French Music for bassoon


1995 Digital Recording
1. Gabriel Pierne Solo de Concert Op.35
2. Saint-Saens Sonate Op.168  
3. Noel Gallon Recit et allegro  
4. Henri Dutilleux Sarabande et Cortege  
5. Maurice Allard Variations sur un theme de Paganini
6. Pierre Gabaye Sonatine pour Flute et Basson  
7. Andre Jolivet Pastorales de Noel  
Masahito Tanaka bassoon
Kazue Kojima pianoforte
Shigeko Tojo flute
Erika Inoue harp
Press Quotes
Two new masters of the German system bassoon, Dag Jensen, and now Masahito Tanaka have come out with recordings of some of the "classical" bassoon pieces of the French literature. And in both cases they are solid winners! Here Tanaka plays standards like the Saint- Saens Sonate, op. 168; the Noel- Gallon Recit et Allegro; and the Dutilleux Sarabande et Cortege. But to this he adds the less often played and technically very challenging Variations sur un theme de Paginini (24th Caprice) pour Basson seul by the great French bassoonist Maurice Allard (b. 1923), as well as the Sonatine pour Flute et Basson (1962) by Pierre Gabaye (b. 1930), and the lovely Pastorales de Noel (1943) for flute, bassoon and harp by Andre Jolivet (1905- 1974).

It is absolutely criminal how easy Tanaka, with his incredible technique, makes the chromatic run up to the high e2 (diminuendo!) sound! Similarly the way he knocks out the very difficult passages in the Paganini/ Allard is positively spellbinding (not to mention the high f2 in the Dutilleux!) I have always admired him in the past for his technique and control. But with this CD you can add beauty of tone and style as well. This is a wonderful recording all around. I was really taken with the beauty of his performance of the Noel- Gallon - warm, luscious, completely delicate and controlled. The recording technique is also first- rate. The entire CD has excellent balance between bassoon and piano, and a definite "concert" presence to the sound. Tanaka, who has been principal bassoon of the Royal Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo, since 1996, may not be that well known in the West. If you are unfamiliar with his artistry, this will be a perfect first album for you to thoroughly enjoy. He is truly one of the bassoon masters of our era!
(The Double ReedVOL. 20, NO. 2, 1997) U.S.A
Classical Reviews - March 2002 MusicWeb(UK)