>> “Rough, rugged, in your face bassoon playing” might seem humorous to the uninitiated in regards to the facility and sonic capacity of the bassoon but this disc is one of only a few discs that left me totally entranced by the sounds of a solo monophonic instrument. Though frequently augmented with electronics, Katherine Young’s solo bassoon music does more than rock. It f-king kicks ass. And takes names.
Young’s music is well in tune with the extended sets of sounds and colors available on the instrument. Her performances are powerful and compelling. Most of the works are edgy, dissonant, rich with multiphonics and thick fat eruptions of sound. There are also tracks which feature more expressive, engaging, and haunting performances.
If you thought Stravinsky’s high bassoon writing was “otherworldly,” then you have to hear this. Most of the disc works as a cycle since the heartbeat that emerges towards the end of the first track becomes the foundational support that carries everything through the track “Relief.”
“Some People Say That She Doesn’t Exist” is a break from the aggressive and tense. This multiple bassoon piece is a sullen, tender, tonal, and introspective work. The final track is an echo to the rich timbres of the more aggressive music but in a more muted and meditative manner. “Orbis Tertius” is the perfect end for this disc.
Throughout the CD, whether hard or soft, edgy or tender, Young’s tone is rich and resonant with overtones every bit as interesting as the fundamentals. If you want to hear an orchestra of sound from a single bassoon, this is not a disc to miss. <<