Bassoon with a View
Capriccio for bassoon and piano William Davis
Portions of William Davis's Capriccio for Bassoon and Piano exploit special effects which are particularly idiomatic for the bassoon. The opening passage, for example, consists of multiphonics only. Other
techniques include quarter tones, timbre variation on a single pitch, and circular breathing. While these
are notable, it is the composer's hope that they are an integral part of the work, and not just "effects."
The work contains virtuosic technical sections as well as passages which are traditionally lyrical.
Near the end, the momentum builds to an extended cadenza followed by a climactic, spirited coda.
WILLIAM DAVIS has been a faculty member in the University of Georgia School of Music since 1981. He earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees at the University of Kansas, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music. His main bassoon teachers have been Austin Ledwith and David Van Hoesen, and he has studied composition with John Pozdro, Samuel Adler, and Warren Benson. His published compositions include works for soloists, chamber ensembles, chorus, and symphonic band. He has served in several officer positions in the International Double Reed Society, and he has served as president of the Southeastern Composers League and the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors.
JOLENE DAVIS has been a faculty member in the University of Georgia School of Music since 1982, teaching organ, harpsichord, music theory, and church music. She has also served as Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Music. She earned the Bachelor of Music degree at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas and the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees (in organ performance) at the University of Kansas. She has studied organ with James Moeser and James Strand, and piano with Larry Solomon. Her service as an office in professional organizations includes the presidency of the Georgia Association of Music Theorists from 1990 to 1992.
Lonely Island (1974) Christopher Weait
Variations for Solo Bassoon (1972) Christopher Weait
Lonely Island was composed for young audiences in 1974 and revised in 1977. The title was proposed by
a young listener who suggested it "sounded like a lonely island". The work is based on a pentatonic scale and uses a variety of non-traditional techniques. Silences within the music are intentionally reminiscent of Japanese shakuhachi music. As yet unpublished, the music is available from the composer. The work was first recorded by the composer in 1976 on the Melbourne label (SMLP 4032).
Variations for Solo Bassoon was composed in 1972 in order to demonstrate non-traditional playing
techniques to high-school audiences. Included are harmonic notes, note-bends, various kinds of tonguing, and - perhaps for the first time on the bassoon - glissandos. There are twelve variations of the tone-row announced at the beginning. Three sections, separated by pauses, contain four variations each. A coda recalls the row in its four forms with a repeating high b-natural to the end. Published by Bassoon Heritage Editions, it was first recorded by the composer in 1974 on the Pyramid label (Pyramid 102) with later issues on Lyrichord (LLST 7277) and World Record Club/EMI in Australia (WRC-R.03020). It has also been recorded by the distinguished Chinese bassoonist Liu Qi. Variations for Solo Bassoon is dedicated to the composer's Toronto Symphony bassoon colleague Norman Tobias (1937-1973).
Before being appointed Professor of Bassoon at The Ohio State University School of Music in 1984, CHRISTOPHER WEAIT was chosen as Principal Bassoonist for the Toronto Symphony by Seiji Ozawa. Previously he played with the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia and the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point. His teaching background includes visiting professorships at the Eastman School of Music and Indiana University, three decades as a private teacher, and two years as a high school band director. He is the author of "Bassoon Reed Making: a Basic Technique" (McGinnis and Marx, 1980) and "Bassoon Warmups" (Emerson, 1992). His compact disc "Telemann for Bassoon" was released in 1995 on the d'Note label, and he has solo recordings on the Coronet, Crystal, Lyrichord and CBC labels.
Aztec Ceremonies, op. 37 Graham Waterhouse
Aztec Ceremonies was commissioned by Henry Skolnick and was premiered by him in 1995 at the International Double Reed Society congress at Rotterdam, accompanied by the composer. The composer writes, “During a recent visit to Mexico I visited several archaeological sites, where I was impressed by
certain aspects of Aztec ritual. In this piece each of the five sections represents a ceremony honouring a
particular deity.” The work is dedicated to Gu..nter Angerho..fer, eminent authority on the contrabassoon, on
the occasion of his 70th birthday.
GRAHAM WATERHOUSE was born in London into a musical family. Currently living in Munich, he studied at Cambridge University (composition and musicology) and at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen (cello, conducting, piano). His teachers include Maria Kliegel and Young-Chang Cho (cello) and Hugh Wood, Robin Holloway and Alexander Goehr (composition). His works comprise mostly chamber music
as well as concertos. Recent compositions include a violin concerto commissioned by the Orchestre de
Chambre Lausanne, a wind octet, a nonet, and a quintet for piccolo and strings.
HENRY SKOLNICK received a Bachelor (Cum Laude) and a Master of Music degree from the University of Miami. Currently bassoonist and contrabassoonist with the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, he has also performed with the Fort Lauderdale Symphony, the Symphony of Berlin, and the Miami Chamber Symphony, Internationally noted as one of few contrabassoon soloists, he has presented recitals and masterclasses in the U.S., England, Germany and The Netherlands. He is Editor-in-Chief for Bassoon Heritage Edition, publishers of music for bassoon and contrabassoon. His teachers include Josh DeGroen, Luciano Magnanini, and Gu..nter Piesk, and he has been strongly influenced, through a long association, by William Waterhouse.
JOSE LOPEZ has been pianist with the Florida Philharmonic since 1990. He has performed in the
Festival Miami and Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival and has appeared as soloist with orchestras in
Italy and Venezuela. As a winner in the 1993 Miami-OAS Piano Competition, he presented a recital at OAS headquarters in Washington. A graduate of the University of Miami, he studied with Rosalina Sackstein.
sonata #2 Efrem J. Podgaits
Composed in 1989, the Sonata # 2 for bassoon and piano by Efrem Podgaits represents a very comprehensive multi-sectioned single-movement modern work for the bassoon. Within it one can hear elements of both highly modern techniques, such as flutter-tonguing, glissandos, etc., along with eclectic elements such as jazz and a Shostakovich-like sense of irony. The work represents the wonderful creativity and angst of the modern Russian composer - juxtaposing harshness and irony with occasional elements of hope and romanticism. It is a fine work for the bassoon which deserves a larger audience than it has found thus far.
RONALD KLIMKO holds a Bachelor's degree in music from Milton College and a Master's and Doctorate in Music Theory from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has studied composition with Irwin Sonenfield, Hilmar Luckhardt, and Robert Crane, and bassoon with Richard Lottridge, Otto Eifert, Phillip Kolker, William Waterhouse, and Cecil James. He also studied French bassoon with Maurice Allard in Paris and Gilbert Audin in Nice. He was a member of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, and has performed both here and in Europe with orchestras and as a soloist and chamber musician. He is the author of Bassoon Performance Practices and Teaching in the United States and Canada (1974), and co-author with Marc Apfelstadt of the revised edition: Bassoon Performance and Teaching Materials, Techniques and Methods (1993). He is Bassoon Editor of the publications of the International Double Reed Society and Professor of Music and bassoonist in the Northwest Wind Quintet at the Lionel Hampton School of Music, University of Idaho.
CATHERINE ALLEN is a native of Walla Walla, Washington and currently resides in Pullman, Washington. She studied piano at the Whitman College Conservatory of Music and received her bachelor of arts degree from Washington State University, where she studied with Ruby Bailey Ronald. She earned a master's in accompanying at the University of Idaho where she studied with Jay Mauchley. Ms. Allen is currently the staff accompanist at the University of Idaho and appears regularly in chamber ensembles throughout the Inland Northwest region.
Five Pieces for Bassoon Drew Krause
Five Pieces for Bassoon were written to allow the bassoonist five different kinds of playing: repetitive
and motor-driven in the first, florid in the third, nervous and indecisive in the fifth. The alternate pieces
are deceptively similar--what is expansive and relaxed in the second piece becomes icy and brittle in
DREW KRAUSE (b. 1960) has written over 40 works for electronic tape, solo instruments, chamber ensembles, and orchestra since 1983. He received a BA from Hamilton College, MM from Juilliard, and a DMA from the University of Illinois. His principal composition teachers include Vincent Persichetti, Bernard Rands, Herbert Bru..n, and Salvatore Martirano. His music, published by Frog Peak, is performed frequently at national and international new music festivals, and recorded by New Ariel, Frog Peak, and the University of Illinois. Dr. Krause has taught for the theory departments of the Juilliard School, the University of Illinois, and St. Mary's College, and presently resides in Miami, FL.
DOUG SPANIOL is assistant professor of music at Butler University’s Jordan College of Fine Arts where he teaches bassoon and courses in music theory. Previously, he served on the faculty of Valdosta State University and was a member of the Valdosta and Macon Symphony Orchestras. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, both in bassoon performance. In 1992 he was named a Marshall Scholar and subsequently studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, where he was awarded the Postgraduate Diploma in Performance. Currently, he is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The Ohio State University. He has appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout the US and abroad, and has performed with numerous orchestras including the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra. His bassoon teachers include Christopher Weait, William Waterhouse, and E. Sanford Berry.
project for bassoon and tape Boguslaw Scha..ffer
Composer Boguslaw Scha..ffer is also a distinguished musicologist and the editor of the Leksykon Kompozytorow XX Wieku, an unusually detailed dictionary of twentieth century composers. Scha..ffer's exceptional erudition is a secondary avocation, for it is as a composer that he has been most honored. His scores reveal that his abilities are multi-faceted and complex, for each work poses problems that require individual solutions. For example, his "Project" series is a collection of virtuoso solo works--each with the same electronic tape. "Projects" exist for bassoon, piano, saxophone, violin, double bass, oboe and other solo instruments. A comparison of "Project for Bassoon and Tape" (1979) with the other "Project" pieces displays the complexity of Scha..ffer's creative personality. He writes of his own works, "Although using the same electronic tape, by virtue of richness, they represent what seem like diverse worlds." In a sense Scha..ffer is an exposition himself of the richness and diversity of Polish art.
Charles Lipp holds a doctoral degree in composition from the University of Illinois. He has studied composition in Krakow, Poland, on a Fulbright Fellowship and has been invited to return to Europe to compose on commission at the Warsaw Experimental Music Studio. As a performer, he has studied with bassoonist Leonard Sharrow and respiration expert Arnold Jacobs. He has given lecture-demonstrations about new bassoon music in Paris (IRCAM), Utrecht, Leige, Vienna, Salzburg, and Helsinki. As a
bassoonist, he has presented solo performances in Europe and North America. His performance repertoire contains several pieces written for him by European and North American composers including Schaffer's Project for Bassoon and Tape.