Thank you so much for supporting the 'Voyage of a Sea-god' project for Hyperion. More than ever before, new recordings of classical music need to be innovative, imaginatively presented, and - alongside some wonderful old favourites - including exciting new repertoire that has not previously been recorded. In the present financial climate, such ground-breaking recordings can only happen with considerable financial support, and your contribution towards this project has helped to made the 'Sea-god' voyage possible.
I am really grateful to you for your support, and I look forward to sharing an amazing selection of fine music with you on this musical journey. The production for such a big recording project is a long and complex process, and the scheduled release date for 'Voyage of a Sea-god' is now March 2021. It's a long way off, I know, but this does coincide very well with plans I have for a series of solo concerts around the U.K. in Spring 2021. I know that Hyperion's marketing, press and media coverage is excellent, so it's worth the wait in the knowledge that it will get out to the widest possible audience. This helps to fulfil one of my main aims in this project - to help the bassoon to be better known and appreciated, and to give some of its fine solo repertoire a better profile.
As a 'thank you' for your support, and as a seasonal offering, below are a selection of my recent recordings - all complete performances, which you can stream and enjoy directly from this webpage (which is exclusively for people who have contributed to the project). I have also included a few photos from the concerto recording sessions with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in September.
Wishing you a very happy Christmas and all good things for the new year!
A musical offering - six tracks for you to sit back, relax, click the 'play' arrows and enjoy!
- Something's Coming
Recorded in 2018, the year of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, these performances of some of his best-known songs have a special direct link with the composer. Whilst leading a 5-day bassoon course for the British Double Reed Society in April 2018, I discovered that the Baldwin grand piano at the course venue - Park Place in Wickham, Hampshire - once belonged to Leonard Bernstein. He brought it over from USA in the 1960s whilst doing some work in the UK. Pianist Yoshiko Endo very kindly agreed to join me in making this recording, and we discovered - perhaps unsurprisingly - that the piano's warm but clear sound is perfectly suited to this music. It's just possible that some of 'West Side Story' was written using this piano - we will probably never know...
[Version for bassoon and piano by David J Elliot, published by Boosey and Hawkes, recorded here with the permission of the publishers]
This recording features two Arias for solo bassoon by the 18th century French composer Michel Corrette, which I recorded outdoors in beautiful night-time and morning woodland settings in the south of France in August 2017. The first Aria has a reflective, slightly melancholy character - the night-time 'soundscape' includes the evocative call of owls. At the end of this Aria, we move gently into a morning setting with birdsong and a church bell, which leads us into the second Aria with its cheerful up-beat character welcoming a new day.
As well as being a tango in the style of the great Argentinian master of tango, Astor Piazzolla, Chacontango is also based on the ‘chaconne’ - a theme-and-variations form with a repeating bass line which was popular in the 18th century baroque period (hence the ’chacon’ part of the name ‘Chacontango’). The piece is my own original composition, and I perform all the parts on this multitrack recording. I also perform it live (playing to the accompanying tracks) as part of my Bassoon Voyager concert - a one-hour multimedia performance alongside a continuous video, exploring beautiful places and images with natural soundscapes.
Photographs from the concerto recording sessions with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, at the CBSO Centre, 3rd and 4th September 2019.
Photography by Clare Glenister