The French basson remains a fascination of mine. A reader of this blog, Brice Mallier who is a French bassoon enthusiast sent me a link to his French basson tribute page
Mr. Mallier also sent this link to Maurice Allard's youtube channel. Allard is undoubtedly the most famous French bassoonist of all time.
And finally, here's a link featuring the incredible playing of Gilbert Audin in the Poulenc Sonata for Clarinet and Bassoon.
Gilbert Audin is bassoon soloist at the Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris , and teaches in the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. He is known as an ambassador of the French bassoon and is sought after all over the world for master classes.
Audin studied in Nîmes, then at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in the class of the great Maurice Allard. At age 19 he won the international competitions of Geneva and Munich and at 24, the first prize of the international competition of Geneva, and two years later, the first prize of the international competition of Toulon.
His discs include J. Haydn (London trio with J.P. Rampal), concertos of Jean Françaix and Marcel Landowski (Sony, RCA), Rossini's quartets, concertos and symphonies of W.A. Mozart and all chamber music of Francis Poulenc (RCA Red Seal).
Gilbert Audin plays the Buffet Crampon Prestige basson. He is bassoon consultant/tester for Buffet Crampon and is contributing to the development of the instrument.
I am told that the French basson is actually more difficult to play than the German system bassoon (which is hard to believe because they sound so fluid) and that the French instrument doesn't project as well. A few years ago I heard French bassoons live at an International Double Reed Society conference. I don't remember anything about the projection capabilities- I only recall that I was enchanted by the sound, flexibility and lyrical capabilities of "le basson français."
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