Mozart’s Concerto for the Bassoon in B-flat Major

This concerto is one of the most important compositions from the bassoon literature. In 1774, Baron Thadeus von Dünitz who was a rich amateur bassoon player wanted Mozart to compose a bassoon concerto in Munich. So, Mozart composed 3 different Bassoon concertos in F Major, C Major and Bb Major however two of them were lost. Bb Bassoon Concerto which has found in 1934 is very important in terms of musical character and style.

This concerto is easy to understand because it is very simple and clean composition and has clear classical concerto form structure. But it is very difficult for all of the bassoon players to show articulation and intonation brilliantly. First of all, there is no technical difficulty in terms of modern instruments because bassoon is a very sophisticated instrument, however, if we think about the classical period’s instrument it was very difficult to play this concerto. “In Mozart’s day the bassoon would have been equipped with only four or five keys – today’s instrument boasts eighteen or so. Also over the years the upper range has been extended.” (1997, p.1) The simplest example of this, despite there was no note in classical bassoon “b-flat” in 3rd octave. Mozart used this note in his concerto. Secondly, it seems like very easy to play this concerto, for universally accepted way it requires a very long working. The performer should have a very good education and high musical abilities. So, all of the conservatories want their students to play this concerto when they graduate. And also “nearly all professional bassoonists will perform the piece at some stage in their career, and it is probably the most commonly requested piece in orchestral auditions.” (n.d., p.1)

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