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Marcel Bitsch’s Music for Bassoon—a Performance Guide on Alternative Fingerings and Reed Adjustments
Chia-Yu Hsu, bassoon
The focus of my lecture will be the bassoon music by Marcel Bitsch (1921-2011). He was a professor of counterpoint at the Paris Conservatoire, a scholar of Bach’s music and a prolific composer. His output for bassoon is known by all bassoonists, but very rarely played because of the technical challenges. I am planning to present a performance guide to help bassoonists deal with these challenges. Bitsch’s compositions for bassoon were written for the French bassoon, which was the system mostly played in France at that time. Compared to the German system, it is relatively easier for French bassoon players to play the notes in upper register since the French instrument has thinner wall and a narrower bore. Since it is difficult to execute the high notes on German bassoon, the use of alternative fingerings and reed adjustments become important tools. In my presentation, I will suggest helpful tips for bassoonists.
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