You probably don’t know this piece – Bassoon you will!

December 10, 2015 at 10:30 am

Today’s piece was selected mainly so I could use that million-dollar pun in the title.

Orchestral instruments notoriously get used in uncreative ways: the trumpets always play the fanfares; the flutes play the part of dancing sprites; the basses always play, well, the bass line. The truth of the matter is, any top-knotch player is capable of a broad range of sounds and styles on his/her instrument. Trumpets can be sweet and lyrical; flutes can be aggressive and grizzly; and basses … well, they really do stick to the bass line, with few exceptions.


So when was the last time you thought, “I want to hear a beautiful instrumental aria … on the Bassoon!” Let me go ahead and guess – never. The bassoon is that bumbling bedpost of an instrument, the one who plays the Grandfather in “Peter and the Wolf“, the one that Stravinsky gave the awkward opening motif in “The Rite of Spring.” Could it really be suitable for a lovely lyric aria? Samuel Coleridge-Taylor thought so! Prepare to fall in love all over again … with the Bassoon!