Rui Lopes: Through Time
This remarkable anthology comes from Rui Lopes, a highly musical and virtuoso bassoonist whom the English Chamber Orchestra accompany most sensitively.
Villa-Lobos’s Ciranda das sete notas is the most exotic piece here. It has Portuguese origins and was sung and danced in a circle: the seven notes of the title are heard at the start of the piece in an ascending scalic passage and the theme returns repeatedly as the rhythmic tension increases. The poignantly lyrical Brazilian ‘Modinha’ can be heard at the conclusion of what is altogether most entertaining music. Françaix’s Divertissement is a four-movement sonata, moving from rhythmic piquancy to a timid Lento, a nimble scherzo and an enticingly unpredictable finale.
Mozart wrote his Bassoon Concerto when he was 18. It shows the instrument’s lyrical qualities in its tunefulness, has moments of humour as well as melancholy, and plenty of agility in the rondo-minuet finale with its variations. Vivaldi’s Concerto is a work of galant rhythmic finesse, similarly richly melodic in its expressive slow movement, and mixes humour and melancholy in the finale.
The last of the works is a charming Romance by Elgar, simple in form, to which Rui Lopes and the orchestra both respond affectionately.