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Supporting the people of Ukraine

Elegie 'La Tristesse' ('Sadness')
by Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko (1842-1912)

adapted and recorded in a soundscape setting by Laurence Perkins (bassoon),
released on Good Friday (15th April) 2022 on this webpage.

This is a not-for-profit non-promotional gesture of support for the people of Ukraine at an incredibly challenging time, as they seek to regain the peace and freedom that is a basic human right for each and every one of us on this planet. Music is incredibly important and valuable to Ukrainians, and much of their music has an expressive quality that reflects the soul of their nation. This is a 'soundscape' version of a melody by the composer often described as "the founding father of Ukrainian music". The bleak setting reflects what the Ukrainians are confronting at this moment, but the melody - presented here as a lone voice - represents the inextinguishable human spirit and determination which is an integral part of their nation and culture.

Please support the Ukrainian people by contributing what you can to any of the following organisations:

 

DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee)

Tel: 01204 770822
https://donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal

The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas. DEC charities are in Ukraine and neighbouring countries meeting the needs of all refugees and displaced people. Every pound donated by the UK public to the DEC will be matched by the UK Government, up to the value of £20m.

Red Cross UK

Tel: 0300 023 0820
https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-crisis-appeal

The International Red Cross endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress. They make no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions, and promote mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.

Unicef

Tel: 0300 330 5699
https://www.unicef.org.uk/donate/donate-now-to-protect-children-in-ukraine/

UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, are working in Ukraine helping to provide families with access to clean water and healthy food. They are delivering lifesaving supplies to support families who have been forced to flee and are working closely with local health facilities to ensure they have the vital supplies needed.

In neighbouring countries they are delivering ‘Blue Dot’ safe spaces with their partners, which will provide care and support, information to families seeking refuge, psychosocial support, water and sanitation supplies, safe spaces for mothers and children, protection for unaccompanied and separated children and more.

UK-Med 

Tel: 0161 275 7873
https://www.uk-med.org/ukraine-appeal

Born of the NHS, UK-Med is a Manchester-based frontline medical aid charity formed in 1988, that is ready to help across the world, offering necessary healthcare when crises or disasters hit. Their team is in Poland and Ukraine, assessing and anticipating the emergency health needs caused by the rapidly unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries.

 

There are also efforts being made to provide support specifically for Ukrainian musicians, to help with loss or damage to valuable instruments in addition to normal life resources. There will be updates on this when appropriate links have been made and secure verified systems are in place.

 

Want to hear more?

In complete contrast to the Lysenko melody, here are two pieces by contemporary Ukrainian composer Volodymyr Runchak. First is a Lamento, an astonishing expression of sadness and anger - then we have Moto Perpetuo, expressing a grim determination to move forward. This music was written more than 40 years ago, but it sounds almost prophetic of the present situation, unfolding with a power and expressive intensity that few musical works can match.

This is not 'instant soundbite' music - please allow time (7 minutes) to listen to this in a quiet setting through headphones or on good-quality speakers. The Lamento in particular unfolds in a very spacious manner (hence the very slow-moving graphics on this video), with the silences every bit as important as the sounds.

Click below to hear this music...

Sea-god painting by Ghislaine Howard
Sea-god painting by Ghislaine Howard

Voyage of a Sea-god

 

"Album of the week" in The Times newspaper (July 2021)

No. 4 in the U.K. Specialist Classical Charts (July 2021)

Discover this extraordinary musical journey though the 20th century from 1900 to 1999, with the bassoon leading the way.

 

Click HERE for details and a video sampler of this Hyperion recording

Discover

the wonderful

musical world

of the

BASSOON!

Bassoon HR

"Perkins is a compelling advocate of the instrument"  

International Record Review

Photo: Christos Bainpakis
Photo: Christos Bainpakis

Based in Manchester, U.K., Laurence Perkins is one of Britain's leading bassoonists. As a soloist, principal orchestral player and as a tutor, he is a tireless champion of an instrument which to this day is less well-known and appreciated than it deserves to be. With an extensive catalogue of solo recordings, a vast number of solo recital and concerto performances, and numerous education projects (national and international) promoting the bassoon, Laurence is continuing this work with new recordings, imaginative concert programmes and innovative projects.

Take a quick tour of some of Laurence's performances
and wide-ranging repertoire
(just a few seconds of each piece - click the 'play' arrow below)

Mozart: Concerto for bassoon and orchestra in B flat, K.191 - 1st movement excerpt (located at 0 mins 0 secs)
with Manchester Camerata, conducted by Douglas Boyd (duration of excerpt: 20 seconds)
A top recommended version in 'Building a Library' on BBC Radio 3 Record Review programme

Saint-Saëns: Sonata for bassoon and piano, Op.168 - 1st movement excerpt (located at 0 mins 21 secs)
with Michael Hancock (piano) (duration of excerpt: 24 seconds)

Gilbert Vinter: The Playful Pachderm (orchestrated by Laurence Perkins) - excerpt (located at 0 mins 46 secs)
with the New London Orchestra, conducted by Ronald Corp (duration of excerpt: 27 seconds)

Fauré: Piéce (orchestrated by Laurence Perkins) - excerpt (located at 1 mins 13 secs)
with the New London Orchestra, conducted by Ronald Corp (duration of excerpt: 31 seconds)

Gounod: Marche funèbre d'une marionnette (Funeral March of a Marionette - The Hitchcock theme)
(orchestrated by Laurence Perkins) - excerpt (located at 1 mins 45 secs)
with the New London Orchestra, conducted by Ronald Corp (duration of excerpt: 20 seconds)

Ibert: Carignane - excerpt (located at 2 mins 06 secs)
with Michael Hancock (piano) (duration of excerpt: 33 seconds)

Senaillé: Allegro Spiritoso (arranged and orchestrated by Laurence Perkins) - excerpt (located at 2 mins 39 secs)
with the New London Orchestra, conducted by Ronald Corp (duration of excerpt: 41 seconds)

Pierné: Solo de Concert - excerpt (located at 3 mins 20 secs)
with Michael Hancock (piano) (duration of excerpt: 42 seconds)

Richard Strauss: Duet-Concertino - 2nd movement excerpt (located at 4 mins 03 secs)
with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Sian Edwards (duration of excerpt: 60 seconds)
No. 4 in the U.K. Specialist Classical Charts in August 2018

Ganglberger: Mein Teddybär (My Teddy Bear)- excerpt (located at 5 mins 03 secs)
with the New London Orchestra, conducted by Ronald Corp (duration of excerpt: 27 seconds)

Elgar: Romance, Op.62 - excerpt (located at 5 mins 30 secs)
with the New London Orchestra, conducted by Ronald Corp (duration of excerpt: 57 seconds)

Weber: Concerto for bassoon and orchestra in F major, Op.75 - excerpt (located at 6 mins 27 secs)
with Manchester Camerata, conducted by Douglas Boyd (duration of excerpt: 39 seconds)

 

All recorded excerpts by kind permission of Hyperion Records Ltd.

Promoting concerts? Click here to explore imaginative and accessible programmes featuring the bassoon

Bassoon and piano: click RECITALS
Bassoon and orchestra: click CONCERTOS
Multimedia concert - live music with video: click BASSOON VOYAGER
Music and poetry: click AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE...
Two bassoons (musical entertainment)  click 2BASSOONS

... or contact Laurence Perkins directly, click HERE for the Contact Form.

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Inspiring wind chamber music courses for amateur players
(graded courses - advanced, intermediate and elementary levels)
click HERE for details

Bassoon courses, events and education projects
click HERE for details

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