Weber’s Concerto for the Bassoon in F Major

Another important concerto for bassoon is Weber’s concerto in F Major from the classical literature. Although composers’ of this period preferred to use bassoon as an orchestral instrument, Weber composed 2 different pieces for the solo instrument, Concerto and Andante e Rondo.

The concerto was composed in 1811 for Münich court musician Georg Friedrich Brandt. Its instrumentation includes a common “classical period orchestra”: Flutes, oboes, horns, bassoons, trumpets, timpani and strings. It has 3 movements, fast – slow – fast. When we look at the instrumental features, it has not very difficult passages to play but the characteristics of the piece show us exactly the nature of the classical period. Its form depends on the harmonic changes; especially on the tonic-dominant relationship. It is a classical concerto also in formal structure. In all the movements I observe that the concerto’s difficulties lie in the many different playing characters. The first movement, Allegro ma non Troppo, has the time signature 4/4. In the first bassoon theme, Weber wanted to use the instrument as a trumpet because this theme is very energetic and has a ceremonial character. Later, the repetition of the first theme in fact contrasts with this theme: In the repetition, it is more expressive because of the harmonic changes. In the development section the harmonic relationship refers to the degrees I to vi and the theme is powerful – as powerful as in the exposition. At the end of the concerto there is a little coda which is thought of showing the piece’s power and celebration. The second movement is Adagio in 3/8 meter and in subdominant tonality of the home-key: B flat major. Although the tonality is a major key, themes are really dramatic. The third movement is Allegro and in 2/4 mater. It is in rondo form. Weber used joking directions for the solo instrument. Themes are more energetic than in other movements and memorable.

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