Sea-god Recording

Seagod 3 JPG
BWH7 Hi-res copy

🎶 Focus on a much-neglected musical instrument
🎶 Outstanding works by major composers
🎶 Seven world première recordings
🎶 Featuring CBSO plus other leading musicians
🎶 International release by Hyperion

Pre-order a CD
or
Contribute towards this recording project

Take a look at the details of this project below. If you feel you would like to help by pre-ordering a CD,  there are PayPal buttons here which enable you to do this quickly and easily. If you would like to make a specific donation towards the project, please see below.

Pre-order a CD
(UK residents only)
for £20
including UK postage

Pre-order a CD
(non-UK residents only)
for £30
including worldwide postage

Contribute towards the production of
'Voyage of a Sea-god'

If you would like to help with the funding of this special project, please click the button below which will take you directly to the CONTACT page on this website, where you can pass on your email address to receive details of payment options and other information. Thank you!

By doing this (either a CD pre-order* or a donation), you are really helping to make this unique project possible. Thank you so much!

* The CD will only be sent to you when it has been released by Hyperion Records Ltd. Estimated release date for this is in Autumn 2020, but this may change.

DONATIONS: Check the details at the end of this page to see what you receive in return for your contribution. All donations of £20 (non-UK £30) or more will receive a CD when it is released.

Audio Sampler for Voyage of a Sea-god

Click on 'play' arrow (above) to listen

Excerpts from the following works: (1) Richard Walthew: Introduction and Allegro - 1900 (2) Saint-Saens: Sonata Op168 - 1921 (3) Villa-Lobos: Ciranda das sete notas - 1933 (4) Hindemith: Sonata - 1938 (5) Henri Dutilleux: Sarabande et Cortege - 1942 (6) Elizabeth Maconchy: Concertino - 1951 (7) Alan Ridout: Caliban and Ariel - 1975 (8) Andrzej Panufnik: Concerto - 1985 (9) Richard Rodney Bennett: Sonata - 1991 (1) David Bedford: Dreams of Stac Pollaidh - 1999. All solos played by Laurence Perkins, with Michael Hancock (piano). Spoken introduction by Laurence Perkins. Orchestral excerpts using digital backing for the purposes of this audio sampler.

Disc 1:

Walthew, Richard: Introduction and Allegro for bassoon and piano [1900]
Prokofiev: Sergei: Humorous Scherzo for four bassoons [1912]
Saint-Saens, Camille: Sonata for bassoon and piano, Op.168 [1921]
Bantock, Granville: Dance of the Witches from 'Macbeth’, for three bassoons [1926]
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: ‘Ciranda das Sete Notas’ for bassoon and strings [1933]
Bax, Sir Arnold: Threnody and Scherzo for bassoon, string sextet and harp [1936]
Sauguet, Henri: Barcarolle for bassoon and harp [1936]
Hindemith, Paul: Sonata for bassoon and piano [1938]
Dutilleux, Henri: Sarabande et Cortège for bassoon and piano [1942]

Disc 2:

Howells, Herbert: Minuet - Grace for a Fresh Egg for bassoon and piano [1945]
Maconchy, Elizabeth:
Concertino for bassoon and string orchestra [1952]
Jacob, Gordon: Suite for bassoon and string quartet [1969]
Ridout, Alan: Caliban and Ariel for solo bassoon [1974]
Panufnik, Andrzej: Concerto for bassoon and small orchestra (1985)
Bennett, Richard Rodney: Sonata for bassoon and piano [1991]
Bedford, David: Dreams of Stac Pollaidh for unaccompanied bassoon [1999]

Laurence Perkins (bassoon)
with (all details to be confirmed)
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by William Goodchild
The Carducci String Quartet
Eira Lynn Jones (harp)
Michael Hancock (piano)

Recording producer: Andrew Keener
Sound engineer: Simon Eadon

 

Description of the project
(notes by Laurence Perkins)

Background
 
It was in the 20th century that composers finally woke up to the real qualities of the bassoon and its wonderful expressive range. The instrument’s sound, described by Sacheverell Sitwell as “like a sea-god speaking”, was used and explored as never before,  in new and highly imaginative ways. My recording project is a celebration of some of the music from that vibrant century which features the bassoon either as a soloist or in a prominent role, including major works not previously recorded commercially (indicated by an asterisk * below). 

Content
The music forms a chronological journey, starting with the late-Victorian melodic elegance of *Richard Walthew (1900). Prokofiev adds a dark humour (1912), while Villa-Lobos introduces exotic Brazilian folk music influences (1933). There’s a strong British presence, including music by Arnold Bax (1936), Herbert Howells (1945) and *Elizabeth Maconchy’s wonderfully lyrical and virtuosic Concertino (1952), while *Alan Ridout creates wonderfully evocative Shakespearean images in music inspired by ‘The Tempest’ (1975). There are  powerful expressions of anger and deep sorrow in Panufnik’s music (1985) reflecting events in Poland at that time, off-set by a gentle and highly original sound-world created by *Richard Rodney Bennett (1991). The final piece is an extraordinary 4-minute tone poem for solo bassoon by *David Bedford (1999), inspired by a Scottish mountain.

Purpose
To my knowledge, a recorded anthology of this kind, presenting more than two hours of bassoon music in a compelling musical journey through an entire century, is unique. The project will go a long way towards my life ambition - better recognition and appreciation of the special musical qualities of the bassoon. It involves collaborations with some of the finest ensembles and musicians, all working with a world-class production team, and the finished recording is to be released by one of the world’s leading classical labels - Hyperion. This is truly a life investment - a very special musical legacy for years to come. 

What is needed?
In order to complete the project, I need to raise £70,000

Where does this money go?
Professional recording is of course a hugely expensive process, and this considerable sum is needed to cover orchestral costs, musicians fees in the smaller ensembles, management costs, hire of special venues with suitable acoustics and facilities for several days of recording sessions, session production and sound engineering costs, post-production work, travel, accommodation, subsistence, and a number of other miscellaneous costs associated with preparing a studio-grade master recording of roughly 2½ hours of music.

 

 

 TESTIMONIALS

The repertoire for the bassoon is full of delightful pieces that deserve to be more widely appreciated. This bold, original project is just what is needed and I wish Laurence every success in achieving it.
Sir Mark Elder
Music Director of the HALLÉ Orchestra

There was an age-old quip that ‘if you owned a Bassoon you could make a living, if you could play it you could make a fortune’.  Well, thanks to the pioneering work of Laurence Perkins there are now a great many people who can play it, but not many who can excel as far as Laurence.  He has done so much to expand the repertoire, and champion many seemingly lost works.  He is an outstanding soloist, a brilliant teacher, a most sympathetic member of ensembles and orchestras, and a compelling advocate for this remarkable instrument. However, there is no fortune to be made and this wonderful project only exists through the support it has raised from generous donors, and may many follow their example!
Professor Gavin Henderson CBE
Principal, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and former Principal of Trinity College of Music/Trinity Laban.  He was also Director of Dartington International Summer School, the Brighton Festival and CEO of the Philharmonia Orchestra.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavin_Henderson

“Laurence Perkins has recorded an immense amount of music for bassoon with orchestras and ensembles, as well as with piano and for unaccompanied bassoon, all of which show his innate musicality and virtuosity.   He is now launching a new and exciting project which is in effect to record an anthology of music for solo bassoon in the 20th century.  The bassoon is a beautiful musical instrument which deserves more limelight and this should help in bringing it before a general public.  However such a scheme will require a lot of funding and I would like to invite the many organisations and individuals that might be able to help to support this project.”
Roger Birnstingl  FRCM FGSM
Former solo bassoonist of London Symphony Orchestra and l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Birnstingl

“I have had the great pleasure of knowing and admiring for many years Laurence's tremendous skill not only as a player but also as a tireless ambassador for the bassoon. The idea of recording such a fascinating collection of 20th century gems richly deserves our support both financially and artistically - this really is too good an opportunity to miss!”
Brian Kay
Conductor, broadcaster and former King’s Singer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Kay

“Not for Laurence Perkins the well-trodden road of oft-recorded bassoon bon-bons, but an intelligently planned journey through some of the most approachable and unexpected pieces in the repertoire for that instrument. No-one knows more about this repertoire than Laurence, whose musicianship and experience it will be a joy to encounter during these recordings.”
Andrew Keener - Independent Recording Producer http://www.greenacre.info/Keener/

“A fantastic project by an extraordinarily talented soloist, to give much needed, and much-deserved publicity to a body of music that will bring great pleasure to many”
Professor Raymond Tallis
Writer and physician http://www.raymondtallis.co.uk/pages/home.html

 

Comments from people who have contributed to the project:

"This is a terrific project which really showcases the unassuming bassoon as a beautiful instrument. It will provide a super repertoire of lovely pieces for younger professional musicians to access, and for other listeners to enjoy."
"This is a unique and beautiful programme"
“What a collection of great music to be recorded!”
“Fabulous to hear this instrument being showcased in this way.”
“Good luck with this fascinating project!”
"Yet another original and ambitious idea for increasing awareness of this wonderful instrument, so that we continue to have a supply of talented players for our orchestras and ensembles, as well as encouraging amateur players to achieve more."
"I hope this very important project encourages more people to both take up bassoon playing, and also for more people to love listening to the bassoon too. As a former bassoonist and someone who loves the bassoon, I thoroughly support this project."

 

How you can help:

Any support of any amount is hugely valuable and appreciated. Here are some options:

  1. £20 Pre-order a CD (which can be signed, if desired) - this includes postage and packing once the CD is released (estimated release date tbc: Autumn 2020)
  2. £50 Your name will be listed on the https://laurenceperkins.com website as having given financial support towards the recording project, unless you prefer to remain anonymous. When released, you will be sent a CD which can be signed, if desired.
  3. £100 Your name will be listed in the CD booklet and on the https://laurenceperkins.com website as having given financial support towards the recording project, unless you prefer to remain anonymous. When released, you will be sent a CD which can be signed, if desired.
  4. £500 I will give a special presentation to a school, music hub or other educational institution, introducing the bassoon and broadening knowledge and understanding of the instrument. You will be credited and thanked as the person who made this session possible, unless you prefer to remain anonymous. Location of this event would be by agreement with you, and where possible arrangements would be made for you to attend the event, if you wish. You will also be listed in the CD booklet and on the https://laurenceperkins.com website as having given financial support towards the recording project, unless you prefer to remain anonymous. When released, you will be sent a CD which can be signed, if desired.
  5. £1000 I will lead a workshop with young players in a school, music hub or other educational institution, offering help and advice on group music-making and team-work. I will also give a special presentation to non-players in the same venue, introducing the bassoon and broadening knowledge and understanding of the instrument. You will be credited and thanked as the person who made this session possible, unless you prefer to remain anonymous. Location of these events would be by agreement with you, and where possible arrangements would be made for you to attend the event, if you wish. You will also be listed in the CD booklet and on the https://laurenceperkins.com website as having given financial support towards the recording project, unless you prefer to remain anonymous. When released, you will be sent a CD which can be signed, if desired.
  6. £2000 or more  I will give a special 45-minute informal solo performance at your home or at a venue of your choice (within the UK only), as part of a social event which you can organise and invite family and friends. I will also lead a workshop with young players in a school, music hub or other educational institution, offering help and advice on group music-making and team-work. I will also give a special presentation to non-players in the same venue, introducing the bassoon and broadening knowledge and understanding of the instrument. You will be credited and thanked as the person who made this session possible, unless you prefer to remain anonymous. Location of these events would be by agreement with you, and where possible arrangements would be made for you to attend the event, if you wish. You will also be listed in the CD booklet and on the https://laurenceperkins.com website as having given financial support towards the recording project, unless you prefer to remain anonymous. When released, you will be sent a CD which can be signed, if desired.

To make a donation, please contact Laurence Perkins directly by clicking HERE