Thursday, 30 September 2010

Mozart magic - the boy wonder's Bassoon Concerto

I don’t know my adagio from my lento but if there is a more beautiful piece of classical music than the second movement of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto I would like to hear it.
The boy wonder wrote the piece at the age of just 18 in 1774. Sadly two Mozart concertos for the bassoon have been lost; this survives.
It must have been about 20 years ago when I first heard the concerto - or rather some of the slow second movement. Mozart's melody is sublime and the bassoon speaks with a human voice to the listener.
Perhaps it was a guest's choice on Desert Island Discs, because I wasn't in the habit of listening to classical music. I bought the recording the next day and I have been haunted by it ever since.
This link takes you to the programme notes produced by the Burgess Hill Symphony Orchestra, which admirably explains the structure of the concerto.
The video that tops this post is from a recording by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the soloist is Donna Agrell.
I regret now my teenage rebellion, which resisted my late father's attempts to introduce me to classical music. But even my uncouth ears couldn't resist the voice of his favourite Kathleen Ferrier. Her What is life has been a pleasure for more than fifty years.

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What do you think? GC