.

Sure enough, ★um­mel’s agree­able but not very char­ac­ter­ful con­certo is in­stantly trumped by Mozart’s, where the solo writ­ing is so much more in­ven­tive; and while the or­ches­tral ac­com­pa­ni­ments of both works use only oboes and horns be­sides strings, Mozart’s de­ploy­ment of this wind con­tin­gent is an imag­i­na­tive class apart. Pe­ter von Win­ter’s Bas­soon Con­certino (three sec­tions squeezed into a sin­gle move­ment) ex­plores early Ro­man­tic ter­ri­tory in a more tur­bu­lent C mi­nor, while the con­certo at­trib­uted to Rossini cer­tainly has the Ital­ian mas­ter’s en­gag­ing charm. Led by Janne Niso­nen, the Ta­pi­ola Sin­foni­etta opts for string tone that’s clas­si­cally lean in a way that’s con­vinc­ing rather than ten­den­tious, un­der­pin­ning Luoma’s artistry with springy sup­port. Mal­colm Hayes PER­FOR­MANCE ★★★★ RECORD­ING ★★★★

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