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Undoubtedly, many musicians turn to YouTube when preparing pieces to be performed.  A long time ago, to study repertoire I used to either buy the CDs or borrow them from the library.  Gradually, the classical selection at local libraries began diminishing, even though Columbus has one of the best library systems in the country.  So I started buying recordings on iTunes.  That can be expensive if the piece you need is only available in an album costing $11.99 or thereabouts.

Now, YouTube is where I turn first when I'm studying a piece.  Sometimes YouTube offers the added benefit of visuals of the orchestra, the conductor and the soloists if applicable. 

Next week the Columbus Symphony is performing Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade.  The bassoon solos in that piece may very well be the best known bassoon solos in the orchestral literature.  We all know those solos really well, right?  That doesn't mean it's easy to perform them- quite the opposite.  It's darned daunting.

I discovered some very interesting Youtube videos featuring the bassoon solos in Scheherazade.  Here's one of Stephen Paulson, Principal Bassoon of the San Fransisco Symphony, demonstrating examples of his approach to musical phrasing and sound production at the request of Michael Tilson Thomas for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra:

Here is a video of the Philadelphia Orchestra performing the second movement of Scheherazade under Eugene Ormandy, with Bernard Garfield on bassoon and a young Richard Woodhams on oboe:

Here is part 2, which features the bassoon cadenzas later in movement 2:

Next we have the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit with Whitney Crockett (who is currently playing principal in LA) on first bassoon.  This video begins near the end of the first movement, so hang on- the Andantino bassoon solo is coming right up (and the cadenzas are included on this video):

The next video features the Vienna Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev:

And here is Gergiev rehearsing the Rotterdam Philharmonic, featuring Bram van Sambeek, Principal Bassoon:

I also like this NY Phil recording, which, unfortunately I have no audio for, but it features Principal Bassoon Judith LeClair:

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

Do you have a favorite recording or video of the Scheherazade bassoon solos?

8 years ago | Read Full Story
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