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Meisterwerke Fur Fagott [hybrid Sacd] / Akio Koyama, Iva Navratova

Release Date: 10/27/2009 
Label:  Nca   Catalog #: 60182   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Roger BoutryMarcel BitschWillson OsborneEugène Bozza,   ... 
Performer:  Iva NavratovaAkio Koyama
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
SuperAudio CD:  $27.49
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

MASTERPIECES FOR BASSOON Akio Koyama (bn); Iva Navratova (pn) 1 NEW CLASSICAL ADVENTURE 60182 (SACD: 62:50)

BOUTRY Interférence I. 1 BITSCH Concertino. 1 OSBORNE Rhapsody for Bassoon Alone. BOZZA Read more class="ARIAL12bi">Récit, Sicilienne et Rondo. 1 STÖCKIGT Odeo-nihonbashi. 1 Zui zui zukkorobashi. 1 Soranbushi. 1 Sakura. 1 DUTILLEUX Sarabande et cortège. 1 ARNOLD Fantasy for Bassoon. MIROSHNIKOV Scherzo for Bassoon and Piano 1

Who is Akio Koyama? One might ask. Not, as I first assumed, a young, up-and-coming artist. In his mid-50s, born and educated in Japan, with further studies in Germany, he has enjoyed a long career as principal bassoonist for the Darmstadt and Stuttgart Staatstheater orchestras and, since 1990, the Saito Kinen Orchestra. He is a highly respected teacher in both Germany and Japan, has appeared as a soloist and chamber ensemble member in many musical capitals, and has served as a judge at international competitions in Japan, Italy, and Germany. And based on the evidence here, he is a remarkable bassoonist.

A few issues ago, I eagerly recommended the recording debut of Karen Geoghegan, a talented young Scottish bassoonist (Chandos 10477— Fanfare 32:2). While recanting none of my enthusiasm for Geoghegan’s work, there is no denying that Akio Koyama is an even more impressive artist. This SACD contains three advanced recital works for bassoon that also appear on Geoghegan’s third CD, French Bassoon Works : Roger Boutry’s intense and technically taxing Interférence I with its undercurrents of Stravinsky; Marcel Bitsch’s plaintive, lyrical Concertino, very Ravelian; as is the elegantly melancholy Sarabande et cortège by Henri Dutilleux. The younger artist’s performances are splendid, but Koyama is subtler, more willing to take risks, and often shows more interpretive imagination. These qualities are evident as well in the mercurial Récit, Sicilienne et Rondo by Eugène Bozza, with its sunny central melody, and in the two works for unaccompanied bassoon: the whimsical Malcolm Arnold Fantasy and the free-form Rhapsody by Canadian composer Willson Osborne.

New to most listeners, I suspect, will be the four works by German composer Michael Stöckigt based on or inspired by Japanese folk song. In Odeo-nihonbashi, Zui zui zukkorobashi, and Soranbushi , the composer has depicted the calmness of flowing water, the liveliness of children at play, and the boisterous songs of fishermen, melding Asian melodic imagery with Western compositional technique in a way that is both beguiling and appropriate to a performer who has made a career in both worlds. Sakura depicts the Japanese cherry blossom festival, again with elements from both cultures. The disc ends with another unfamiliar work, a lively Scherzo by Russian Oleg Miroshnikov in the style of 19th-century salon music. In all, it is one of the most charming and satisfying recitals I have ever heard.

Throughout, Koyama produces a rich, compact tone, solid at the bottom of the staff, warm or piercing on top but never stuffy, with a silken legato and cleanly articulated passagework. He is accompanied by Czech pianist Iva Navratova, a superlative musician in her own right. The sound quality is first-rate, with a fair amount of reverberant space around the players. This SACD is a reissue of a 1997 two-channel recording, so the surround version has synthesized rear channels, but the up-mix is well done, like everything else about this disc. This is a must-have release for bassoon fanciers, or anyone who admires virtuoso performance. In fact, the right question regarding Akio Koyama is not who but how . How did I manage to miss this remarkable artist for so long?

FANFARE: Ronald E. Grames
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players. Read less

Works on This Recording

Interférences by Roger Boutry
Performer:  Iva Navratova (Piano), Akio Koyama (Bassoon)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972; France 
Concertino for Bassoon and Piano by Marcel Bitsch
Performer:  Akio Koyama (Bassoon), Iva Navratova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Rhapsody for Bassoon solo by Willson Osborne
Performer:  Akio Koyama (Bassoon)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; USA 
Recit, Sicilienne et Rondo for Bassoon and Piano by Eugène Bozza
Performer:  Akio Koyama (Bassoon), Iva Navratova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
Oedo Nihonbashi by Michael Stöckigt
Performer:  Akio Koyama (Bassoon), Iva Navratova (Piano)
Zui zui zukkorobashi by Michael Stöckigt
Performer:  Akio Koyama (Bassoon), Iva Navratova (Piano)
Soranbushi by Michael Stöckigt
Performer:  Akio Koyama (Bassoon), Iva Navratova (Piano)
Sakura by Michael Stöckigt
Performer:  Akio Koyama (Bassoon), Iva Navratova (Piano)
Sarabande et cortège for Bassoon and Piano by Henri Dutilleux
Performer:  Akio Koyama (Bassoon), Iva Navratova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; France 
Fantasy for Bassoon solo, Op. 86 by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Akio Koyama (Bassoon)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; England 
Scherzo for Bassoon and Piano by Oleg Miroshnikov
Performer:  Iva Navratova (Piano), Akio Koyama (Bassoon)

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