Recordings

Bassoon

Laurence Perkins

Bassoon soloist for the Hyperion record label

Independent record producer and creator of Live Wood Music

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Laurence's first recording for Hyperion was 'L'aprés-midi d'un Dinosaur'  - this was the first recital album of music for bassoon and piano to be released in the U.K., and became a classic in the woodwind repertoire. 

His next Hyperion recording was Bassoon Concertos - Mozart, Weber, Michael Haydn and Stamitz, with Manchester Camerata and Douglas Boyd. The Mozart Concerto was a top choice on BBC Radio 3 'Record Review' programme in the 'Building a Library' section. Shortly after this, he recorded 'The Playful Pachyderm' - shorter works in lighter vein with the New London Orchestra conducted by Ronald Corp.

In Summer 2018, Laurence was a soloist on a recording of the Richard Strauss Duet-Concertino (with Sarah Watts and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Sian Edwards), plus trios by Beethoven and Glinka (with pianist Martin Roscoe). This recording, entitled 'The Princess and the Bear' reached No. 4 in the UK Specialist Classical Charts in August 2018.

Laurence's latest recording project for Hyperion is an ambitious 2-CD set, 'Voyage of a Sea-god' - a journey through 100 years of bassoon music in the 20th century, including world première recordings of works by Elizabeth Maconchy (Concertino), Richard Rodney Bennett (Sonata), David Bedford ('Dreams of Stac Pollaidh'), Alan Ridout ('Caliban and Ariel') and music by Granville Bantock  written for a 1926 production of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'. This is scheduled for release in late Spring 2021.

Live Wood Music is a recent creation by Laurence. It is an outlet both for independently-produced recordings of a wide range of repertoire, and for the promotion of live concert performances in the post-pandemic era. The first LWM production is a limited-edition CD (an 'EP' - 30 minutes duration) featuring Laurence's new single 'Blow the Wind Southerly' plus three other tracks recorded in there last five years.

Solo CDs for the Hyperion label

and other solo and orchestral recordings by Laurence Perkins

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A recent release on the HYPERION label
- No. 4 in the Specialist Classical Charts in August 2018

The Princess and the Bear

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.

 

REVIEWS

“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

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Bassoon Concertos

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.”
The Guardian

“... a comparably winning performance”
Gramophone

To hear excerpts from this recording, go to the Recitals and Concertos page, or to access the Hyperion website click HERE.

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The Playful Pachyderm

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.”
Classical Net

“A must!”
David Mellor, Mail on Sunday

To hear excerpts from this recording, go to the Recitals and Concertos page, or to access the Hyperion website click HERE

 

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"As far as the eye can see..."

A musical journey in melody, poetry and prose

Music by David Bedford, Robin Walker, Maddy Aldis, John  Field, and traditional folk melodies.
Words by William Shakespeare, John Keats, Emily Brontë, Oscar Wilde, Robert Burns and William Wordsworth.

“It really is quite an experience, taking in for the first time the expressiveness of this remarkable instrument, and Laurence Perkins ensures, through an ingenious selection of words and music, that his audience enjoys it to the full. ... A performance not to be missed!”
David Crystal
Author of the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language

This recording is available as download only, from iTunes - click HERE

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'L'Aprés-midi d'un Dinosaur'

A classic recital disc from 1981 - Laurence's first commercial solo recording, with Michael Hancock (piano). This was the first LP/CD bassoon-and-piano recital album to be issued in the UK.
The programme includes:
Saint-Saëns: Sonata in G, Op.168
William Hurlstone: Sonata in F
Ibert: Carignane
Pierné: Solo de Concert
Elgar: Romance (première recording of the composer's own piano version)

To hear excerpts from this recording, click HERE

Orchestral recordings on the Avie label

Laurence Perkins was principal bassoonist with Manchester Camerata between 1974 and 2017. During that time, the orchestra made numerous fine recordings and broadcasts for radio and television, including a series of CDs with conductor Douglas Boyd, which are available on the Avie label, or as downloads.

Recorded in live concerts at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (UK):

Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 conducted by Douglas Boyd
Mozart: Symphonies No.40 and 41 'Jupiter',
conducted by Douglas Boyd
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto - soloist Giovanni Guzzo,
conducted byDouglas Boyd

Recorded in live concerts at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (UK):

Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations - soloist Miklós Perényi, conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (chamber version by Arnold Schönberg and Rainer Riehn) - soloists Jane Irwin (mezzo-soprano) & Peter Wedd (tenor), conductor Douglas Boyd

LP with conductor Douglas Boyd during Hyperion recording sessions, May 2001.
LP with conductor Douglas Boyd during Hyperion recording sessions, May 2001.
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'2018 - Year of the Bassoon' recordings - click HERE for more details.

Chacontango

This vibrant tango (composed by Laurence Perkins) - with an unmistakable Latin flavour - features in Laurence's one-hour live concert with video, Bassoon Voyager. It's a wonderful example of the bassoon 'sound-world', as well as being a tribute to the great master of tango, Astor Piazzolla. The music is also inspired by the 18th century Chaconne (hence the title) which was a theme and variations over a repeated bass line.

This multi-tracked recording by Laurence Perkins is available from iTunes. To hear a one-minute sample on YouTube, click HERE. The sheet music for Chacontango (for 5 bassoons and contrabassoon) is published by Emerson Edition.

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