Voyage of a a Sea-God
No. 4 in the U.K. Specialist Classical Charts (July 2021)
"Album of the week" in the Times newspaper (July 2021)
Featured on BBC Radio 3 'Record Review' programme
Discover more about this extraordinary musical journey through 100 years, with the bassoon leading the way - go directly to the Sea-god Recording page for more details (click the blue link).
"It's an extensive programme, encompassing a variety of styles ... there are some real treats"
Daniel Jaffé, BBC Music Magazine
"... an engaging guide throughout, Perkins gets sterling support from a wealth of fine musicians and ensembles"
Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone
"Beginning in 1900 with Richard Henry Walthew and ending in 1999 with David Bedford, the intrepid musical journey undertaken by Laurence Perkins and friends celebrates the extraordinary versatility of the twentieth century bassoon."
Paul RW Jackson, British Music Society
"It's a really enjoyable chronological tour of the 20th century bassoon"
Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review
Richard Walthew: Introduction and Allegro
Prokofiev: Scherzo humoristique
Saint-Saëns: Sonata Op.168 (three excerpts)
Granville Bantock: Incidental music to 'Macbeth' (1926)
(i) Lament (ii) Dance of the Witches
Arnold Bax: Threnody and Scherzo (two excerpts) (1936)
Paul Hindemith: Sonata (two excerpts)
Henri Dutilleux: Sarabande et Cortége (two excerpts) (1942)
Herbert Howells: Minuet 'Grace for a Fresh Egg' (1945)
Elizabeth Maconchy: Concertino
(three excerpts) (1952)
Alan Ridout: Caliban and Ariel
(inspired by Shakespeare's 'The Tempest')
(Two separate excerpts) (1974)
Andrzej Panufnik: Concerto
(Excerpt is 4th movement - Aria) (1985)
Richard Rodney Bennett: Sonata
David Bedford: Dreams of Stac Pollaidh
No. 4 in the Specialist Classical Charts (August 2018)
Richard Strauss: Duet-Concertino for clarinet, bassoon and orchestra
Beethoven: Trio Op.38 for clarinet, bassoon and piano
Glinka: Trio Pathétique for clarinet, bassoon and piano
Sarah Watts (clarinet)
Laurence Perkins (bassoon)
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Sian Edwards (Strauss)
Martin Roscoe (piano - Beethoven and Glinka)
CD purchase or MP3 (or FLAC) downloads from Hyperion - click this link.
The Duet-Concertino by Richard Strauss is a musical story of a princess (clarinet, played by Sarah Watts) and a bear (bassoon, played by Laurence Perkins), with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Sian Edwards. Martin Roscoe is the pianist in trios by Beethoven (the composer's own version of his Septet) and Glinka.
“The Duet-Concertino … is beautifully performed here, and beautifully explained by Perkins in the booklet ”
Paul Driver, Sunday Times
“… Perkins responds with a gruffness that gradually broadens into deeply felt lyricism.… it’s an engaging disc, and very enjoyable”
Tim Ashley, Gramophone magazine
“… a beauty and the beast tale in which a princess, represented by Sarah Watts’ beautifully lyrical clarinet, dances with a bear – Laurence Perkins’s balletic bassoon… These two fine players are joined by the pianist Martin Roscoe for sparkling performances of Beethoven’s Trio in E flat, Op 38 and Glinka’s Trio Pathétique in D minor.”
Stephen Pritchard, The Observer
Strauss: “Don’t overlook this gem of a recording … the solo performances are first-rate … Sarah Watts and Laurence Perkins play superbly”
Glinka: “The Trio … is a lovely piece, and when performed as sensitively as it is here, a very rewarding one. Both Perkins and Watts are technically assured, but, more importantly, characterful players”
Beethoven: “… this delightful performance … even the more dramatic moments such as the opening of the finale given a tongue-in-cheek flavour thanks to the bassoon.”
Strauss / Beethoven / Glinka quotes from MusicWeb International reviews
Three excerpts from Richard Strauss: Duet-Concertino
Four excerpts from Glinka: Trio Pathétique
Six excerpts from Beethoven: Trio Op.38
These excerpts are reproduced by kind permission of Hyperion Records Ltd.
Mozart: Concerto in B flat, K.191
Weber: Concerto in F major, Op.75
Carl Stamitz: Concerto in F
Michael Haydn: Concertino
Weber: Andante and Hungarian Rondo, Op.35
with Manchester Camerata, conducted by Douglas Boyd
“... a most alluring sound, especially singing above muted strings in the Andante.”
BBC Music Magazine
“Perkins brings out the fun in much of the inspiration as well as the lyrical beauty.”
“... a comparably winning performance”
Mozart: Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra in B flat, K.191 (excerpts from all three movements)
Weber: Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra in F, Op.75 (Excerpts from all three movements)
Michael Haydn: Concertino for bassoon and Orchestra in B flat
Carl Stamitz: Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra in F (excerpts from all three movements)
Laurence Perkins with conductor Douglas Boyd during the Hyperion recording sessions for 'Bassoon Concertos'
Classical miniatures, folk melodies and 'fun' pieces
including Romance (Elgar), English Folksongs (Vaughan-Williams), Allegro Spiritoso (Senaillé), ‘Pièce en forme de Habañera’ (Ravel) ‘Mist-Covered Mountains’ (trad. Scottish) Allegro Spiritoso (Senaillè), Lucy Long (Godfrey), Funeral March of a Marionette (Gounod).
with the New London Orchestra conducted by Ronald Corp
“The musical fare on offer here is a joy from start to finish ... the bassoon is transformed into a soothing and emphatic entertainer ... Perkins is a consummate and stylish advocate of the music.”
David Mellor, Mail on Sunday
Gilbert Vinter: 'The Playful Pachyderm' (orchestrated by Laurence Perkins)
Vaughan-Williams: Studies in English Folk Song (orchestrated by Robert Stanton)
Ravel: Pièce en forme de Habañera (orchestrated by Arthur Hoérée)
Sir Edward Elgar: Romance, Op.62
Walking Tune (Gånglåt fran Äppelbo - A Serenade for Susan) (traditional Swedish folk tune, arr. Laurence Perkins)
'Mist-Covered Mountains' (traditional Scottish, arr. Laurence Perkins) with Catriona McKay (clarsach)
Julius Fučik: 'Der alte Brummbär' ('The Old Grumbler' - Polka, Op.210, orchestrated by Laurence Perkins)
Quenton Ashlyn: 'The Bassoon' (orchestrated by Laurence Perkins), with Richard Suart (baritone)
The programme includes:
Saint-Saëns: Sonata in G, Op.168
William Hurlstone: Sonata in F
Pierné: Solo de Concert
Elgar: Romance (première recording of the composer's own piano version)
William Hurlstone: Sonata for bassoon and piano (world première recording)
Gabriel Pierné: Solo de Concert
Jacques Ibert: Carignane
Leonard Bernstein: Four songs from 'West Side Story'
i. Maria ii. Tonight iii.Somewhere iv. Something's Coming
Released in the month of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, this digital release celebrates some of his best-known music - and with a special link as well! For this recording of four songs from West Side Story (made in April 2018), Laurence teamed up with pianist Yoshiko Endo who played a Baldwin grand piano that once belonged to Bernstein. Its warm but clear sound is perfectly suited to this music. The wonderfully vocal qualities of the bassoon’s sound is eminently suitable to this great music in the excellent performing edition by David J Elliot (published by Boosey and Hawkes, recorded here with the permission of the copyright owners).