Orchestral excerpts: web resources

Here are two comprehensive bassoon orchestral excerpts websites:

http://orchestraexcerpts.com/bassoon/

http://www.orchestralbassoon.com

Both websites provide the excerpts with recordings, but The Orchestral Bassoon by Brett Van Gansbeke is more comprehensive including scores, program notes and pedagogical commentary. We are looking forward to publication of the print version of the content of Van Gansbeke’s The Orchestral Bassoon website this year!

Before the web existed, bassoon students used print excerpts published in anthologies like Il fagotto in orchestra: anthology of important solos and passages for bassoon, extracted from the opera and symphony literature by Fernando Righini and Difficult passages and solos for bassoon by Ciro Stadio. The Righini and Stadio books conveniently include most of the leading excerpts, though Righini is out of print.

My teachers marked the tables of contents of my excerpt books to indicate which excerpts were the most important. Van Gansbeke lists twenty “Main Excerpts,” and particularly helpful are the University of Michigan bassoon studio lists of excerpts including “Top Ten Bassoon Excerpts” based on survey/analysis of audition lists.

Beyond the comprehensive Righini and Stadio books, there are smaller focused collections of excerpts by Strauss, Wagner, and 20th-century music.

Studying excerpts in context is very useful. The Orchestra Musician’s CD-ROM Library includes parts and scores for many important works and many full parts are readily available on the Petrucci Music Library (IMSLP) website.

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