Hersant - Music for Bassoon | Brilliant Classics 95211

Hersant - Music for Bassoon


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Label: Brilliant Classics

Cat No: 95211

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 24th June 2016



Composing these eight duos for viola and bassoon, eight further pieces for bassoon and ensemble and then independent works for the instrument either solo or with viola and female choir (conjuring unlikely correspondences with both Vaughan Williams and Morton Feldman), Philippe Hersant (b.1948) worked closely with Pascal Gallois, the virtuoso bassoonist who was principal of the Ensemble Inter-contemporain in Paris in the 1980s and 90s.

Galloisís virtuosity and adventurousness allowed Hersant to explore many new techniques and timbres for the instrument such as particular glissandi and overtone harmonics, but the influence of Messiaen may still be heard not only in the use of folk melodies (Hebrew, Mongolian and American-Indian) which pervade several works, as a kind of found music which is a counterpart to Messiaenís birds, but in the often open and radiant harmony which characterises Hersantís music whether for solo instruments such as cello or piano, or in larger-scale works for choir and orchestra.

The Eight Pieces with ensemble form a kind of concerto, or as Hersant describes it, a sequence of paintings, brief and deliberately underdeveloped. The bassoon sometimes melts into the instrumental ensemble (comprising a clarinet, a trombone, a violin, a viola, a cello, a double bass and a piano), whilst in other pieces the soloist role clearly prevails. In the Eight Duos, the popular side of Janacek and Stravinsky may be discerned. Hersant is a craftsman of his art, often working in time-honoured forms of dance, canon and songs without words. This is the most extensive collection of his music for bassoon on record.

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