Viola part from Caprice for French Bassoon and String Orchestra

3 minutes
Classical music

The German bassoon is now the worldwide standard, but the French bassoon is still played in France, Spain and (alongside the German instrument) in Canada, although the Paris Conservatoire now has a class in the German bassoon. The French instrument, however, is closer in tone to what Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven would have recognized as bassoon sound. It is more nasal and plaintive - more like a bass oboe or cor anglais. It takes thoughtful playing to avoid making the German bassoon sound wooden and unvaried. The French instrument, on the other hand, although not to everyone’s taste, is more lyrical and never uninteresting. It would be a pity if it died out altogether.

The MP3 file conveys a better impression of its sound than the Scorch playback. I hope this little piece will be enjoyed by friends of the French bassoon.

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