History of the bassoon
Bassoon – a wind musical instrument of the bass, tenor and partly alto register, made of maple wood. It is believed that the name of this instrument comes from the Italian word fagotto, which means “knot, bundle, bundle.” And in fact, if the tool is disassembled, then something resembling a bundle of firewood will turn out. The total length of the bassoon is 2,5 meters, while that of the contrabassoon is 5 meters. The tool weighs about 3 kg.
The birth of a new musical instrument
It is not known who exactly invented the bassoon first, but Italy in the 17th century is considered the birthplace of the instrument. Its progenitor is called the ancient bombarda – a bass instrument of the reed family. The bassoon differed from the bombarda in design, the pipe was divided into several parts, as a result of which the instrument became easier to manufacture and carry. The sound also changed for the better, at first the bassoon was called dulcian, which means “gentle, sweet”. It was a long, bent tube on which the valve system is located. The first bassoon was equipped with three valves. Later in the 18th century there were five of them. The weight of the instrument was approximately three kilograms. The size of the unfolded pipe is more than two and a half meters in length. The counterbassoon has even more – about five meters.
At first, the instrument was used to amplify, dub bass voices. Only since the 17th century, he begins to play an independent role. At this time, Italian composers Biagio Marini, Dario Castello and others write sonatas for him. At the beginning of the 19th century, Jean-Nicole Savarre introduced the musical world to the bassoon, which had eleven valves. A little later, two masters from France: F. Treber and A. Buffet improved and supplemented this option. An important contribution to the development of the bassoon was made by the German masters Karl Almenreder and Johann Adam Haeckel. It was they who, in 1831 in Biebrich, founded an enterprise for the manufacture of wind instruments. Almenreder in 1843 created a bassoon with seventeen valves. This model became the basis for the production of bassoons by the Haeckel company, which became the leader in the production of these musical instruments. Until that moment, bassoons by Austrian and French masters were common. From birth to the present day, there are three types of bassoons: quartbassoon, bassoon, contrabassoon. Modern symphony orchestras still continue to use the counterbassoon in their performances.
Place of the bassoon in history
In Germany in the 18th century, the instrument was at its peak of popularity. Bassoon sounds in church choirs emphasized the sound of the voice. In the works of the German composer Reinhard Kaiser, the instrument receives its parts as part of an opera orchestra. The bassoon was used in their work by composers Georg Philipp Telemann, Jan Dismas Zelekan. The instrument received solo parts in the works of F.J. Haydn and V.A. Mozart, the bassoon repertoire is especially often heard in the Concerto in B-dur, written by Mozart in 1774. He solos in the works of I. Stravinsky “The Firebird”, “The Rite of Spring”, with A. Bizet in “Carmen”, with P. Tchaikovsky in the Fourth and Sixth Symphonies, in Antonio Vivaldi’s concerts, in the scene with Farlaf at M. Glinka in Ruslan and Lyudmila. Michael Rabinauitz is a jazz musician, one of the few who began to perform bassoon parts in his concerts.
Now the instrument can be heard at concerts of symphony and brass bands. In addition, he can solo or play in an ensemble.