Il Signor Fagotto, by the Ensemble Instrumental de l’Ariège
Creation date: April 27, 2002
→Concert Band and Solo Bassoon
Publisher:De Haske Publications
Picc., 2 Fl., 2 Ob., Eng.Hn.,
2 Bsns, Cbsn, Eb Cl.,
Bb Cl. I-II-III, Bass Cl.,
2 A. Sax., 2 T. Sax., Bar. Sax.,
4 Hns, 4 Tpts, 4 Trbs, 2 Euph.,
2 Tubas, Cb., Hp., Pno, 5 Perc.
Level: Grade 5
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov said of the bassoon: ‘In major, it displays an atmosphere of senile mockery; in minor, a sad and ailing quality.‘ When played staccato or in the low register, it undeniably has a comical, farcical and clown-like effect. In truth, the bassoon is whatever it wants to be. Perhaps it was precisely its chameleon-like qualities that appealed to the commedia dell’arte which offered Signor Fagotto one of the most important comic roles.
In 18th-century opera buffa, it was the custom for wind instruments to double voice lines. Signor Fagotto and the bassoon quickly became inseparable. Also, the bassoon became one of the most popular solo concerto instruments at that time. For example, the great Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi wrote no less than thirty-nine concertos for the instrument. No doubt, he had been won over by its generous personality like many other composers such as Maxime Aulio.
Il Signor Fagotto opens with a brilliant orchestral introduction. Then the bassoon introduces the main theme of the work. The extensive use of an irregular meter (7/8) gives the bassoon the opportunity to underline its charming and impish character which most vividly captures our imagination dominated by the character’s pranks.
In short: Il Signor Fagotto is a captivating composition for concert band; with a beautiful leading part for the bassoon.