The jazzy vibes of French bassoonist Ludovic Tissus gave life to the world premier of Chuck Holdeman’s composition Quintetto for bassoon and string quartet at the International Double Reed Society in Birmingham, England on July 23.
Tissus, bassoonist for the Paris Opera, plays the French system bassoon, which Holdeman had in mind when he wrote the piece.
Quintetto starts with a largo which dissolves into a fast-moving leitmotiv. The second movement is a haunting, lyrical chanson. The third movement is a theme and variations with a wild fugal coda.
The exchange of voices in the coda is quite tricky, but Tissus and the very youthful Boult Quartet dove in with gusto.
Holdeman has a new commission which will premiere at the Gold Ballroom of the Hotel DuPont as part of the Delaware Symphony chamber music series on October 27.
Two other pieces by composers from our region played at the International Double Reed Society convention were Andrea Clearfield’s Three Songs for oboe and double bass after poems by Pablo Neruda and Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Oboe.