I had a very enjoyable and uplifting day, launching my project to present new and old bassoon concerti with my colleague, Hye Won Lee, a truly musical and agile pianist who, if necessary, can devour a full orchestral score at sight with genuine equanimity.
I am developing a series of workshops featuring some of the Canadian bassoon concerti that were written for me (Lussier, Frehner, Caravassilis, Oickle) plus ones that I am reviving (Morehead, Coulthard, Lomon, Raminsh) and some that I’ve long wanted to learn (Sokolovic and Eckhardt-Grammatté). I am pairing men and women composers, and along with these Canadian concerti, I am adding Vivaldi concerti. It is an ambitious project that covers 23 concerti, and that is just a beginning. We have so much good repertoire that needs to be polished and heard.
This project includes finding accessible publishers for some of the works to aid in making the music available beyond our borders. Some of the living composers on my roster are providing piano reductions which I will be play-testing this season with Hye Won Lee. The reductions for Lussier’s Oddbird Concerto, and Morehead’s Come Dance With Me the Dance of Life are about to be published, and Le Dernier Chant d’Ophélie is already available. For the departed composers, colleagues are stepping up to start the gigantic task of creating useful reductions.
I will be assembling programme notes that include insights from the composers, and stories from the players and conductors who premiered the concerti.
We are using the TrevCo reductions for the Vivaldi concerti, and also working from the facsimiles of Vivaldi’s manuscripts. I am learning the new-to-me Vivaldi concerti and revisiting the ones that I’ve already recorded. In an effort to encompass the entire magical opus, I am pairing them by taking one from each end of the chronology, e.g. #1 and #37, then #2 and #36 etc. . . I had about a dozen of the facsimiles, and a generous colleague stepped up to share the entire opus when I told him I was having trouble figuring out how to contact the Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria… I will keep trying to connect with them but meanwhile, I can get started thanks to my colleague.
I will eventually be opening the workshops to the public and I will keep you posted.