CD of the Month: Voyage of a Sea-God

Voyage of a Sea-God | Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins – Bassoon, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Willliam Goodchild – Conductor, Michael Hancock – Piano, Carducci String Quartet

Hyperion CDA68371/2

Laurence Perkins’ new CD, Voyage of a Sea-God (released on 2nd July 2021), is a powerful overview of the 20th century through the eyes of the bassoon.

Laurence’s insightful programme notes track the development of the music through the 1900s and its link to key historical events and the social changes of the time. For example, the influence of films and World War I & II on music at the time is portrayed in Herbert Howells’ Grace for a Fresh Egg, this was written in celebration of a rare egg as part of a wartime meal!

A highlight from the album is Bantock’s Lament and Dance of the Witches from ‘Macbeth’ for three bassoons (a combination not often heard!) which is beautifully atmospheric.

Several of the pieces are world première recordings, including those by Richard Rodney Bennett and David Bedford, which were written specially for Laurence.

Laurence is an orchestral and solo bassoonist with a vast playing and teaching experience. He was principal bassoon of Manchester Camerata from 1974 to 2017 and has tutored at a wide rather of universities and conservatoires including the Universities of York, Manchester and Nottingham, the Royal Northern College of Music.

Laurence’s previous CDs have received accolades including a five-star rating in the BBC Music Magazine, a featured top selection in Building a Library on the BBC Radio 3 Record Review programme and No.4 in the U.K. Specialist Classical Charts.

Throughout the CD Laurence explores the sound world of the bassoon alongside a variety of ensemble set ups. He is joined by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Carducci String Quartet with Susie Mészáros (viola) and Michael Escreet (double bass). Laurence is also accompanied by Michael Hancock (Piano), Eira Lynn Jones (harp) and fellow bassoonists Amy Thompson, Matthew Kitteringham and Catriona McDermid.

Voyage of a Sea-God is available to purchase in our London Showrooms and on our website here.

A full list of pieces included (total run-time 2 hours 24 minutes):

  • Walthew, Richard: Introduction and Allegro for bassoon and piano [1900] (world première recording)
  • Prokofiev: Sergei: Humorous Scherzo for four bassoons [1912]
  • Saint-Saens, Camille: Sonata for bassoon and piano, Op.168 [1921]
  • Bantock, Granville: Lament and Dance of the Witches from ‘Macbeth’, for three bassoons [1926] (world première recording)
  • Bax, Sir Arnold: Threnody and Scherzo for bassoon, string sextet and harp [1936]
  • Hindemith, Paul: Sonata for bassoon and piano [1938]
  • Dutilleux, Henri: Sarabande et Cortège for bassoon and piano [1942]
  • Howells, Herbert: Minuet – Grace for a Fresh Egg for bassoon and piano [1945]
  • Maconchy, Elizabeth: Concertino for bassoon and string orchestra [1952] (world première recording)
  • Ridout, Alan: Caliban and Ariel for solo bassoon [1974] (world première recording)
  • Panufnik, Andrzej: Concerto for bassoon and small orchestra (1985)
  • Bennett, Richard Rodney: Sonata for bassoon and piano [1991] (world première recording)
  • Bedford, David: Dreams of Stac Pollaidh for unaccompanied bassoon [1999] (world première recording)

Hannah Blumsohn, Oboe Specialist – Howarth of London


About Howarth of London

Woodwind Specialists - Howarth are leading suppliers of oboes, bassoons, clarinets, saxophones and flutes. Makers of fine oboes, cors anglais & oboes d'amore.
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