One of Mozart’s gifts was effortlessly to combine the earthy and the ethereal. It was also one of Mahler’s. So the former’s Masonic Funeral Music – performed here with customary panache and precision by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra under its principal conductor Asher Fisch – was a natural way to start a Friday night concert which would end with the latter’s First Symphony.
But between these two knowns was an unknown: the world premiere of Australian composer Andrew Schultz’s Bassoon Concerto, commissioned for WASO by Geoff Stern and written in collaboration with WASO’s Principal Bassoon and the soloist for this performance, Jane Kircher-Lindner.
Those of us who enjoy Baroque wind concerti will not find the idea of a bassoon concerto at all unusual. But for those more accustomed to orchestral repertoire of the meat-and-potatoes variety, it’s perhaps more of a novelty – Mozart’s famous Bassoon Concerto notwithstanding. As Schultz himself writes in the program note:
“The bassoon has a unique and expressive voice and is probably...