long independent melody of the greatest ingenuity and interest.
Mendelssohn shows some peculiarity in dealing with the bassoon. He was evidently struck, not only with the power of its lower register, a fact abundantly illustrated by his use of it in the opening of the Scotch Symphony and, with the trombones, in the grand chords of the overture to 'Ruy Blas'; but he evidently felt, with Beethoven, the comic and rustic character of its tone. This is abundantly shown in the music to the 'Midsummer Night's Dream,' where the two bassoons lead the quaint clowns' march in thirds; and still further on in the funeral march, which is obviously an imitation of a small country band consisting of clarinet and bassoon, the latter ending unexpectedly and humorously on a solitary low C. In the Overture the same instrument also suggests the braying of Bottom. It is worth notice how the acute ear of the musician has caught the exact interval used by the animal without any violation of artistic propriety. As if in return for these vile uses, the same composer has compensated the instrument in numberless fine figures, of which it is unnecessary to specify more than the quartett of horns and bassoons in the trio of the Italian Symphony, the majestic opening phrases of the so-called 'Pilgrim's March,' and the flowing cantabile in octaves with the oboe which forms the second movement of the introductory symphony to the 'Hymn of Praise.'
Weber exhibits the same knowledge of its powers as his predecessors. Although the French horn, and after it the clarinet, are obviously his favourite instruments, the bassoon comes very little behind them. One of the loveliest phrases ever assigned to this instrument occurs in the 'Agnus Dei' of his mass in G.
It is absolutely alone on the telling G of the upper register; the voice following in imitation and the bassoon then repeating the passage. In the Concert-Stück, for piano and orchestra, there is a difficult but beautiful point for bassoon alone, which leads into the march for the clarinets. His two symphonies are marked by the same character, especially the first, in which the bassoon leads throughout, with some effective organ points. The overtures, and indeed all his operas, are very fully scored for bassoons. His bassoon concerto in F and his Hungarian rondo are grand works, scored for full orchestra.
Meyerbeer has somewhat neglected the bassoon for the bass clarinet—in the Prophète March for instance; but he has given it many passages of importance, and some of a grotesque character, as in the incantation scene of 'Robert le Diable.' He frequently employs four instead of two instruments.
The Italian writers use it freely. Donizetti assigns it an obbligato in the air 'Una furtiva lagrima.' Rossini opens the 'Stabat Mater' with the effective phrases—
for bassoons and cellos in unison, which again occur at the end of the work. In his latest composition, the 'Messe Solennelle' it is almost too heavily written for, and is at times comic and ineffective.
Auber writes but little for the bassoon, using it chiefly in sustaining high notes at the very top of its register. There is however a melodious passage for the two, with the horns, in the overture to the 'Sirène.'
The following list of music for bassoon, solo and concertante, may be found useful. The writer desires to acknowledge the valuable aid he has received in its compilation and elsewhere from Mr. Charles Evans of the British Museum.
Mozart, concerto in B♭; Ferdinand David, concertino in B♭, op. 12; Kalliwoda, var. and rondeau in B♭, op. 57; Weber, andante and rondo ongarese in C, op. 55, concerto in F, op. 75; Kummer, concerto in C, op. 25; Neukirchner, fantasia with orchestra; Jacobi, potpourri with orchestra; Dotzauer, quatuor, op. 36, with violin, viola, and cello; twelve pieces for three bassoons, by G. H. Kummer, op. 11; twelve trios for three bassoons, by G. H. Kummer, op. 13; forty-two caprices for bassoon, by E. Ozi; six duos concertants for two bassoons, by E. Ozi; Lindpaintner, op. 24, rondeau in B♭.Other works will be found under Clarinet, Oboe, etc.
[ W. H. S. ]
BASTARDELLA, or BASTARDINA. See Agujari.
BASTIEN ET BASTIENNE, a German operetta or pastoral in one act (15 Nos.), words by Schachtner from the French, the music by Mozart 'in his 12th year,' 1768; performed in a Garden-house at Vienna belonging to his friends the Messmers. (Köchel, No. 50; Jahn, 1st ed. i. 122). The subject of the Intrade (in G) is by a curious coincidence all but identical with the principal theme of the first movement of Beethoven's 'Eroica' Symphony:—
etc.BASTON, Josquin, a Flemish composer of the first half of the 16th century, and still living in 1566. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he does not seem to have visited Italy, as his published works, consisting of motets and chansons, form part of collections printed either at Louvain or Antwerp.
[ J. R. S. B. ]