I was a teenager when I heard this piece for the first time. I was at a party with musician friends – students like me – and someone put on a recording of the work. I was blown away.
So many things are brilliant in this work but my two favourite moments are the Berceuse, with its languorous, spellbinding bassoon solo (surprise!) and its fantastic Finale, which begins with a soft horn solo and ends in a dizzying whirlwind.
One of the recordings I found on YouTube is of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under conductor Peter Oundjian. The Berceuse starts at 14 minutes 41 seconds and the Finale at around the 18-minute mark.
A graduate of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and the Hochschule für Musik in Munich (Germany), Michel Bettez began working professionally at the Nuremberg Opera. He has been principal bassoon of the Orchestre Métropolitain since 1984 and has held the same position with the Orchestre symphonique de Laval since 1990. A founding member (1989) of the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, he was also a member of the Pentaèdre Ensemble for 10 years.
Michel Bettez taught bassoon at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal from 1993 to 2004. He currently teaches at the Université de Montréal. For the ATMA Classique label, he has recorded a solo CD titled Le Basson Romantique, which garnered excellent reviews. Michel Bettez has taken part in several tours with various ensembles in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Europe, Asia and Australia.
The Listening Zone is an initiative of the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM) in partnership with the Orchestre Métropolitain. Avanafil (Stendra) online
It reflects the OM’s desire to make symphonic music more accessible to all. By joining forces with partners like the Commission scolaire de Montréal, the OM provides young people with opportunities to experience music through its The OM for Schools program.