Leading Russian bassoonist Valeri Popov performs three of the most celebrated bassoon concertos.
Having maintained its position in the orchestra and ensembles since at least 1620, composers began to discover the bassoon’s potential as a solo instrument during the eigthteenth century, when solo sonatas and concertos began to appear.
By the time Mozart composed his three-movement Concerto in B flat (K. 191) in the summer of 1774, the bassoon was well established in the classical orchestra. This Concerto dates from the period immediately following Mozart’s return from Vienna and, prior to that, his extensive travels through Europe where he studied and experienced a diversity of musical styles.
Hummel, like Mozart, was a child prodigy and went on to be considered by his contemporaries as one of Europe’s greatest composers and pianists. He became a pupil of Mozart when the Hummels moved to Vienna in the 1780’s, and as was the custom, the child Hummel moved in with Mozart and his family. Although today his reputation rests on his piano music, Hummel in fact composed in all the available genres, including opera. The concerto sustained his interest throughout his career, and the one recorded here is on of his earlier works composed in 1805.
Weber, one of the most significent figures in the foundation of the Romantic movement in Germany, composed two works of importance to the bassoon repertory: the F major Concerto of 1811 and the Andante and Rondo ungaresse of 1813. Both were composed for the Munich-based bassoonist Georg Frederich Brandt, the Andante and Rondo ungarese being an arrangement of an earlier work for viola.