W. A. Mozart: Concerto for the Bassoon [K.191(186e)]


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Allegro | Andante ma Adagio | Rondeau. / Tempo di Menuetto


CADENZAS, etc. | ^
Michael Sweeney's
cadenzas, lead-ins, and embellishments are protected by copyright and will be available through this link.


18 minutes



• First recording of Mozart’s K.191 from Canada (Canadian bassoon soloist George Zukerman recorded K.191 in 1965 with the Württemburg Chamber Orchestra).
• Debut solo recording of Michael Sweeney.
• First commercial recording of The Via Salzburg Chamber Orchestra (formerly; The Seiler Strings), Mayumi Seiler, leader.
• Premiere recording of Michael Sweeney’s edition of Mozart’s K.191. First recording of K.191 using flutes in place of oboes in the Andante.
• Premiere recording of Mozetich’s Concerto for Bassoon and Strings with Marimba.
• Premiere recording of Sharman’s At Dusk.
• Premiere recording of Welsh’s Serenade.


solo bassoon - 2 oboes, [2 flutes] - 2 horns - strings


Performance materials for the Concerto are in preparation and will be available through this site.


Personnel heard on the mozart and well beyond CD


PROGRAMME NOTES from the mozart and well beyond CD booklet:

Because no documentation concerning the commission or composition of Mozart’s Concerto for the Bassoon (K.191=186e) has survived, certain basic questions will likely always remain unanswered. These include: for whom and for what occasion was it written, and did the first player collaborate with the compser to any extent? The little that is known about the life of the work, from its commission until it was first published and more widely disseminated, has had to be divined from a variety of secondary sources, and from our broader knowledge of Mozart’s habits and the customs of the musical community of his day.

Though not proven, it is generally surmised that Mozart wrote K.191 for the bassoonists in the court orchestra of Prince-Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg, and that one of these players would have given the première, possibly with the then eighteen-year-old composer leading, or at least supervising, the performance (he had been appointed honorary concertmaster at age sixteen). Though Mozart would later meet some of the leading bassoon soloists of his time, no evidence of any of them having performed K.191 survives.

Well after Mozart’s death, his widow, Constanze, had an inventory prepared of the approximately 340 autograph manuscripts comprising his estate. The manuscript of K.191 was listed as having already been sent to the publisher J. A. André in Offenbach (Germany) for engraving. However, before André began preparing K.191 for publication, the firm acquired the bulk of the Mozart estate from Constanze and quickly became distracted from their usual publishing activities by more tantalizing challenges such as sorting out the authenticity of the Requiem (K.626), and using handwriting analysis to chronologically order the manuscripts, many of which were undated. By the time André finally turned its attention to K.191, the manuscript had inexplicably vanished, never to be recovered. Its only trace is a notation found in an André internal catalogue reporting that the first page bore the inscription “a Salisburgo li 4 di Giugno 1774.

The loss of the manuscript would have forced André to rely on a set of performing parts as the principal source for their planned edition. Though André probably had acquired a set of parts as part of the Mozart estate, it is impossible now to determine how many generations removed from the autograph manuscript these might have been, or whether any changes or seeming corrections in them were authorized by Mozart or were instead interpretive markings from later unsupervised performances. The first edition of K.191 that André finally published in 1805, without their usual title page indication, “Edition d’après le manuscrit original,” transmits a great many errors either copied from the source material, or freshly introduced by their engravers.

Nevertheless, this André edition, as the earliest surviving source for the work, served as the basis for two important scholarly editions published in the late 19th century and late 20th century (from which all editions performed and recorded today are derived). Perhaps because the provenance of the André edition was so difficult to establish, the editors of these two scholarly editions chose to correct only the most obvious errors leaving unresolved many inconsistencies in articulation, phrasing, the timing of dynamic markings (“loud” and “soft” indications), and other important details of performance.

My new edition of the orchestral material of K.191 attempts to resolve these inconsistencies by comparing André’s edition with the firm’s early editions of other works of Mozart for which the composer’s autograph manuscript has survived. These manuscripts have made possible a general evaluation of the fidelity of André’s engraving, which has revealed certain patterns of error. I have examined André’s edition of K.191 for evidence of these same kinds of engraving errors and, using Mozart’s contemporary manuscripts as a guide, corrected those that I found. The result is a new performing edition of Mozart’s Concerto for the Bassoon that I hope is closer at least in spirit to the now long-lost original autograph manuscript.

© 2004 Michael Sweeney

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Michael Sweeney's edition of Mozart's Concerto for the Bassoon (K.191=186e) is registered as an arrangement with SOCAN.


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