Peter Whelan - The Proud Bassoon - The Irish Times
It was Johann Mattheson who referred to "the proud bassoon" as long ago as 1713. The baroque bassoon is a kind of dancing bear, one gifted with the stamina and skill to achieve Riverdance-like energy levels, but also with a penchant for melancholy and mournfulness. Peter Whelan offers bassoon sonatas by Fasch and Telemann, which are among the first of their kind; two 1734 sonatas by Boismortier (who, five years earlier, wrote the first bassoon concerto); and duos with cello from Couperin's Les goûts-réunis. The CD is topped and tailed by a delightful Rameau arrangement and a set of variations on Eileen Aroon by Dublin-based Matthew Dubourg. The instrument may sing with hoarse tone and strain, but this seems hardly a sacrifice when so much here is a real musical joyride.