In 2001, Michael Burns wrote an article entitled, “Music Written for Bassoon by Bassoonists.” [Double Reed, vol. 24 no. 2] He identifies a number of accomplished bassoonists who were also composers—some writing music (etudes and solos) for their students, others composing concert music and chamber music. We are familiar with, for example, Julius Weissenborn (1837-1888), who was bassoon professor at the Leipzig Conservatory and prolific composer of etudes, short character pieces for bassoon and piano, and a delightful bassoon trio.
Two more recent bassoonist/composers who have made their music available on the web (either free or at very low cost) are Ray Pizzi and Robert Rønnes. Mr. Pizzi is an amazing jazz musician and spectacular bassoonist who has worked in Hollywood for many years. He was a student of Simon Kovar. Robert Rønnes is an acclaimed bassoonist who is principal bassoonist with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and teaches at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, Norway.
Who can resist Pizzi’s solo bassoon piece, Ode to a Toad, or Rønnes’ Dragon’s Teeth for bassoon and timpani?