Bram van Sambeek – Fagerlund & Aho: Bassoon Concertos

bramvansambeekSo, I’m not the guy who jumps on contemporary classical music with enthusiasm. Honestly, how many people are gung-ho about hearing random notes screamed at them for an hour? I’ll hold that shit at an arm’s length, thank you very much. But I’ll still hold it. Cause there might be something of value inside. You never know. It’s still right there in my fucking hands. It’s just kept at a good distance. Because, like many of you, I have this wandering thought that comes to mind from time to time that a lot of contemporary classical music is one huge fucking con. Some dude pisses on a violin, lets out a swift fart, and he gets a standing ovation? Fuck that. Sure, I can listen to Steve Reich and Phillip Glass till the cows come fucking home. But that shit is accessible. After that I get picky as hell.

Sometimes when I’m looking for an album, I let shit go on shuffle. Let fate fucking decide. A piece came on. I didn’t know what it was but it showed all the signs of some contemporary art babble. And I was too lazy to push a fucking button. Ya, real proud of that moment. I let it play. What the hell, right? Some wind instrument was going all “Blue-dee-blue. Blaarp! Blaarp! Raddle-daddle. Rickidy-dee. Dee. Deeee shacklunk. Pur-swee!” And all I could think was, “Oh, fuck”. Then a song called “Woodlands” came on. The notes hit me right away. They soothed me. I looked at the album. Fucking bassoon? What the fuck is a bassoon? I tried to conjure an image of a bassoon in my head. A wood stick with another stick coming out you blow on. That’s it. Perfect. As the song continued to play, I realized I had no fucking clue what this instrument could sound like, or that it could make so many wonderful and diverse noises. Sounds I thought were exclusive to electronica with Ambient or Drone music. At other times it sounded like a guitar. In the next, it was a violin. “Sexy-bassoon-Jesus,” I thought, “what the fuck is this shit?” 

Look, even if you hate everything contemporary classical, and you see whoever writing this shit as some artsy prick you’d love to punch in the face, try it just once. It sounds better on the album, but the Youtube is right fucking here. Listen to it just so you can know what this wood tube can sound like in the right hands. It’s fucking unreal. Not only did I play it again later on, I also made someone else listen to it. “Is it just me,” I asked as I put it on the speakers, “or is there something there?”

“There’s something fucking there alright,” they responded. 


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