Bassoon players do not have a great many solo concertos to choose from, but here Bram van Sambeek presents two valuable additions to this limited repertoire. Kalevi Aho wrote his concerto for Bence Bogányi in 2004, while Sebastian Fagerlund’s concerto Mana (2014) was tailor-made for Sambeek himself.
Fagerlund is on good form with his capacity for expressing himself accessibly without being banal, and in his typical fashion he balances the flowing energetic vitality of his rhythmic music with contemplative sections.
If in Fagerlund’s concerto the soloist is cast in the role of a shaman evoking the orchestra, in Aho’s concerto the bassoon is more integrated into the orchestral texture in a symphonically conceived tapestry rich in contrasts.
Both concertos showcase the expressive versatility of the bassoon effectively, and the same is true of the two works for solo bassoon featured here, Solo V by Aho (1999) and Woodlands by Fagerlund (2012). Sambeek tosses off the technically incredibly demanding music with aplomb, and Sinfonia Lahti gives a splendid performance under their former and current Chief Conductors Okko Kamu (Fagerlund) and Dima Slobodeniouk (Aho).
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi
FAGERLUND, AHO: Bassoon Concertos
Fagerlund: Bassoon concerto “Mana”; Woodlands; Aho: Bassoon concerto; Solo V
Bram van Sambeek (bassoon), Lahti Symphony Orchestra, cond. Dima Slobodeniouk; Okko Kamu