UNCSA Bassoon Quartet Performance
The UNCSA Bassoon Quartet performed as part of the emerging artist series at Watson Chamber Music Hall Feb. 24 on the campus of University of North Carolina Bassoon School of the Arts. UNCSA students Kristen Goguen, Sebastian Castellanos, K.C. Chai, and Juliana Mesa performed Le PhÃ©nix quartet for bassoons by Michel Corrette. Above is a photo taken during rehearsal.
For more information on Corrette’s Le PhÃ©nix, please see Ronald N. Bukoff’s article in the IDRS journal: Boismortier, Corrette, and Le PhÃ©nix: music for the French Baroque bassoon
Here is an excerpt:
Corrette’s great work for the bassoon, and the outstanding example of French Baroque bassoon music is Le phÃ©nix. Concerto pour quatre violoncelles, violes ou bassons… (1738 ). The scoring is not as outlandish as it first appears, for Le phÃ©nix shows great kinship with Boismortier’s concertos for five flutes. In both chamber concertos, the lowest voice is supplied with a figured bass, suggesting the possibility of employing a harpsichord. In neither case is the keyboard an absolute must. The title page to Le phÃ©nix also adds: “… ce concerto se peut jouer en trio, en obmettant le 3e violoncello.” (“this concerto can be played as a trio, omitting the 3rd violoncello.”) If this alternative is followed (not a recommended choice), a harpsichord must be added to fill out the missing chord tones.
Le phÃ©nix was published as a concerto for four bassoons (or violoncellos) but it should rightfully be regarded as a solo concerto for bassoon, aided by three additional bassoons. All of the melodic interest is written into the first part, while the second bassoon is treated as the continuo line which accompanies the soloist. The third and fourth bassoons (and harpsichord) function in lieu of the orchestra tutti. Echoes of the works of Vivaldi, which were popular in Paris, can be heard in Le phÃ©nix. Stylistic devices common to the Italian master are prevalent, both in this concerto and throughout the music of the newly-developing French concerto school. These characteristics (unison lines, rushing scales, arpeggios) are abundant in Le phÃ©nix.