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Music for Bassoon and Piano from Eastern Europe

Tadeusz Baird, Benzion Eliezer, Boris Papadopulo, Boris Papandopulo, LuboŇ° Sluka, Maria Wildhaber

SCOTT POOL, bassoon

World Premiere Recordings



“Any sense of the bassoon being a lumbering (if undeniably chirpy) instrument is blown clear out of the water by Bulagrian-born virtuoso extraordinaire Maria Wildhaber... music of beguiling expertise and felicitousness.”
International Record Review [March 2015]
“In this album, [Wildhaber] her reach to the rich pathos of the Eastern European idiom… she performs a selection of largely unknown pieces written mostly for the bassoon. But don’t be too put off by unfamiliarity... Were it not for inspired young artists like Wildhaber, and record labels like MSR that recognize such value, the body of works for bassoon would be getting awfully stale, and we’d all be trying our hand countless times at the same small collection of warhorses... this album is full of exceptional playing... her attention to intonation is impeccable. After mastering the instrument, it becomes an extension of one’s voice, and she seems clearly to have found that voice. You will not go wrong to add this fantastic recording to your collection.”
Schwartz, American Record Guide [January/February 2015]
“This disc is a fascinating miscellany of pieces for bassoon, an instrument that is rarely heard as a main protagonist. On this showing it should be featured more often. Bulgarian bassoonist Maria Wildhaber has rooted out some interesting little gems that emphasize its singing qualities... Maria Wildhaber manages beautifully to emphasize the bassoon’s lyrical qualities in all the works on the disc. She also captures those moments when the bassoon is portrayed as rather pompous, showing herself to be a real virtuoso of this sometimes seemingly unwieldy instrument. She is ably accompanied by all three of her colleagues. The disc as a whole is full of interest and discovery as its title suggests. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.”
Steve Arloff, MusicWeb International [January 2015]
“[In] Eastern Discoveries: the composers treat the bassoon as a woodwind just as capable of multifaceted expressiveness as are other winds... The fine performances are the attraction here... The most involving works here, though, are the four song arrangements, which were made in 2013 and are for two bassoons – and in which Wildhaber and Scott Pool complement each other beautifully. [The CD] is one that the musically curious should enjoy.”
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [September 2014]

After recording my CD Song to My Love, which features my own arrangements of Bulgarian folk songs and dances for solo bassoon and piano, I wanted to continue my quest to uncover Eastern European music for bassoon. This time, I decided to record pieces from that region that were originally written for bassoon, but are not very well known. I started by talking to friends and looking in music libraries. Soon, I came across several bassoon pieces by composers none of my colleagues had heard of before. In addition, a friend of pianist Mia Elezovic told us about a bassoon piece that was recently discovered in Croatia. We immediately asked for it to be sent to us to have a look. The piece was Papandopulo’s Scherzo. I’d never heard of the composer until then, and began reading about him. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he had also written an Elegy for bassoon and piano. The pieces are very different in character and showcase the bassoon at its best - technically and melodically. As I was putting together the music for this new CD, I continued to get requests to arrange and record more Bulgarian folk music. Being fascinated with Bulgarian a cappella choirs, I wanted to recreate their sound using two bassoons. The four songs I chose are just some of the few I grew up listening to. Their melodies are extremely beautiful and the rhythms challenging and captivating at the same time. I hope you enjoy “Eastern Discoveries”. [Maria Wildhaber]

Bulgarian-born bassoonist Maria Wildhaber is an active and avid chamber and orchestral musician. Wildhaber has collaborated with acclaimed artists such as Pierre Boulez, James Levine, Gustavo Dudamel, Christoph von Dohnányi, Michael Tilson Thomas, Julian Rachlin, Joshua Bell, Angela Hewitt and Julian Biss. She has performed at the Lucerne Festival, Sarasota and Norfolk Chamber Music Festivals, Salome Chamber Orchestra and Etchings: Contemporary Music Festival in southern France, where she acted as the executive director and principal bassoonist, and with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. Currently, Wildhaber is a member of the Chamber Orchestra of New York and founder and artistic director of Talis Festival and Academy in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
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Scott Pool’s performances have taken him throughout North and South America and Europe, programming both the standard repertoire and new compositions for the bassoon. Recognized as a Moosmann Artist by master bassoon maker, Bernd Moosmann, Pool has served on the performing faculties of the Orfeo International Music Festival and Schlern International Music Festival in Italy, and from 2002-2009 was the Associate Professor of Bassoon at Valdosta State University in Georgia. His festival performances include performances at the Festival of Winds in Brazil, Festival of New American Music in California, and numerous appearances at International Double Reed Society conferences. Pool currently serves as the Assistant Professor of Bassoon at the University of Texas-Arlington where he has worked since 2009, and the Academy Director of the Talis Music Festival in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. [ ]

Pianist Tania Tachkova has appeared as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States and in Europe at prestigious venues such as the Wiener Saal at Mozarteum in Austria, Centro de Bellas Artes and Museo del Arte in Puerto Rico, Harris Hall in Aspen, Sarasota Opera
House, the Palace of Culture and the Great Bulgaria Hall in Bulgaria. Praised by critics for performances that are “white-hot” and “very impressive”, she has been heard in broadcasts on radio and television, including WQXR, WITF and Bulgarian National Television. Tachkova earned her
Doctorate of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University, and is currently on the piano faculty at the 92nd Street Y School of Music in New York.

Born in Croatia, pianist Mia Elezovic has performed as a soloist with the Croatian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, and has participated in numerous festivals, such as Hamamatsu Music Academy and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. She is also a prizewinner at numerous prestigious national and international competitions. Elezovic has taught and performed at Kyoto University for Music and Art, British School in Tokyo, Terra Magica Music Festival in Croatia and Spanish National Ensemble for Contemporary Music in Madrid. Currently a faculty member of the chamber music department at the Royal Conservatory in Liege, Belgium, she is also a member of the accompanying department at the Manhattan School of Music. Elezovic studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Wien, Music Academy in Zagreb and Manhattan School of Music, where she received her
second Masters in the Contemporary Performance Program.


ELEGY for Bassoon and Piano (1965)
SCHERZO for Bassoon and Piano

SONATA for Bassoon and Piano (1969)
Adagio cantabile
Allegro assai e giocoso

TADEUSZ BAIRD (1928–1981)
FOUR PRELUDES for Bassoon and Piano (1954)
Allegretto moderato
Adagio, con dolore
Allegro giocoso

LUBOŠ SLUKA (b.1928)
SONATA for Bassoon and Piano (1954; arr. bassoon 1971)
Andante sostenuto
Allegro energico

MSR Classics
Bulgarian Songs and Dances for Solo Bassoon and …