Johnterryl Plumeri | Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra

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Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra

by Johnterryl Plumeri

“Plumeri’s Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra is a wonderful lyrical addition to our bassoon repertoire, and Ken Pasmanick gives us a superior interpretation of it here.” - Double Reed Review
Genre: Classical: Orchestral
Release Date: 

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1. Symphony No. 6 Pathetique Adagio Adante Johnterryl Plumeri
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19:49 album only
2. Allegro con Grazia Johnterryl Plumeri
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8:32 album only
3. Allegro molto vivace Johnterryl Plumeri
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9:09 album only
4. Finale adagio lamentoso - Andante Johnterryl Plumeri
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9:28 album only
5. Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra Kenneth Pasmanick
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19:32 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Tchaikovsky / Johnterryl Plumeri / Moscow Philharmonic: TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6, "Pathetique"; PLUMERI Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, with Kenneth Pasmanick, bassoon; Johnterryl Plumeri conductor; GMMC 735-2 (66:36)

Bassoon concertos are hardly a dime-a-dozen, and this one is a beauty!

Instead of adopting the conventional view of the instrument as an awkward, clownish character, the American composer Johnterryl Plumeri whose two lovely programmatic orchestral works, Pride of Baltimore and Windflower have appeared on an earlier GMMC release, has chosen to give the bassoon it's full due as an expressive musical protagonist. In his three-part but single-movement 20 minute fantasia, the element of narrative flow and lyricism very conspicuous in the previous works predominates here as well. With opening and closing Adagios bracketing a more eventful Allegro moderato, this forthrightly fashioned work gets tremendous mileage out of an ominously haunting main theme and it's germinally hypnotic accompanying figure both characterized by a note of nostalgic anxiety. These two cognate ideas gradually merge and modulate into a dramatic confrontation before quickly metamorphosing into an epiphanic apotheosis full of regretful acceptance. The emotional curve of this music has a kind of dramatic inevitability that just carries the listener along without questioning and leaves him fully gratified, very much like the best of Tchaikovsky's efforts. This is the kind of bassoon concerto one had hoped John Williams would have given us in place of the arid and episodic New Age dabblings of his Five Sacred Trees available on Sony.

The pairing of an unknown new work with such a hoary chestnut as the Tchaikovsky "Pathetique" may seem somewhat perverse, but aside from the fact that a memorable scene-setting bassoon solo opens this staple of the repertoire, Plumeri approaches the piece as if it were just as newly minted as his own work. And for those of us who have taken the work for granted and not even actually "listened" to it for many years, this carefully paced and lucidly executed rendering is aurally revelatory. Rather than exaggerate or wallow in the score's pitfalls for potential excess, Plumeri just lets the music simply unveil itself without any forcing, with particular attention to details of woodwind figuration. And since this orchestra can no doubt perform the piece in their collective sleep, they deliver a truly effortless and naturally breathing reading that is genuinely affecting.

Though this listener still harbors doubts as to whether this is truly a symphony, such as the Fourth and Fifth, rather that a sublimely manipulative stringing together of four well- contrasted, self-sufficient fragments, Plumeri proves himself a skillful and self-effacing conductor, whose bassoon concerto holds its own in this company because both composers view their technical command as adjuncts to the communication of feeling and not as an end in itself.

The acoustic ambiance has great depth and clarity and remains far superior to that offered by this orchestra on other labels. A surprisingly lovely disc!


Paul A. Snook
Fanfare Magazine


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Reviews


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Double Reed Review - Ronald Klimko

Plumeri has a wonderful gift for lyricism!
Plumeri has a wonderful gift for lyricism, and this work has a considerable amount of it. The opening solo by the bassoon is a particularly lovely theme. This Concerto is a wonderful vehicle for showing the singing, gentle qualities of the bassoon, especially in the high register. It is also a pleasure to have another beautiful recording featuring the gorgeous playing of Ken Pasmanick.

Eric Swanson

Two remarkable gifts
It takes one to know one. As one of our age's most significant composers, Mr. Plumeri is well suited to let Tchaikovsky's beauty shine. This performance has quickly become the Sixth Symphony's benchmark recording.

Some other interpretations miss the point that this disc proves clearly; Tchaikovsky's work does not need interpretive tinkering or overblown dramatics. It needs the kind of deep musical understanding that a fellow composer can best provide; real wealth, beauty, and power already lies in the music's ideas, architecture, and orchestration.

Mr. Plumeri brings out some of the more subtle, often overlooked elements, allowing the piece to speak its deeper truth. A brilliant order and organization reveals itself. New understanding supports and informs the surface beauty.

Unlike conductors who present us with their performances, Johnterryl Plumeri draws us into the music's midst, sharing it with us. This disc feels as if, somehow, the music is just happening, with the listener in the center of it. The result is inexpressibly powerful.

Mr. Plumeri's Concerto for Bassoon is another stunning accomplishment. This timeless composition complements the Tchaikovsky fittingly with its own elegant organization and power. It stands next to it as a worthy match; magical, well-made, and unique.

This composer's writing is so deep, so vocal, and piercing. He lets space do its work. He takes us from musical room to musical room; we are always going somewhere, with each new place more compelling than the last.

His compositions seemingly synthesize the music that has preceded them. In addition, they are achingly beautiful offerings from one of our world's great musical minds. This concerto is powerful, accessible, fascinating, and timeless, in the best sense of these words.

With Johnterryl Plumeri, composer or conductor, it is as if the music comes to us, from some seemingly divine source, without intermediary. This work stands as one of the highest examples of beauty and clarity; the fruits of a lifetime of study, discipline, and creativity, developed in one of our age's great talents.

Fanfare Magazine - Paul Snook

Bassoon concertos are hardly a dime-a-dozen, and this one is a beauty!
Bassoon concertos are hardly a dime-a-dozen, and this one is a beauty!
The emotional curve of this music has a kind of dramatic inevitability that just carries the listener along without questioning and leaves him fully gratified, very much like the best of Tchaikovsky's efforts.