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Bassoon & Viola

French Bassoon Works

Bitsch: Concertino
Boutry: Interférences for bassoon and piano
Debussy: Pieces from Préludes and Children's Corner
Dutilleux: Sarabande et Cortège
Fauré/Oubradous: Pièce Transcribed by Fernand
Gallon: Récit et Allegro
Grovlez: Sicilienne & Allegro Giocoso
Jancourt: Nocturne (d'après John Field)
Koechlin: Bassoon Sonata, Op. 71
Pierné, G: Solo de concert, Op. 35
Tansman: Sonatina for bassoon and piano

Karen Geoghegan (bassoon) & Philip Fisher (piano)

Chandos CHAN 10521

Karen switched from violin to bassoon at twelve and she presents her less popular and, maybe, less competitive instrument as musician first, instrumentalist second.

She has an innate sense of phrasing which makes every track of this recital disc a real joy; we've played it all through twice, and are captivated by the repertoire (some joint discoveries) as well as by the performances, in partnership with a pianist whom she should hang on to tight, and to the Chandos recording team who excelled at Potton Hall.

I am eager to hear her playing live, and hope she will soon tackle (for PLG maybe?) some of the major 20th C works, possibly the Berio Sequenza and Skalkottas's (the BIS recording previously welcomed and listened to again after Geoghegan was unexpectedly inadequate; dullish playing and muddy recording from a Paris church).

Recommended with the greatest enthusiasm.

The Art of the Viola

Sonata for Viola and Piano op.11 No.4 (Hindemith).
Duo for Viola and Cello in E flat major WoO32 (Beethoven)
Marchenerzahlungen - Fairy Stories for Clarinet Viola and Piano op.132 (Schumann)
Passacaglia for Violin and Viola (Handel / Halvorsen)
Lachrymae op.48 - Reflections on a song by Dowland for Viola and Piano (Britten)

Heinrich Koll Madoka Inui Peter Schmidl Alexandra Koll

Naxos 8.557606

This at bargain price is a useful selection of music with viola, soundly played but hampered by a too dry studio recording (Vienna ORF) which certainly takes some atmosphere away from the popular and much recorded Dowland/Britten work, whch is now a staple in the repertoire.

Good to have the Hindemith sonata, not that often played nowadays, but violists may welcome most the Handel/Halvorsen duet, which will go down well in recitals. The documentation includes a section of viola jokes...

Peter Grahame Woolf