The bassoon solo that opens Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring (1913) constitutes a confirmation of the instrument’s long process of emancipation.It illustrates how the bassoon was transformed from a subservient bass function in the Baroque era to an instrument capable of fulfilling an entirely autonomous solo role. This was a process of three centuries and numerous alterations to its construction. Nonetheless, as far back as the seventeenth century composers such as Selma ySalaverde and Böddecker had already attempted to demonstrate the bassoon’s virtuosic potential.In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, composers including Vivaldi, J.S. Bach, Telemann, Haydn, Mozart, Weber and Saint-Saëns contributed important solos, concertos and sonatas to the instrument’s repertoire.A key figure in the further development of the bassoon was Carl Almenräder (1786-1846), who a.o. explored the high register and thus increased its expressivepower, while other successful improvements were made by Johann Adam Heckel (1812-1877). The flute and clarinet, traditionally composers’ favourites for virtuosic, brilliant passages,gradually came to face serious competition.The works featured on the present recording underline the emancipated role of the bassoon in the twentieth century. The CD has a strikingly South American flavour, which is by no means coincidental.Download booklet
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