Here we have that rare beast, a program of bassoon music. Laurence Perkins, Principal Bassoon with the Manchester Camerata until 2017, has assembled in chronological order a century’s worth of pieces by 14 composers that utilise his instrument in various ensembles.
Some are accompanied by the piano: the delightful Introduction and Allegro of Richard Walthew (1900), the Bassoon Sonatas by Saint-Säens (1921), Hindemith (1938), and Richard Rodney Bennett (1991); Sarabande et Cortège by Henri Dutilleux (1942), and Minuet “Grace for a Fresh Egg” by Herbert Howells (1945). (The latter was a wartime work, when eggs were scarce in England. It runs for two minutes.)
There are two excellent concertos: Elizabeth Maconchy’s Concertino for Bassoon and Strings (1952) and Andrzej Panufnik’s Concerto (1985 – the longest work here). We also get unaccompanied pieces, and works for multiple bassoons by Prokofiev, William Schuman, and Granville Bantock (from the latter’s incidental music to a 1926 production of Macbeth ).