Michael Sweeney | Mozart and Well Beyond

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Classical: Classical era Classical: Postmodern Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Mozart and Well Beyond

by Michael Sweeney

A new critical edition of W A Mozart's gallant Bassoon Concerto from 1774 plus three recent works (2003) for solo bassoon and ensemble composed in the new tonal, accessible, "Postmodern" style.
Genre: Classical: Classical era
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Mozart: Concerto for Bassoon: I. Allegro
6:57 $0.99
2. Mozart: Concerto for Bassoon: II. Andante ma Adagio
6:20 album only
3. Mozart: Concerto for Bassoon: III. Rondeau - Tempo di Menuetto
4:43 album only
4. Mozetich: Concerto for Bassoon and Strings with Marimba
21:46 album only
5. Sharman: At Dusk
7:27 $0.99
6. Welsh: Serenade
25:06 $5.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Originally from Southern California, Michael Sweeney has served as Principal Bassoonist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 1989. His orchestral playing has been praised frequently by critics who have described it as "superb" and "full of imagination and character." Most interested in Early and Postmodern music, Michael commissioned two new works for solo bassoon and ensemble which he recorded together with his own critical/performing edition of Mozart's Concerto. The CD, "mozart and well beyond" has been warmly received by the press, the profession, and listeners alike.



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great buy
I bought this CD for the Mozetich concerto, which is just fantastic.


Outstanding performances of a classic and 3 contemporary works
Mozart and Well Beyond is a well programmed, well played, and well produced CD. Even the liner notes leave nothing to be desired. A thoroughly enjoyable musical experience.

Gramophone, June 2005

Sweeney glides through [Mozart's Bassoon Concerto] with stunning suppleness...
While a sensitive and sculpted reading of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto by soloist Michael Sweeney is the highlight of this disc, its overall conception and presentation raise it to another level.
By all rights, the principal bassoonist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra could have stopped after recording an excellent interpretation of the Mozart concerto using a new performing edition he authored. Sweeney went further, however, combining it with three contemporary works by Canadian composers Marjan Mozetich and Rodney Sharman, and American composer Michael Welsh. In doing so, he crafted a manifesto of sorts about the bassoon today, connecting its past to the present by showcasing the vitality that exists in composition, scholarship and performance. And rather than just allowing the contemporary composers to flounder in the wake of Mozart’s genius, his performances are as committed and his liner notes address them as seriously as K191 (with deft use of track numbers to point out salient aspects).
With the efficacious support of violinist and leader Mayumi Seiler, The Seiler Strings and other invited musicians, Sweeney’s lambent timbre is as much an advocate for his new edition of the Mozart concerto as his solid musicological work, bolstered by well-reasoned use of contemporary sources. Sweeney glides through the piece with stunning suppleness, but his virtuosity is always self-effacing. While he has not refashioned this work as a flashier vehicle for the basson – his cadenzas, embellishments and lead-ins exceptionally match the spirit of the concerto – his research into textual authenticity does not drain energy and spontaneity from his performance.
By Andrew Druckenbrod / June 2005 Gramophone


When I bought this CD, I thought the Mozart concerto was slightly overrated, but I bought it because the other pieces seemed interesting. But, wow, this recording taught me to love the Mozart concerto!


good very good
it was interesting in its own way. Good Job Mike!!!


Isn't the bassoon marvellous?
There are a lot of classical discs out there spanning the entire continuum of bad to great, but much of the time you either get a greatest hits compilation or the insert-generic-orchestra-here plays insert-popular-symphony here.

This CD is splendid on several levels.

First, Sweeney is obviously a passionate devotee of his craft. His playing is rich and nuanced and really brings the emotions of his selected pieces to the fore.

Second, Sweeney really did his listeners a service by including some modern compositions along with his beautifully rendered Mozart piece.

Third, it's lovely to see a CD where the focus is on the bassoon; the bassoon has an unmistakable sound, but it's not very often the central instrument.

I would highly recommend this CD to two kinds of people: the first is the classical devotee looking for something different (bassoon Mozart); the second would be those who want to expand their listening experience beyond what is traditionally available (Sharman, Mozetich, Welsh).