Sonata for Bassoon

David Maslanka loves a melody and he’s not afraid to declare it in his Sonata for Bassoon, a work he penned for Bergen Wind Quintet bassoonist Per Hannevold. Deeply inspired by the “speaking quality” of the Bach Chorales, Maslanka finds that such Old World constructions “have always provoked a large musical fantasy in me.” Here the bassoon conveys a gamut of emotion—solemn at the outset, yet wildly celebratory by the closing measures. Indeed the entire ensemble is whipped into such a state of frenzy, I suspect that only the restraint required for the pianist to deliver the delicate solo closing note of the piece is all that prevents them from falling right off the stage.