This well recorded disc from 2010 follows on from the very successful disc of the Hummel concerto plus various works by other composers. This disc has more substantial fare to offer including, as it does, two full concertos, a Concertino and a Fantasie. All the music is by established composers even if the works are not all main repertoire items.
The disc starts off with a sparkling version of the Mozart concerto. This joyful work is probably the most well known concerto in the bassoon repertoire and is estimated to have been written by Mozart as a young 18 year old. Karen's performance has all the high spirits of youthful energy and humour which may well be very appropriate considering the composer's youth. This approach to music making seems an essential feature of Karen's approach to solo work generally and it is easy to imagine a twinkle in her eye throughout this, and other discs, that she has made. It is also part of her appeal as an artist in the various competitions and broadcasts that she has been featured on.
Bearing that in mind, the same humour and light-hearted touch is clearly audible in the following Rossini concerto. It is thought that this work was written in the years after he had finished writing operas. That operatic style is present throughout the piece, especially in the exchanges made between the various instruments and groups of instruments in the last movement. Very 'Barber of Seville' in mood.
The remaining two pieces are equally well delivered. The Crusell Concertino is very much in the style of his more well known clarinet concertos and those familiar with the rarer examples of Kreutzer's compositions will recognise his skilful, but less memorable, style of writing. In this case the piece ends with a jaunty polonaise of a taxing nature for the player and entertainment for the listener.
Overall this is yet another delightful and sparkling selection from Karen Geoghegan who is noticeably putting the bassoon firmly on the recorded musical agenda. I would suggest that the disc is well worth considering for purchase for its particularly sparkling account of the Mozart and for its choice of interesting and enjoyable less familiar repertoire. Very suitable for both collectors of alternative versions, for the growing number of fans of Karen and also for any purchasers of 'only' versions.