There will be a brand new Inspiration page appearing here soon, sharing memorable musical moments - watch this space! The new page will replace the present 'Bassoon Inspired' content, so if you still want to hear anything currently posted, do it soon!

Bassoon Inspired logo JPG


Music for solo bassoon, played and presented by Laurence Perkins

Ten new compilations taken from the 61-programme 'Bassoon Inspired' series, produced in April and May 2020

Photo: Christos Bainpakis
Photo: Christos Bainpakis

Sunrise and New Beginning

The final programme in this 61-part series - a musical celebration of our gradual emergence from a dark and challenging period, looking forward to a better and brighter future. The music (by Laurence) begins with a rising improvisation based loosely on the pentatonic scale, then moving into an old English dance tune "The Beginning of the World". The video consists of images captured on 35mm slide film on the 1st January 2000 in North Cumbria (the English Lake District) - the beginning of a new era.

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 09.31.59
On-line to Katie Derham, BBC R3 'In Tune'
On-line to Katie Derham, BBC R3 'In Tune'
BBC R3 Sean Rafferty 16.4.2020

Bassoon Inspired 

The Bassoon Inspired series was Laurence's on-line project offering special musical moments of all kinds to raise the spirits and provide some inspiration and emotional support during this challenging time. It was also intended to expand the knowledge and appreciation of the bassoon and its incredible versatility.

This on-line series of 61 mini-programmes (audio, plus a few videos) ran from 1st April - 31st May. Each day, a new programme was placed on the special webpage.

The mini-programmes have now been replaced by ten compilation programmes featuring a wide selection of tracks from the series.

Major support from BBC Radio 3 for the Bassoon Inspired project

BBC Radio 3 have been very supportive of all musical efforts throughout the U.K. to provide support and inspiration during the present crisis. The Bassoon Inspired series was featured twice on the early-evening In Tune programme - the first of these on 31st March with Katie Derham, then a second feature and interview on 16th April with Sean Rafferty. It was also featured by Petroc Trelawny on the Radio 3  Breakfast programme on 1st April.

A huge 'thank you' to the BBC for all their support for musicians during this very challenging time, and for their outstanding coverage of the crisis we are all facing - also the wonderful music they have given us to help us all through a very difficult period.

What was this project about?  Laurence writes: "I firmly believe in the power of music and the arts as a life-force that can provide positive energies and emotional support in challenging situations. I also share with millions of others the first-hand experience of the healing and therapeutic qualities of music, something that has been recognised for many hundreds (or even thousands) of years in human societies."

Music education  "Now - more than ever before - is the time to understand the importance of music and the arts in schools, which of course is where the understanding and appreciation begins. One of my hopes at this difficult time is that a heightened recognition of the true value of music and the arts will emerge. We need much more commitment at government and local authority administrative levels, with the introduction of a proper, substantial, consistent and on-going presence of music and the arts as an important subject in every school. Children deserve the chance to explore the vast and exciting range of genres and styles from many different cultures. Most of my performer colleagues are involved in music education work, and many have specialist areas of interest, so collectively - with our diverse enthusiasms and expertise - we can offer multicultural inspiration to many new generations of children. Music is not elitist, the arts are not for a select or privileged few - they are for each and every one of us, to share as valuable and enriching ingredients in our lives." (Please see the downloadable PDF immediately below)

Music - inspiration, vision and challenge
by Laurence Perkins

Download the PDF here, and feel free to share this as widely as you can - thank you!

Click here >>  Music inspiration vision challenge PDF << click here

Can you help in my contribution to this work?

If you browse the other pages on this website and my various Facebook posts (click HERE to see my Facebook page - FB friend requests are most welcome!), you will see my on-going commitment to music education at all levels, from the youngest children at primary schools to adult workshops at all levels, helping everyone to discover what has enriched my own life so much - the sheer joy of making music and sharing it with others.

PayPal Donation button  If you feel able to, a contribution towards this work (via the PayPal button below, for any amount) would help enormously at this time when all work and income for just about everyone in the arts has totally dried up. A donation would enable me to cover the costs of setting up this 61-programme project, and help me to continue and develop the work I have been doing. Of course, virtually everyone is challenged in this way at the moment, but if you feel you can support with any amount you can spare, that will enable me to continue with my contribution to this work when the present crisis is over.

Thank you so much!

Number of views: 13722

COPYRIGHT: The audio recordings, videos and photographs on this webpage are strictly copyright. They should not be copied, reproduced, broadcast or distributed in any way. If you are interested in any of the works featured in this on-line project, please contact Laurence Perkins directly via the CONTACT form (click this link). Thank you!

10 'Bassoon Inspired' compilation programmes

featuring new and archive recordings from the 61-programme 'Bassoon Inspired' series in April and May 2020

(Recordings made in April and May 2020, unless otherwise stated)

FEEDBACK: If you have any comments about these recordings, you can use the CONTACT form to send them to me. Many thanks! (Click HERE)

The Val d'Herens, in the Valais region of Switzerland (photo by LP)
The Val d'Herens, in the Valais region of Switzerland (photo by LP)

Mountain explorations

(Programme duration: 19 minutes 52 seconds)

Wales: 'The Break of Day' and 'The Dawning of Morn' (trad. arr. LP) (located at 0'46") (rec.1999)
Norway: 'Bergtatt' by Alf Gjessing (located at 6'03")
Austria: 'The Green Hills of Tyrol' (from Rossini's opera 'William Tell', arr. LP) (located at 10'31")
Switzerland: 'The Swiss Drover Boy' (located at 12'50") / 'The Rose of Lucerne' (located at 15'12") / Boat Trip from Lucerne to Weggis (located at 18'15") (trad. arr. LP)

The Cuillin mountains on Skye (photo by Mike Bell)
The Cuillin mountains on Skye (photo by Mike Bell)

My Heart's in the Highlands

(Programme duration: 15 minutes 22 seconds)

Auld Lang Syne (trad. - version published in 1762) (located at 1'00")
'The Banks of Loch Ness' (trad.arr. LP) (located at 2'35")
'Skye Boat Song' (located at 5'33") and 'Loch Coruisk' (trad. arr. LP) (located at 7'37") (rec.1999)
'Fingal's Cave' (from Gow Collection, arr. LP) (located at 9'58") (rec.1996)
'Ye Banks and Braes' (located at 12'18") and 'A Highland Lad my Love was Born' (trad. arr. LP) (located at 13'51") (rec.1999)

Mike Bell's photographs can be viewed on his 'Discovered Light' website - click on the name to go directly to the website.

Portsmouth (photo by LP)
Portsmouth (photo by LP)

A journey through England

(Programme duration: 21 minutes 26 seconds)

'Plymouth Lasses' (trad. arr. LP) (located at 0'42") (rec.1996)
'Over the Moor' (trad. arr. LP) (located at 2'42")
'Portsmouth' (trad. arr. LP) (located at 4'55")
'The Beaux of London City' (trad. arr. LP) (located at 8'10")
'Cheshire Rounds' (located at 10'24") and 'Rochdale Coconut Dance'  (located at 11'14") (trad. arr. LP)
'The Lass of Richmond Hill' (located at 12'37") (trad. arr. LP)
'Scarborough Fair' (located at 15'16") (trad. arr. LP)
'The Lads of Alnwick' (located at 18'48") (trad. arr. LP)

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland (photo by LP)
Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland (photo by LP)

From the Emerald Isle

(Programme duration: 15 minutes 35 seconds)

'Hibernia' (located at 0'26") (trad. arr. LP)
'Kitty Tyrell' (located at 3'04") (trad. arr. LP)
'Sally Gardens' (located at 6'00") (trad. arr. LP)
'The Dark Phantom' (located at 8'44") (trad. arr. LP)
'The Minstrel Boy' (located at 11'24") (trad. arr. LP)
'The Fairy Dance' (located at 14'26") (trad. arr. LP) (rec.1999)

10 Bach moonP1000362

Seeking inner truths

(Programme duration: 21 minutes 59 seconds)

Bach: Sarabande from the 5th Suite for solo cello (arr. LP) (located at 1'01")
Bach: Chaconne from the Partita No. 2, BWV1004 (arranged for two bassoons by Laurence Perkins) (located at 5'10")
Laurence Perkins and Anthea Wood (bassoons)
Recorded in Greystoke Church, Cumbria, U.K. on 26th April 2018. Recording and session production by Tim Whittick, post-production by Laurence Perkins.

An image from northern Italy (photo by LP)
An image from northern Italy (photo by LP)

From an age of elegance

(Programme duration: 22 minutes 24 seconds)

Caprices from the 18th Century:
[i]. Minuets I and II (located at 1'09")  [ii] Largo (located at 3'18")  [iii] Invenzione (located at 5'37")  [iv] Lamenterole (located at 8'37")  [v.] Corrente (located at 11'26")
Corrette, Michel: 'Les Delices de la Solitude' ('The Delights of Solitude')
[i] Aria, from Sonata No. 6 (located at 15'45")
[ii] Presto, from Sonata No. 5 (located at 19'28")

The Charles Bridge,  Prague (photo by LP)
The Charles Bridge, Prague (photo by LP)

The ultimate musical diversion

(Programme duration: 16 minutes 13 seconds)

Mozart: Divertimento in B flat, K.229 No.2
[i] Allegro (located at 1'05")
[ii] Minuet and Trio (located at 2'37")
[iii] Larghetto (located at 6'10")
[iv] Minuet and Trio (located at 8'23")
[v] Rondo (located at 12'27")

Ruth Davies (oboe), Lynne Racz (clarinet), Laurence Perkins (bassoon)
(Live concert recording, 1996)

Dancing bear (artwork by Ghislaine Howard)
Dancing bear (artwork by Ghislaine Howard)

Strictly off-duty

(Programme duration: 21 minutes 49 seconds)

'Castles in the Air' (trad. arr. LP) (located at 0'26")
'The Bassoon' by Quenton Ashlyn (arr. LP) (located at 3'16") (rec.1983) with Michael Hancock (singer / pianist)
'Bear Boogie' by Laurence Perkins (located at 7'46") (rec.2018)
Laurence Perkins (bassoon), Tim Whittick (contrabassoon), Anthea Wood (tambourine)
'Der Alte Brummbär' ('The Old Grumbler') (located at 11'24") (rec.1978) with Michael Hancock (piano)
'Bassoon Anthem' by Laurence Perkins (located at 17'09") (rec.2017) (multitrack recording - all parts by Laurence Perkins)

59 Lewis Chacontango IMG_7432

Tasty and jazzy
The music of Paul Lewis

(Programme duration: 13 minutes 35 seconds)

[i] Snazzy-Jazzy (located at 0'39")
[ii] Valse Patissière (located at 2'59")
[iii] Sweet Mango Tango (located at 4'59")
[iv] Almost a Waltz (located at 8'12")
[v] Rum-Baba Rumba (located at 10'50")

All five pieces by Paul Lewis are published by Emerson Edition

Bassoon HR

'Bassoon Inspired'
An uninterrupted sequence (no spoken introductions)

(Programme duration: 42 minutes 37 seconds)

*Elgar: Idylle (located at 0'00") (rec. 1990)
'Blow the Wind Southerly' (located at 3'30") (rec.1996)
'Shepherd’s Hey' (located at 4'32")
*Elgar: Romance, Op.62 (located at 5'59") (live concert, 1983)
Jacobi: Caprice (located at 11'03") (rec. 1996)
*Ravel: 'Piece en forme de Habañera' (located at 13'21") (rec. 1980)
Milde: Concert Study in F minor (located at 16'19")
*Rachmaninov: Vocalise (located at 18'47") (rec. 1990)
*Gounod: 'Marche Funèbre d'une Marionette' ('Funeral March of a Marionette' - the Hitchcock theme) (located at 23'58") (rec. 1980)
*Milde: Tarantella (located at 26'54") (rec. 1990)
Trad: Suo-Gân (Welsh Lullaby) (located at 28'45")
Trad: Rufty Tufty (located at 31'06")
*Hurlstone, William: Sonata in F major -  2nd movement (located at 32'45") (live concert, 1983)
*Hume, J Ord: ‘The Carnival’ (located at 37'25") (rec. 1980)

* with Michael Hancock (piano)


An English Country Garden

A film from the 1960s by Laurence's father Frank Perkins, with a new music soundtrack added in 2020 by Laurence Perkins featuring traditional English tunes 'All in a Garden Green' and 'Country Gardens'

The Woodlands of Eden Valley

A video made in 2018 in the Eden Valley in Cumbria, with birdsong from the woodland.
Music: Ludwig Milde Concert Study in B minor / Corelli (arr. Setaccioli) Adagio / Saint-Saens Sonata Op.168 first movement. Corelli and Saint-Saens recordings with Michael Hancock (piano).

Under Manx Skies

Paintings of the Isle of Man by Linda Huxley, with traditional Manx tunes

Comments and feedback about the 'Bassoon Inspired' series

"Thank you so much for your bassoon project, it has introduced me to some music that I haven't heard before and is a bright spot in what can otherwise be a dreary day."

"Your wonderful series is part of my daily reflective routine. Thank you so much for the stimulating variety of the music and the fusion of music and words as well as glimpses of your photography. Today's offering was a beautiful example. Thank you so much."

“Beautiful playing"

“ (Bassoon Anthem) really shows the expansive range and the ability of the bassoon to paint huge landscapes” 

“I could smell the air and see the woods and glass and the church and the barn and... everything! Amazing! Thank you so much for your inspirational playing!” 

"That really was a beautiful performance"

"... it is a lovely gift to us all. I’m in a little WhatsApp group and I have encouraged them to listen."

"The recording in the woods is just wonderful!"

"Thank you, what a delight listening & journeying with Bassoon Voyager"

"Beautiful music and scenery....very relaxing!  Thank you for sharing!"

"The Saint Saens was magical, the piano rippling along with the stream and birdsong."

"Thank you for the series, which I'm very much enjoying. I've always loved the bassoon - ever since I first heard the grandfather tottering in to Peter and the Wolf! - so listening to its wider solo repertoire via your series is really enjoyable."

"Thank you for today’s offering. I absolutely loved it!"

"Love the combination of sound and sight. The beauty of each resonates with the other. Thank you!"

"Your daily programmes have been absolutely brilliant, I’ve listened to every single one and it really has been a inspiration to hear your playing through the years along with the beautiful photos and video as well as the poetry too. Amazing!"

"This is a brilliant idea, especially now, and most elegantly presented.  Musically and visually very cleverly chosen and paired works take us from day to day with interest and enjoyment."

"I've enjoyed Bassoon Inspiration immensely, and I have listened almost every day. I've enjoyed your choices of music immensely, you've demonstrated music I would never have found without you, and you've shown qualities of the instrument I had not known, and you've refreshed my passion for the instrument; thank you."

"Sadly the bassoon odyssey has come to an end. Have enjoyed every single note of it. In complete agreement with your message about access to music. Thank you for your inspiring bassoon work!"

"The programmes have truly been a source of inspiration for me, and have encouraged me to do more playing than I might otherwise have done during this enforced isolation."

"It was an absolute joy to listen to, such an exciting selection and to listen to your wonderful playing. I enjoyed each morning, more than I can explain. It meant such a lot to me."