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Winning Works of the 2010 Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition

Jonathan Bartz, Stefan Cwik, Arthur Gottschalk, Lewis Nielson


Bcmcc Chamber Players

Emily Dufour Cello | Wen-Lei Gu Violin | Kay Kim Piano
Desiree Miller Cello | Christopher Otto Violin
Eliza Thomason Viola | Michael Williams Flute



"Not that the bassoon’s repertoire, original or borrowed, comes close to other wind instruments, but there is a complacency that gets many of us in programming for recitals or concerts. These days, though, there are a number of bassoonists who have begun to hear the call of new music and done something creative, productive, or daring with it… Among these extremely gifted and dedicated bassoonists pursuing this noble course is Paula Brusky. Not only has she chosen or even commissioned a piece or two to place on her recording, but she has instituted a bassoon chamber music composition… This album is a collection of the winning submissions…There is something quite delightful about the intimate combination of bassoon and strings in chamber music, and these pieces accentuate some of those wonderful textural and timbral similarities…. the performers have done well with this music."
Schwartz, American Record Guide - March/April 2012
"These four pieces are the prizewinners of the first Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition, founded by the enterprising Paula Brusky, who plays the pieces on this disc. Jonathan Bartz’s Concertino (2007) for bassoon, piano, violin, viola, cello, and piano is a great opener; after some early 20th-century French mood setting, the bassoon enters on a wonderful low note, doubling the cello. It may steal in, but it has an authority and presence—just what is necessary to convince any listener slightly uneasy about a whole CD of bassoon music. And, indeed, these words—authority and presence—are the watchwords for Brusky’s performances of all the works here. Bartz (b.1986) is clearly an assured composer, writing here, I would guess, well within his capabilities...

Lewis Nielson’s What About You? ...is interesting. The musical message, about the musicality of “unmusical” sounds of speech, is well made...

American Nights for bassoon, violin, and piano by Arthur Gottschalk is the longest work on the disc... the interplay between the three instruments is finely balanced and handled, the bassoon entirely at home (why would one think otherwise?). The last movement, inspired by a poem by Peter Joseph is different again: impassioned solos and discursive tuttis...

[In] Stefan Cwik’s 8 Miniatures for Chamber Ensemble] The bassoon, flute, violin, and piano combination is attractive and the flute provides the necessary cutting edge in the wind sound palette...

Paula Brusky shows real commitment to this music and plays with conviction and panache, as do her colleagues, who, while presumably a pickup band, are unfailingly committed to the music. Wen-Lei Gu, violin, and Kay Kim, piano, play on three of the tracks and deserve particular credit for their contribution. The recording is fine, bringing out the rich tones of the bassoon without distorting its presence in the mix."
Jeremy Marchant, Fanfare - January/February 2012
"The repertory of music for neglected instruments like the bassoon has expanded due to commissions from performers like Paula Brusky... "
Howard Goldstein, BBC Music Magazine - January 2012
BCMCC Founding Director: PAULA BRUSKY
In 2009, bassoonist Paula Brusky set out to create an incentive for the creation of new bassoon chamber music and in 2010 launched the inaugural Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition (BCMCC). Works submitted were required to employ three to five players (including a bassoonist), not have been previously recorded or performed, and have a duration of six minutes or more. Composers began submitting works in January 2010 and applications closed in May. A panel of notable bassoonists evaluated the submitted works, aided by a numerical classification system for coding the evaluations.
Judges: Benjamin Coelho, Benjamin Kamins, Nicolasa Kuster, Jeffrey Lyman, Christopher Millard, Steven Paulson and Kristin Wolf Jenson
Partners: TrevCo Music, PRIZM Ensemble and MSR Classics
Sponsors: TrevCo Music, Forrests Music, The Double Reed Shop, Hodge Products and St. Norbert College
*     *     *
Bassoonist Paula Brusky is an adjunct Assistant Professor at St. Norbert College and the founding director of the Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition (BCMCC). Also a Research Affiliate at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia, Brusky was the first candidate awarded a PhD in Performance at the school after winning the Endeavor International Postgraduate Research Scholarship. Brusky’s dissertation included the most comprehensive study to date of injuries of bassoon players and her subsequent research into injury prevention has made her a sought-after guest lecturer. While in Australia, Brusky also performed extensively, appearing with the Sydney Chamber Orchestra, Colleguim Musicum Choir, Sydney Philharmonic Choir and Symphony Australia. Brusky earned a MM from Indiana University and a BM from Northwestern University, influential teachers include Kim Walker, Arthur Weisberg, Andrew Barnes, Dennis Michel and Monte Perkins. Dr. Brusky plays on a Heckel bassoon.
CONCERTINO for Bassoon, Piano and Three Strings
WHAT ABOUT YOU? for Bassoon, Violin and Cello
AMERICAN NIGHTS for Bassoon, Violin and Piano
STEFAN CWIK (b.1987)
8 MINIATURES for Chamber Ensemble (Hommage a Igor Stravinsky)

MSR Classics
ELEMENTS - BCMCC 2012 & 2014
ELEMENTS - BCMCC 2012 & 2014
Winning Works of the Bassoon Chamber Music BCMCC