The Art of the Bassoon


Robert Thompson
Various Orchestras

HTGCD402 – 5060332661336
4 CDs

Robert Thompson has been at the forefront of solo bassoon playing for almost 50 years. Gathered here, in a 4 CD set, are recordings of concerto and chamber works which mark important stages in the development of the bassoon. Familiar repertoire by Vivaldi and Mozart is coupled with more esoteric compositions by Jacob, Downey and Jurriaan Andriessen. The Bax Threnody and Scherzo receives its first recording with full string accompaniment.

This 4 CD set supplements Thompson’s recent highly- praised performance of Panufnik’s Bassoon Concerto, also on Heritage (HTGCD 266), while making a significant addition to the recorded catalogue of major works written for this often underrated instrument.

The recordings appear by kind permission of Chandos and CRD.


CD 1 44’


Concerto in B Flat Major, RV 504; Concerto in A Minor, RV 498; Concerto in C Major, RV 472; Concerto in C Minor, RV 480

London Mozart Players; Harpsichord/director: Philip Ledger


CD 2 68’


Three Quartets for Bassoon and Strings, Op. 40

Members of the Coull String Quartet (Violin: Roger Coull; Viola: David Curtis; Cello: John Todd)


CD 3 46’

GORDON JACOB (1895-1984)

Concerto for Bassoon and Strings (with optional percussion)

JOHN DOWNEY (1927-2004)

The Edge of Space: Fantasy for Bassoon and Orchestra     


Concertino for Bassoon and Wind Ensemble

Wind Players of the English Chamber Orchestra; Geoffrey Simon


CD 4 57’

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953)

Threnody and Scherzo for Bassoon, Harp and Strings   

Strings of the London Symphony Orchestra; David Amos

JOHN DOWNEY (1927-2004)

Quintet for Bassoon and Strings*

Fine Arts Quartet

(Violins: Ralph Evans and Efim Boico; Viola: Yuri Gandelsman; Cello: Wolfgang Laufer)


Bassoon Concerto in B Flat Major, K. 191*

Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra; Steve Colburn



  1. admin

    ‘as a testament to Thompson’s art the set is a fine document.’
    Musical Opinion, November 2015

  2. admin

    ‘What a bargain! I will be recommending this CD to all my students and colleagues. There is plenty here for all bassoonists and music lovers. ’
    Miles Nipper, Double Reed News, November 2015

  3. admin

    ‘A set of records… that will prove positively inspirational. Robert Thompson’s artistry is rare indeed… one cannot imagine a finer set of discs to demonstrate the unique qualities of this extraordinarily expressive instrument… A truly important release, very strongly recommended.’
    Jonathan Palmer, Musical Opinion, October 2015

  4. admin

    ‘This is a thoughtful and well-produced set of CDs that showcases Robert Thompson in a wide range of musical styles. The sound is consistently good and the majority of the performances are well presented’
    John Whitmore, MusicWeb, October 2015

  5. admin

    ‘People often nod sagely, and say of the bassoon “Wonderful instrument. No solo repertoire at all though; pity.” Well, if needed, here is concrete proof not only that such repertoire does exist, but that the bassoon is only rivalled by the flute amongst wind instruments in terms of the historic breadth of its music, from mid-Baroque through to the present day. Robert Thompson’s ambitious 4 CD set does indeed range from Vivaldi concertos of the 1720s to John Downey’s quintet of 2002.’
    Gwyn Parry-Jones, MusicWeb International, September 2015

  6. admin

    ‘One of the most significant collections of fine music written for the bassoon. Robert Thompson’s artistry is rare indeed and when one consider5s the consistent quality of the music-making on these very well recorded CDs, one fully comprehends the fascination for and the musicianship it has brought forth the from this wholly exceptional musician. This set of CDs has a musical importance which goes far beyond any detailed specialist appeal, and one cannot imagine a finer set of discs to demonstrate the unique qualities of this extraordinarily expressive instrument than this eminently well presented and packaged issue.’
    Musical Opinion, July 2015

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