Fagerlund & Aho: Bassoon Concertos
Two Finnish composers, Kalevi Aho and Sebastian Fagerlund, give the bassoon a pair of excellent workouts here—a challenge taken up impressively by Bram Van Sambeek. Fagerlund’s single-movement concerto, “Mana,” is fantastical and haunting with the soloist keening and singing against a gloriously multicoloured background. Aho’s Bassoon Concerto is even more immediately engaging, a work of great beauty, with occasional flavors of his teacher Rautavaara’s musical language. The Lahti Symphony Orchestra plays superbly and Van Sambeek is very impressive throughout, particularly in Fagerlund’s Woodlands and Aho’s Solo V where he has the stage to himself.