A0286-CD: Abendlied for bassoon and piano

Abendlied for bassoon and piano
Performed by Martin Gatt ~ Bassoon & Margaret Lynn ~ Piano

CD CoverBassoonist Martin Gatt and pianist Margaret Lynn continue with their collaborative project to express the songs of Schumann, Schubert, Brahms plus others through the voice of the bassoon. This CD features 23 works exquisitely and uniquely arranged by Martin Gatt

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Audio Samples & Track Listing

Track Listing
1 Du bist wie eine Blume, Op 25 no 24
2 Stille Thränen, Op 35 no 10
3 Röselein, Op 89 no 6
4 Abendlied, Op 85 no 12
5 Intermezzo, Op 39 no 2
6 Frühlingsnacht, Op 39 no 12
FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
7 Nachte und Träume, Op 43 no 2
8 Du bist die Ruh, Op 59 no 3
9 Frühlingsglaube, Op 20 no 2
10 Adelaide, Op 46
JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833 –1897)
11 Wie Melodien zieht es mir, Op 105 no 1
12 O Kühler Wald, Op 107 no 3
13 Der Frühling, Op 6 no 2
14 Sapphische Ode, Op 94 no 45
15 Wie bist du, meine Königin, Op 32 no 9
GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845 –1924)
16 Chanson d'amour, Op 27 no 1
HENRI DUPARC (1848 –1933)
17 Phidylé
RICHARD STRAUSS (1864 –1949)
18 Allerseelen, Op10 no 8
19 Waldseligkeit, Op 49 no 1
20 Die Nacht, Op 10 no 3
EDUARDO TOLDRÀ (1895 –1962)
21 Maig, Quatro Canciones no 3
ROGER QUILTER (1877-1953)
22 Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal, Op 3 no 2
23 Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt, Op 6 no 6


Abendlied for bassoon and piano
Performed by Martin Gatt ~ bassoon & Margaret Lynn ~ Piano

With nearly a hundred transcriptions of songs and arias for bassoon and piano to his name, Martin Gatt must surely be the expert in this field. With pianist Margaret Lynn, Martin presents an intriguing selection entitled Abendlied. The title is taken from Schumann who, represented by six songs, is the first and most favoured composer. Though broadly Romantic in content, the composers represented range from Beethoven through to Eduardo Toldrà. This is a bold undertaking and the challenge of finding the required variety of colour and tone throughout is ably met by both performers. For convenience the songs are grouped by composer, though not in chronological order. You might find, as I did, that a more random selection of tracks made this anthology even more delightful. There is a fine sense of style and colour throughout and the sound and balance is generally first rate. I found the textures of Schumann's accompaniments a little challenging for the solo line here and there, but by contrast the combination of the simplicity of Schubert's piano writing and the bassoon in its tenor register is irresistible. This is a rare opportunity to hear bassoon playing of this calibre. Graham Sheen ~ Double Reed News

Notes from CD book

Abendlied for bassoon and piano

The title of this album “Abendlied”, or “evening song”, is taken from a piano duet by Robert Schumann, here transcribed for bassoon and piano. It describes perfectly the singing quality of the bassoon which it is Martin Gatt's desire to bring to our attention.

The bassoon is often thought of as the comedian of the orchestra for the many comical roles that composers have given it – perhaps most memorably by Dukas in his Sorcerer's Apprentice. But the bassoon has quite another side to its character which is intensely lyrical and romantic. It is this characteristic of the instrument which first attracted Martin and has been his life's work to develop throughout a long professional career as a performer whether in an orchestra, or as a soloist, or in chamber music. As a teacher Martin has always encouraged his students to think and play “vocally” with a clear idea of the emotional content of the work. This involves developing the ability to change tone colour to suit the style, mood and period of the piece being played, all of which is of vital importance in interpretation. To this end he is constantly on the lookout for suitable works to transcribe, and so far he has arranged almost a hundred songs, arias and lieder for bassoon and piano.

The songs in this recording range from Beethoven and the German Romantic composers through to early 20th century French and other European composers. They were chosen specifically because the solo repertoire for the bassoon during this period is limited, partly on account of the slow pace of development of the instrument.

Subsequent technical advances, however, have significantly increased the potential of the player to project the sound of the instrument, always a difficult matter, and this makes it possible to do greater justice to the music of these composers and to their different styles.

Many of the songs' texts such as Die Nacht, Maig, Frühlingsnacht allude to the mystery and beauty of the night and all its associations of romantic sweetness, melancholy and yearning. Other texts like Du bist wie eine Blume, Intermezzo, Adelaide, Phidylé, and Wie bist du, meine Königin convey an outpouring of pure love.

Different shades of emotions and moods can be found, from the sheer bliss of Nacht und Träume to the desperation of Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt, whereas there is a wistfulness in Röselein, a dark reflectiveness in Waldseligkeit and a youthful urgency in Chanson d'amour.

The poems have been the inspiration for some sublime vocal music which Martin Gatt has rendered here for the bassoon through his imagination and artistry.


Photo: Martin and MargaretMartin Gatt has been principal bassoonist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the London Sinfonietta, and the London Symphony Orchestra, and has performed and recorded as soloist and chamber musician all over the world. He is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and also of the Royal College of Music in London where he is Professor of Bassoon.

Margaret Lynn enjoys a wide-ranging musical career as performer, lecturer, music educator, radio broadcaster and music editor. She has appeared in international festivals both as soloist and as chamber ensemble player, and her penchant for wind chamber music has led to performances with artists such as the late Anthony Camden, Peter Lloyd and John McCaw. She was Associate Dean of Music at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts for many years and currently serves as Academic Consultant.

Martin and Margaret have performed together since 1984. They met in Hong Kong when Martin took a sabbatical from the London Symphony Orchestra to assume the position of Head of Wind at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and there they covered much of the repertoire for bassoon and piano in recitals, radio broadcasts and recordings.

Following Martin’s return to the UK they have recorded an album of arrangements of the music of Brahms and Schumann, an album of collected chamber works by the English composer Madeleine Dring and an album of wind trios by Poulenc, Françaix and Damase.

MRC Classical is a small, independent record label dedicated to making fine classical recordings. We aim for a natural and detailed sound using carefully chosen equipment and minimal microphone placement. For further information regarding our recording facilities or releases please email us directly at: mrcclassical@talktalk.net

Balance Engineer: David Finch
Assistant Engineer: Martin Baker
Recorded in in high resolution digital sound at Clifton College, Bristol, August 2007

Illustration by Rachel Busch www.contact-me.net/RachelBusch


Album & Artist Information

Instruments: Bassoon & Piano
Genre: Classical
Format: Audio CD
Our Ref: A0286
Label: MRC Classical
Year: 2009
Origin: UK

Also by The Lynn Trio

Available from Creighton's Collection by The Lynn Trio:
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& Poulenc
Also by Martin Gatt & Margaret Lynn
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& Brahms