Bassoon Ecstasy: Nadina Mackie Jackson And Milan Turkovic

Antonio Vivaldi, noted baroque composer, wrote 39 bassoon concerti, supposedly, for his female students, but no proof exists that such was the case.  Il Prete Rosso(The Red Priest) seems to have had a special affection for this instrument unlike any composer before him.  Some critics, however, have stated that Vivaldi wrote one bassoon concerto 39 times!  It is Nadina’s purpose to show that this is not true and she succeeds!  As Nadina writes:  “The extraordinary collection of 39 bassoon concerti by Antonio Vivaldi provides a journey of a lifetime, and I intend to visit every stop on this incredible ride…”  In the first volume of a purported five volume series, she proceeds to do just that.

From the first notes, Nadina plays with abandon, tonguing at lightening speed in the fast passages, while giving the quiet passages all her reflection and introspection.  Notes are scattered in all directions only to reunite with stronger bonding.  She reinvigorates Vivaldi’s works with a fury and intensity rare in my hearing.  Nicholas McGegan’s ensemble provides her ample support, but she is the star, promenading and displaying the bassoon in its many facets.  I can’t wait to hear subsequent volumes!IMG_5892

Can you imagine four bassoons playing together?  When one of these bassoonists is Milan Turkovic, listening becomes an undisguised pleasure.  Milan is one of the world’s most renowned bassoonists and a consummate artist.  Known for impeccable tone and a sly wit, he never disappoints.  His attempts at slides give certain pieces a jazz feel, which Milan delights in.  He has recorded Mozart’s famous concerto several times and each interpretation is unique and revelatory.

This disc is great fun to listen to and I recommend it highly.  The four bassoons give a unique sound to “Summertime” and “Flight of the Bumblebee”, among many others.  A great way to spend a lazy weekend!IMG_5895

About Robert M. Weiss
From an early age, I've taken great pleasure in reading. Also, I learned to play my 78 player when I was quite young, and enjoyed listening to musicals and classical music. I remember sitting on the floor, and following the text and pictures of record readers, which were popular in the 1940s and 50s. My favorites were the Bozo and Disney albums. I also enjoyed watching the slow spinning of 16s as they spun out tales of adventure. I have always been attracted by rivers, and I love to sit on a boulder with my feet in the water, gazing into the mysteries of swirling currents. I especially like inner tubing on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Since my early youth, I've been interested in collecting minerals, which have taught me about the wonderful possibilities in colors and forms. Sometimes I try to imagine what the ancient Greeks must have felt when they began to discover physical laws in nature. I also remember that I had a special passion for numbers, and used to construct them out of stones. After teaching Russian for several years, I became a writer, interviewer, editor, and translator. I continue to delight in form, and am a problem solver at heart.

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