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Currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music with John Orford, nineteen-year-old Karen Geoghegan came to the attention of the British public late last year following her appearance as a finalist on Classical Star, a BBC reality programme. She proved immensely popular with the public and judges alike, and brought much needed attention to the bassoon, which has generally been neglected as a solo instrument. The cellist Matthew Barley who was mentor and presenter of the show says of Karen, ‘with her sound and focus she is already one of the great wind players in the country’. Chandos’ Managing Director, Ralph Couzens, was so impressed by Karen’s performance that he contacted Karen the day following the broadcast, and offered her a contract.
For her first CD with Chandos, it was decided to focus on the repertoire performed for the show. Hummel’s Bassoon Concerto, the centrepiece of the album, is complemented by Elgar’s Romance, Berwald’s rarely recorded Konzertstück, Weber’s Andante and Hungarian Rondo, Carl Jacobi’s Introduction and Polonaise and a beautiful arrangement of Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’. Each work demonstrates Karen’s ability as a performer of outstanding quality. Benjamin Wallfisch conducts the Orchestra of Opera North.
Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Bassoon Concerto in F major, WoO 23, S63
I. Allegro moderato
II. Romanza: Andantino e cantabile
III. Rondo: Vivace
Carl Maria von Weber: Andante e Rondo ungarese, Op. 35, J. 158
Franz Berwald: Konzertstuck for Bassoon and Orchestra
Carl Jacobi: Introduction and Polonaise, Op. 9
Edward Elgar: Romance, Op. 62
Romance, Op. 62
George Gershwin: Porgy and Bess, Act I: Summertime (arr. for bassoon and orchestra)
Porgy and Bess, Act I: Summertime (arr. for bassoon and orchestra)
“Bassoons rarely equal best-sellers: that could be about to change… Chandos have a real find on their hands with Karen Geoghegan.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.