Recordings, Books etc.

This is just a short list of a few personal recommendations. It is highly subjective and far from extensive.


Gwydion Brooke: Weber Bassoon Concerto on the Testament label – go to their website and search for Gwydion Brooke. Gwyd as he was known was my teacher. He recorded this in 1950 and it is still regarded as the yardstick against which other recordings are measured.

Dag Jensen the Norwegian virtuoso has issued a CD of his brilliant arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition for bassoon ensemble, played by himself and the Quadriga Bassoon Ensemble. Go to his website to order it. The CD also includes other arrangements. The playing is awesome and makes you either want to sit down and practice solidly for weeks and weeks or give up altogether.

Karen Geoghegan was a finalist in the BBC Classical Star programme in 2007 when she was 19. Her CD with the Hummel Concerto etc. was, I think her first recording soon after that. It can be bought through the Chandos label. Just go to the Chandos website and search for Karen Geoghegan. Her playing is an example to all teenage bassoonists.

Laurence Perkins ‘The Playful Pachyderm’ (Hyperion CDA67453) ( I would recommend this to anyone who wants to encourage a young person to take up the bassoon.


‘A Bundle of joy’
This delightful book by Dutch bassoonist and repairer Marten Vonk is packed full of interesting and useful information about the bassoon. It is particularly good on maintenance and also the history of various different bassoon makers.

‘The Inner Game Of Tennis’
Although this famous book (ISBN: 0-330-29513-6) by W. Timothy Gallwey is not primarily about music, it should be required reading for any aspiring performer. It deals with the problem of how the harder you conciously think about doing something demanding, the more your actions become inhibited. It should help performers whose technique lets them down in stressful situations.

‘The Practice Revolution’
This book by Philip Johnston ( is full of suggestions on how to get out of the habit of just playing things through over and over again when you practice. All music colleges should have a copy in their library.

‘The Bassoon and the Double Bassoon: A Short Illustrated History of Their Origin, Development, and Makers’ by Lindesay G. Langwell, published by Hinrichsen Edition Ltd London in 1965. This definitive book is sadly out of print but, if you should come across a copy of it, I would suggest you buy it.