by Daniel Hathaway
At a time when cultural institutions are jumping through any number of hoops to try to break down barriers between artists and audiences, it’s kind of refreshing to find yourself standing in line at the washroom before an orchestra concert next to the featured composer of the evening. That was Peter Schickele, who was at Finney Chapel last Friday evening to hear Oberlin bassoon professor George Sakakeeny play his Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra with the Oberlin Orchestra under the direction of Rafael Jiménez on a program that began with Jacques Ibert’s Escales and ended with Claude Debussy’s La Mer.
The concerto was written in 1998 for Sakakeeny and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus and revised the following year. Peter Schickele plays the bassoon himself, so he knew what he was doing when he wrote this challenging piece for Sakakeeny, an artist who is a consummate technician as well as a fine, lyrical player with perfectly even tone from top to bottom of that difficult instrument’s range. [Read more…]