November 16, 2015
Erich Burnett
Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones '97

Bassoonist George Sakakeeny delights in his instrument’s ability to evoke a vast spectrum of emotions, from sorrow to joy.

On his newly released CD, full moon in the city, the Oberlin Conservatory professor joins forces with three Oberlin ensembles to deliver the premiere recordings of four modern works for bassoon.

“These four highly contrasting works are representative of the variety of styles that make up the modern repertory for solo bassoon and orchestra,” says Sakakeeny, who has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the world.

“All four of these compositions mine the best qualities of the solo bassoon. It is a profound joy to share them.”

The title piece, written in 2013 by Libby Larsen, playfully envisions a bassoon springing to life in a music-filled cityscape late at night. Full moon in the city and another piece that appears here, Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra (1998) by Peter Schickele, both were written for Sakakeeny. They are paired with Russell Platt’s Concerto for Bassoon and Strings (2008) and Augusta Read Thomas’ Bassoon Concertino (2014).

In addition to Sakakeeny, the recording features performances by the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble and Sinfonietta (both conducted by Timothy Weiss), as well as the Oberlin Orchestra (conducted by Raphael Jiménez).

Oberlin Music is the official recording label of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Full moon in the city is the fifth recording to be released by Oberlin Music in 2015—the most prolific year in the label’s nine-year history. Joining Sakakeeny’s CD is the National Brass Ensemble’s recording of music by Gabrieli, pianist Thomas Rosenkranz’s CD/Blu-ray collection Toward the Curve, flutist Alexa Still’s premiere of House Music by Matthew Hindson, and soprano Kendra Colton’s The Reckless Heart with pianist Kayo Iwama.

Distributed by Naxos of America, full moon in the city is available through select retailers and digital music channels worldwide.

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