Johnny Reinhard is a man of many hats: a virtuoso bassoonist, composer, teacher, and musical director.
With much acclaim, ‘Dune’ from his ‘Raven’ CD, has become Reinhard's signature piece. Like many fans of Frank Herbert's powerful 'Dune' novels, Reinhard was disappointed with the movie. He thought 'well, I'll take care of that,' and wrote a bassoon solo that does it up just fine. To this day, ‘Dune’ has been well received by bassoon enthusiasts all over the world. Perhaps it will be, as one reviewer put it, the next contemporary music competition piece for bassoon.
Joseph Woodard of the Los Angeles Times comments: "Some of the most memorable moments were in solo settings. Bassoonist Johnny Reinhard's Dune was a show-stopper in which he explored the didjeridu-like overtones and other new techniques on his instrument. He literally took it apart at one point, to play the expressive, witty beast within an often staid instrument."
This album of Reinhard’s own compositions features the cream of New York's progressive downtown instrumentalists playing an extraordinary collection of instruments and arrangements from conch shells to tuba to upright bass to gong. ‘Raven’ features microtonally-composed pieces that follow a programmatic idea, such as ‘Dune’, for solo bassoon (after the Frank Herbert novel), to Atlantis, for five shell players, tuba and chimes (after the lost city).
Alex Ross of The New York Times wrote of ‘Atlantis’: ‘Of course, the point of microtonal music is the music, not the microtonality, and Reinhard makes some interesting musical points in his evocation of mythical antiquity (the shells and chimes) in contrast with modernity.’
Then there is ‘Chaco Canyon’, for solo flute (after a feature of the Navajo homeland). In stark contrast, Raven, the title track, envelops the listener in a gothic setting of Edgar Allen Poe's classic tale ’The Raven’.
International superstars Ulrich Krieger on didjeridu (Berlin) and Yoshiaki Ochi on original percussion (Tokyo) are featured in improvisations with Reinhard on bassoon to complete the album.
As Johnny Reinhard puts it, ‘When you've seen everything that's being done, material that's rarely reviewed or spoken about (let alone taught), then you have a good basis to create your own.’
Produced by Mike Thorne
Running time: 55 minutes.
With 16-page full color booklet
Much more detail at the Stereo Society website (see link at left)