EXPLORATIONSNew Transcriptions for Solo Bassoon
Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann
BENJAMIN COELHO, bassoon
Uriel Tsachor, Piano
World Premiere Recordings
"Coelho is nothing short of revelatory. In addition to playing, he made all the transcriptions, and I can't praise him any higher in both activities than to say he makes you ask why nobody has seized the possibilities of the instrument before, because he seems to have raised what is possible. Coelho plays these things as if the composers actually had written them for the bassoon. He convinces you utterly. Tsachor contributes equally to the interpretations and even hints that he can do much more. I'd love to hear him all by himself."
Steve Schwartz, ClassicalNet - June 2011
"[I] encourage you to get this CD, revel in Benjamin's Coelho's incredible bassoon mastery, and enjoy all four of his transcriptions. With the wonderfully performed and equally wonderfully recorded CD, Ben proves himself to be one of the finest bassoonists of his, and indeed all generations. I give it my strongest recommendation."
IDRS Journal, Volume 31, No.2 [ 4 Crows ! ! ! ! ]
"Of the talents of [Coelho] there can be no question - he has a fine, bold sound with a flirtatious and adept technique...I cannot fault him for a moment in the way he plays this music, or the depth of understanding of it...MSR offers excellent mid-hall sound, pianist Uriel Tsachor plays with understanding and a complimentary verve, and the very highest production values are found every moment of this disc (and the notes are very good also). Bassoonists should flock to acquire this album."
Fanfare - September / October 2008
"[Benjamin Coelho is] one of my favorite bassoonists...Without a doubt, these transcriptions add to the slim bassoon repertoire...[Coelho] seeks challenge in technique and style...I have enjoyed [Coelho's] performances the [Schumann] immensely...[In the Brahms] Coelho and Tsachor really put on a convincing show...courageously presented..."
American Record Guide - July / August 2008
PROGRAM NOTESAll bassoonists must confront the fact that bassoon literature is limited and does not include many works by the great masters. As a probing musician, I am therefore always interested in expanding the bassoon repertory, and in response have commissioned many new works. As I was researching repertory to record for this album, I turned to some of the greatest composers in history: J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann, none of which wrote sonatas for bassoon and piano. Like many musicians throughout history who have transcribed works from other instruments for their own, I have chosen to do the same. The four pieces featured here were chosen because they allow the bassoon’s innate melodic voice and deep resonance to be fully expressed, while at the same time providing ample opportunity to hear this instrument’s huge range and rich and vibrant tonal palette.
Bassoonist BENJAMIN COELHO has appeared as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, teacher and clinician in several countries including the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Portugal, France, Romania, Australia, Canada and the Czech Republic. An avid chamber musician, he has performed with New York’s Alaria Chamber Ensemble and Manhattan Wind Quintet, and Brazil’s Gramado Woodwind Quintet and Contemporary Music Group of Minas Gerais. As a founding member of the Manhattan Wind Quintet, Mr. Coelho performed numerous recitals and concert tours throughout the United States, the group winning several chamber music competitions including Artists International, Coleman, and Monterey Peninsula chamber music competitions. In January 1987, the quintet played a sold-out concert at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. He has performed regularly at the International Double Reed Society and the Brazilian Oboe and Bassoon conferences. He has also worked extensively as a performer in his native Brazil, including principal positions with symphony orchestras in Rio de Janeiro, Campinas and Belo Horizonte. Currently, he performs as the principal bassoon with the Cedar Rapid Symphony Orchestra and the Iowa Woodwind Quintet.
An enthusiastic proponent of new music, Mr. Coelho has commissioned, performed and recorded many works by European, American and Latin American composers. His recordings include Bassoon Images from the Americas (2003) released by Albany Records and Bravura Bassoon (2005) and Pas de Trois (2006) released by Crystal Records. As a member of the group Wizards! A Double Reed Consort, Coelho has participated in the recording of two CDs released by Crystal and Boston Records in 2000 and 2003 respectively. Mr. Coelho has written articles on bassoon performance and literature, and his work has been published in the International Double Reed Society Journal, as well as the British Double Reed Society Journal. His article "Francisco Mignone and the Sixteen Waltzes for Solo Bassoon" has been translated into German, and published in the German double reed magazine Rohrblatt.
A member of the faculty of The University of Iowa since 1998, Coelho has also served on the faculty of Indiana University, International Music Festivals in Banff, Ameropa Chamber Music Festival in Prague and most recently the Campos do Jordão International Music Festival in Brazil. Prior to his positions in Iowa and Indiana, Mr. Coelho was the Vice-Dean and Bassoon Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil.
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897)