My Bassoon Concerto was written for Sigyn Birkeland, who gave the world premiere
performance in 1999 on the Chandos recording. In the summer of 2004 I embarked on
a major revision of my Bassoon Concerto. There were two main reasons for this. Firstly,
the orchestration was, shall we say, prohibitively exotic. I had received some interest
from bassoonists wishing to perform the piece, only to find that the battery of percussion
and the requirement to amplify the bassoon were proving to be insurmountable obstacles.
Secondly (and in light of the first reason), I wanted to take the opportunity to
revise some passages in the original version, particularly in the last movement where,
even with amplification, the bassoon would always struggle to be heard. The result
is quite clearly the same piece in terms of mood and overall architecture, but different
in orchestrational colour and balance; and whilst, in terms of melody and harmony,
the first movement remains virtually untouched, the second movement is somewhat shorter
and the third movement has had some passages removed and others substantially rewritten.
The orchestration is:
Bassoon, Strings, Piano, Percussion (2 players)
It is my hope and belief that the result retains the spirit of the original version,
whilst now being practical in terms of performance.
Please note that the audio extract on this web site is from the original orchestration.
The revised version appears on the “Parapraxis” CD.