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Holy flaming faggots, Batman! In 1967, Bruno Bartolozzi wrote his groundbreaking advanced technique book ‘New Sounds for Woodwind?: think microtones, multitones… By the middle 1970s, the book was translated into Russian and the technique swarmed the establishment in the form of bassonist Valeri Popov, attracting the attention of Tatar composer Sofia Gubaidulina. This disk has 3 of the bassoon works she wrote for him, played by him!
Duo sonata: Two hard, wooden, avant-garde bassoons in a slippery, sensual, kinky display of give-and-go. Listen carefully, and note again that there are only two bassoonists bumping ugly.
Quasi hoquetus: A trio for bassoon, viola, and piano. It begins with some ethereal, often tonal, mood-setting of the kind we’re used to from previous KFJC Sofia acquisitions. Very controlled swirling from the bassoon and the viola escalates, and the piano’s chorales become more insistent. The pot reaches a boil with a cascading piano, and the coda returns to the contemplative opening mood. Stay tuned for the surprise ending where the low end of the piano takes over and leads a rebellion to the happy ending.
Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings: Again, Popov coaxes some new and lovely sounds from his instrument. In 5 movements, he battles a small army of cellos, basses, and violas. The odd movements are in sonata form, and provide for the most powerful exchanges between soloist & ensemble.
-Cujo, KFJC, September 2006
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