The Ballade for Bassoon and Piano, op. 34, was composed for the bassoon studio examinations in 1912. The work is of moderate difficulty, only utilizing the upper range of the instrument to the second-space "a" in the treble clef. In her informative book The Paris Conservatoire and the Contest Solos for Bassoon, Dr. Kristine Fletcher writes: "Ballade is an enjoyable recital piece for both performers and audience. Highly melodic, the work is idiomatic for the bassoon although there are a few awkward passages."
I am very proud to print cleanly edited editions of several of the Conservatory Contest Pieces. I listened to academic woodwind juries for over fifteen years and was always struck by the discrepancy in the amount of bassoon repertoire, or lack thereof, from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries compared to the works available from the same time period for the other woodwinds. A great deal of our repertoire was allowed to go out of print, removing some very nice pieces from our "arsenal." It is my hope that the various works by J ancourt, Bourdeau, Busser, and others will be embraced by my colleagues in the universities and conservatories and these compositions will find their way onto faculty and student recitals.
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