World Premiere of CARNIVAL: BASSOON CONCERTO by AUGUSTA READ THOMAS for solo bassoon and wind ensemble, April 30, 2022. Commissioned, performed and recorded by State University of New York at Fredonia Wind Ensemble (26 players), DR PAULA HOLCOMB, conductor.
NADINA MACKIE JACKSON, solo bassoon playing blue Bell bassoon #202
DR BERND GOTTINGER – RECORDING ENGINEER
CHRISTOPHER L. WILLIS – EDITING AND MASTERING ENGINEER
DENNIS KWOK – VIDEO NIMBUS MUSIC PUBLISHING
Additional funding provided by SOREL MEDALLION in RECORDING, SIGMA ALPHA IOTA, and CARNAHAN JACKSON GRANT.
Very colourful instrumentation, Stravinsky-like, and fun, CARNIVAL has a sense of humor, playfully crisscrossing arrays of sonic colors. Animated, rhythmic, intricately constructed, and very fresh, unique composition, informed by layers of drawings, charts, and visual artistry. The music is colorful, clean and very intentional. Thomas played trumpet for 14 years and grew up playing in the Wind Ensemble and band. Thus, she has an affinity for and understanding of the instrumentation from the inside out. You can hear that she heard every note and that every dynamic and articulation was sculpted. Thomas said: “I believe music feeds our souls. Unbreakable is the power of art to build community. Humanity has and will always work together to further music’s flexible, diverse capacity and innate power.” Relatively speaking, bassoon concerti with wind ensemble are very rare. CARNIVAL showcases the bassoon and soloist with inventive music that seamlessly embraces lyrical, jazzy, spirited, stately, expressive, CARNIVAL is a CELEBRATION.
ADVANCE REVIEW Dec. 16/22 Augusta Read Thomas’s new CARNIVAL for solo bassoon and wind ensemble is a tour-de-force. Thomas commands wind and percussion textures to create an energized, captivating soundscape. She balances the thickness of the score with ease, allowing the solo bassoon to dance, converse, and assert itself. Nadina Mackie Jackson responds in force. Her trademark virtuosity combined with Thomas’ writing is simply mesmerizing. The SUNY Fredonia Wind Ensemble under the direction of Paula Holcomb is a pillar of precision and vibrancy throughout. This collaboration of musical titans is not to be missed! — Dr Christin Schillinger