Danzi Bassoon Quartets
As the scholar and bassoonist William Waterhouse observes in his edition of these quartets, the “combination presents the bassoon to its very best advantage, allowing it effortlessly to appear as soloist and accompanist to the strings without the problems of balance so often encountered in works for bassoon and piano”. They are charming pieces, by an evidently kind and charming man. His admiration for Mozart shows in the music, which certainly gives the bassoon every opportunity to display characteristics that include nobility, wit and a certain dignified melancholy. Danzi was highly regarded in his day as an opera composer, and there is a melodic elegance, especially in the slow movements, which is highly attractive. He also has a good ear for the different effects which the combination does indeed make possible. Robert Thompson plays them nicely, if a little drily, and there are occasional minor problems of ensemble. It is a pity that they were never recorded by Waterhouse himself, or by the great Gwydion Brooke. Nevertheless, this is agreeable, well-written music whose appeal need by no means be confined to bassoonists.'