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Peter Whelan

Peter Whelan

Peter Whelan is one of Europe's leading exponents of historical and modern bassoon.



Edinburgh 1742: Barsanti & Handel
Edinburgh 1742: Barsanti & Handel
A diverse programme of concerti, wind music and Scottish songs by composers Barsanti and Handel. 

CKD 567  

Super Audio Collection Vol. 10
Super Audio Collection Vol. 10
Having reached its 10 year milestone Linn's Super Audio Collection series remains as popular as ever 

AKP 564  

Handel: Apollo e Dafne
Handel: Apollo e Dafne
Peter Whelan directs Ensemble Marsyas' first foray into vocal music. 

CKD 543  

Concerti Bizarri
Concerti Bizarri
IBO soloists reveal little known jewels of 18th century concerto repertoire. 

CKD 526  

Telemann: Recorder Sonatas and Fantasias
Telemann: Recorder Sonatas and Fantasias
Pamela Thorby completes her discography of eighteenth century favourites with Telemann. 

CKD 476  

Mozart: Sonata for bassoon and fortepiano
Mozart: Sonata for bassoon and fortepiano
Bassoonist Peter Whelan plays one of only two surviving works Mozart wrote for the instrument. 

CKD 546  

Mozart: Divertimenti
Mozart: Divertimenti
This recording captures the wealth of detail in Mozart's Divertimenti. 

CKD 479  

Super Audio Collection Vol. 7
Super Audio Collection Vol. 7
The seventh volume in the perpetually popular Linn Collection series. 

AKP 459  

Fasch: Quartets and Concertos
Fasch: Quartets and Concertos
Fasch's finest chamber music is full of catchy tunes and contrapuntal ingenuity in equal measure. 

CKD 467  

The Proud Bassoon
The Proud Bassoon
The very best of the virtuoso solo music composed for the galant French styled baroque bassoon. 

CKD 435  

Weber: Wind Concertos
Weber: Wind Concertos
The SCO section principals dazzle in Weber's virtuosic and thrilling concertos. 

BKD 409  

Zelenka: Sonatas
Zelenka: Sonatas
Some of the most spectacularly challenging music ever written for wind instruments. 

CKD 415  

Peter Whelan - bassoon

Irish-born Peter Whelan is a versatile musician, with a diverse repertoire spanning over 400 years. He is the founder and artistic director of Ensemble Marsyas. Directing from the harpsichord, he has led this ensemble in performances at the Wigmore Hall, Dublin Castle, and at the Lammermuir and Great Music in Irish Houses Festivals.

Equally at home on historical and modern instruments, Whelan holds the position of principal bassoon in both the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. As a concerto soloist, he has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious venues, including the Musikverein (Vienna), the Lincoln Centre (New York), and the Wigmore Hall (London).

As a chamber musician, Whelan has collaborated with the Belcea Quartet, François Leleux, Robert Levin, Kris Bezuidenhout, Anthony Marwood, and Monica Huggett, and he appears with Tori Amos on her album Night of Hunters (Deutsche Grammophon).

Whelan is committed to the development of the next generation of performing musicians, and is professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, at the Royal Northern College of Music, and at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire.


For further information - www.peterwhelan.co.uk
Ensemble Marsyas Chart With 'Edinburgh 1742'
11 August 2017
#2 in the UK Specialist Classical Chart
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BBC 'Choice' For Two Linn Recordings
07 July 2016
Critics Praise IBO and Scottish Opera
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SCO's Mozart enters the UK Specialist Chart
23 February 2015
Divertimenti recording is #11
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Chamber 'Choice' Accolade For Ensemble Marsyas
01 October 2014
Five Star Fasch
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Kate Molleson interviews bassoonist Peter Whelan for the Herald
10 April 2014
There's nothing funny about the bassoon, just pride and joy
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Ensemble Marsyas Launch Concert
03 September 2012
New group makes Lammermuir Festival debut
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MDR Kultur
CD of the Week: '…due to the freshness, originality and natural virtuosity of the performances …the album is therefore an unconditional recommendation.'
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Pizzicato
5 Stars
'Ensemble Marsyas plays with an infectious joy of music making...The refinement and the elegance are equally impressive.'
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BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'...played with tremendous zest and character...a vibrant recording...'
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Europadisc
'Engaging, entertaining, sensitive and remarkably assured, it will appeal to all lovers of Baroque music. Altogether a triumphant disc.'
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The Guardian
4 Stars
'...it’s a rich insight, played with great style and charisma.'
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The Irish Times
5 Stars
'Baroque music gem: The performances by Ensemble Marsyas...are consistently bracing.'
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ouverture - Das Klassik-Blog
'...this CD is warmly recommended.'
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musica Dei donum
'...you can hardly go wrong with this performance...Handel aficionados certainly won’t hesitate to add this disc to their collection.'
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Das Klassik-Blog
'...einem wunderbar transparenten Klang. Unbedingt anhören!'
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Opera News
'This performance’s two singers exhibit excellent stylistic instincts and an admirable musical rapport.'
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American Record Guide
'I especially like the sunny, smiley sound of the two period oboes.'
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High Res Mac
''Denn die Aufnahme ist wunderbar und präsentiert die Kompositionen mit sensibler Emotionalität und feinem Spiel...Die Interpretation der insgesamt 24 Stücke ist äußerst feinfühlig und klanglich mehr als überzeugend. Dazu ist die Einspielung sensibel und musikalisch abgemischt - ein Glücksfall für Fans des Barock. Und eine lohnende Entdeckung für alle anderen.''
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Toccata
„Die Solisten sind Mitglieder des Orchesters und bringen exzellente Interpretationen.'' / 'The soloists are members of the orchestra and perform excellent interpretations.'
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Hannoveraner Tageblatt
„Die von der Solooboe begleitete Arie „Felicissima quest' alma" (Track 13) ist ein echter Ohrwurm, den man immer wieder hören möchte." / 'The aria 'Felicissima quest 'alma', accompanied by the solo oboe, is a real earworm that you want to hear again and again'.
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BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
'It oozes the sort of vibrant woodwind writing that is meat and drink to bassoonist Peter Whelan's crack band...Peter Whelan directs with a stylish verve...'


ConcertoNet
« Tous les musiciens sont excellents (basson virtuose dans le premier concerto de Graupner) et, sous la houlette de Monica Huggett, prennent un vrai plaisir à interpréter ces concertos dont la fraîcheur n’éclipse en rien la profondeur de certaines mélodies. Un disque excellent, à mettre entre toutes les oreilles! »
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Andrew Benson-Wilson
'An impressive recording...their playing in consort and solo is outstanding.'
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Ouverture Das Klassik-Blog
'Whelan plays phenomenally...and in doing so he also shows what great sound colors it has to offer...'
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MusicWeb International
'I find Mhairi Lawson ideal as Dafne...Ensemble Marsyas are precise and sensitive and tempi appear ideally judged. The Edinburgh church in North Leith which is a beautiful classical structure, ideal for this repertoire, adds a lovely resonance especially to the instrumental work.'
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Fono Forum
„Technisch ist beim Irish Baroque Orchestra alles in bester Ordnung.“ / 'Technically, the Irish Baroque Orchestra has everything in perfect order.'
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Gramophone
'...a recording worth buying for the colour and quality of the orchestral playing.'
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Forbes
CD of the Week: '...absolutely jumps out of the speakers for the vitality of the performances and the audiophile sound.'
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The Scotsman
'Peter Whelan an urgent, compelling director in front of his own period-instrument band...with instrumentalists dancing and swaying along to Whelan's bracing rhythms.'
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Early Music Review
5 Stars
'Mhairi Lawson, as Dafne, and Callum Thorpe, as Apollo, are in complete command of all this glorious music, and bring it to life with enormous dramatic energy, ably partnered by Ensemble Marsyas’s superb playing...'
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The Guardian
4 Stars
'...it's the instrumental playing that stands out: pert, shapely, spicy, full of drama.'
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Crescendo
« La vaste inspiration haendelienne souffle à chaque instant. »


Classical CD Choice
'... it's hard to imagine a more committed and sympathetic reading of the work than the one presented here.'
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American Record Guide
'...an extremely fine program...filled with a wide variety of coloristic explorations and combinations typical of the time'
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Gramophone
'Monica Huggett has allotted the solo opportunities across her brilliantly varied seven-concerto-strong Concerti Bizarri programme to the existing musicians of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and the subsequent performances are unfailingly superlative.'
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BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
Concerto Choice: 'A feast of Baroque viruosity: Monica Huggett directs 'deliciously alert' performances.'
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MusicWeb International
'All of [the players] deliver wonderful performances. I should probably mention Peter Whelan because his solo part in Graupner's concerto is very virtuosic and he delivers an impressive performance.'
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MDR Kultur
„Das irische Ensemble agiert mit eminenter Verve, transparent und schlank geführtem Ton. Hohe Beweglichkeit korrespondiert mit "historisch-informierter" Spielweise. Geradlinigkeit und Präzision haben Priorität vor exzentrischer Volte.“
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NDR
CD of the Week / CD der Woche: „Die Musiker des Irish Baroque Orchestra kosten die Feinheiten der Kompositionen mit Wonne aus.“
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Early Music Review
5 Stars
'The music is always ear-catching and the captivating performances (and the bright recording) abound with verve and energy...'
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BBC Radio 3 ‘Record Review’
'…the curious and rather delightful Triple Concerto from Christoph Graupner…spirited music making in a recording that brings us close to the chamber music, but never stifles the sound.'
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Irish Times
5 Stars
'luscious colours and deep sonorities'
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Pizzicato
5 Stars
„Es ist diese Verbindung von Drive und Feinfühligkeit, die dieses brillante Programm so besonders macht.“
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The Guardian
'Monica Huggett makes the point that 18th-century soloists were often just virtuoso ensemble principals taking their turn front-of-stage. And that's what happens on this fine album from the Irish Baroque Orchestra...the playing is lovely, with great poise from Huggett and standout charismatic bassoon playing from Peter Whelan...'
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Music for Several Instruments Blog
'This is amazing music...The IBO soloists and players are all superb, providing the best possible advocacy for this unfamiliar music.'
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Hi-Fi News
Album Choice: '...it's the rondo finale which you'll enjoy most as it bubbles happily along.'
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Toccata
'The interpretation of the fantasies is one of the best on the market at the moment.'
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American Record Guide
'The performances are excellent overall – tastefully phrased and lightly ornamented to bring out the genius of Telemann's writing.'
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Early Music Review
5 Stars
'Pamela Thorby's playing is by turns expressive and breathtaking...Highly recommended.'
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Gramophone
'...sheer interpretative intelligence and authority.'
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Schalltrichter
'...their interpretation often provokes energy that is unrivalled in its naturalness.'
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Audio Video Club of Atlanta
'Pamela Thorby has never been in better form than she is here.'
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The Guardian
4 Stars
'a light touch and conversational spark...her solo Fantasias are breathtaking'
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Fanfare
'The Scottish Chamber Orchestra Wind Soloists' performances of these works are superb in every way.'
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American Record Review
'The concert is well played, full of the elegance, wit, and zest that conjures the mystique of a bygone era. Fingers are easy and effortless, articulated passages sparkle, and teamwork is generally excellent.'
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Limelight
5 Stars
Editor’s Choice: 'Classical charm and grace...it's the fine performances that make this recording stand out.'
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Early Music Today
5 Stars
'Bassoonist Peter Whelan is outstanding, although the whole group plays with uncanny rapport, turning Fasch's smart blends of instrumental timbres, baroque and galant styles, elegant Largos and frisky, virtuosic Allegros, into a stream of unalloyed listening pleasure.'
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The Guardian
4 Stars
'These performances pick up on every morsel of wit and ingenuity in the wind writing, and never forget that the purpose of this music was to entertain.'
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Early Music Review
'...an overwhelmingly joyful listening experience...'
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The Guardian
'...the real star is Peter Whelan's bassoon, burbling through its vast range with dancing precision, underpinning the quartets and shining in a C major concerto...'
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BBC Radio 3 'CD Review'
'delightful wind chamber music'
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Irish Times
5 Stars
'...you can expect to be delighted by the distinctive colours as well as the often gutsy brio of the playing.'
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Positive Feedback Online
'The realism and dimensionality with this fine Linn release should not be missed.'
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Gramophone
'It's a triumph...they each show the juxtaposition between ardent singing qualities and flexible brilliance in Whelan's playing...'
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The Arts Desk
'You'll marvel at Whelan's supernatural ability...An enchanting collection - accompanied with deft brilliance, and nicely recorded too.'
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BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
'A variety of frivolités round off a splendid recital.'
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Crescendo
'Es enthält so überwältigend schöne Musik, dass man gar nicht anders kann, als sich auf den ersten Blick zu verlieben.'
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Early Music Review
‘Peter Whelan’s playing is always a delight to hear – full of life, interest and variety, and clearly demonstrates why the bassoon has every right to be proud!’
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Kulture Radio
5 Stars
A glowing review in German: 'rundum hörenswert'
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ClassicFM
'Choice for the Very Curious': 'The bassoon is the clown of the orchestra, but it wasn't always so. And this album goes some way to change this.'


SA-CD.net
5 Stars
'Whelan's performances of these varied pieces are a delight, and in every way he meets the challenges presented by them. The spicy tone of his instrument is invigorating and well captured by the recording.'
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BBC Radio 3 'In Tune'
'Delightful. You’ve made the case for the renaissance of the bassoon.'


BBC Radio 3 'CD Review'
‘What a satisfying, pungent sound.’
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The Irish Times
5 Stars
'Peter Whelan offers bassoon sonatas by Fasch and Telemann, which are among the first of their kind...'
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Daily Telegraph
'The brilliant playing of Ensemble Marsyas is fully equal to Zelenka's virtuoso demands, and the music's vivacity is matched by its elegance.'
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Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist
'Strongly recommended to all early music collections.'
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PSTracks
'If you think you know Baroque music, you're in for a series of pleasant shocks...It's the recording I have played and replayed the most this month.'
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International Record Review
'They bring bags of bite and energy to the unison theme of the opening ritornello movement...'
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Double Reed News
Zelenka in Scotland
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The Herald
'Why there's an air of genius in the wind'
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ClassicFM
'It's a lively listen, guaranteed to brighten up any afternoon and put a smile on your face.'
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The Observer
'lively'
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SA-CD.net
5 Stars
'A wonderful disc'
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