Butler University Faculty Arts Series; Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, Butler University; Sept. 25
I might be going out on a limb here, but I’ll say it anyway: As nice as the bassoon and oboe are, I will always maintain that they are best utilized in an orchestral setting. That said, it’s always interesting to hear those two double-reeded instruments away from where (I feel) their qualities and assets are maximized. This concert featured newer works from the 20th century and some were rather cute, others not so much. Christopher Weait’s A Collection of Folksongs from Quebec was amusing and playful, and Doug Spaniol brought out the humorous qualities of that piece well. He also did well on Brazilian composer Fransisco Mignone’s 16 Waltzes for Solo Bassoon, an interesting composition in which he played three of the movements. I was less thrilled about the oboe and bassoon combinations though, particularly in David Diamond’s Partita, a piece I found vivaciously annoying. As much as people might hail the piece’s contrapuntal activities and contemporary qualities, it didn’t really bring out the best of the bassoon and oboe.