Director: John Gilhooly Wigmore.pdfJames Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble) B right Angel was written - [PDF Document] (2024)

Director: John Gilhooly Wigmore.pdfJames Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble) B right Angel was written - [PDF Document] (1)

Director: John Gilhooly

Director: John Gilhooly Wigmore.pdfJames Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble) B right Angel was written - [PDF Document] (2)

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It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to the Wigmore Hall for the concert this afternoon to celebrate the life

of William Waterhouse. We all remember his boundless energy and enthusiasm which is reflected in the tributes and anecdotes collected for this programme.

Bill would have been 80 this year, and as we all know, he was a person who was not prepared to grow old. He had friends all over the world and the affection and esteem in which he was held is reflected in the distances that so many people here have travelled today.

I am immensely grateful to the performers taking part who have most graciously and generously given their time and skills for this event in honour of Bill.

Special thanks are due to the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust and the Ida Carroll Trust for their generous support, to my immediate family and to the many others who have enthusiastically joined to create this unusual and unique occasion.

Let’s enjoy this afternoon’s concert.

Welcome

FRNCM, FRCM,Hon. Member IDRS

Curt Sachs Award, Oldham Book Prize for the New Langwill Index

Elisabeth Waterhouse

Director: John Gilhooly Wigmore.pdfJames Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble) B right Angel was written - [PDF Document] (3)

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Giovanni Gabrieli (c.1557–1612) Sonata pian’e forte for bassoon ensemble (arr. William Waterhouse)

Linda Begbie/bassoon, Roger Birnstingl/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Ben Couldwell/ bassoon, Howard Dann/bassoon, Alec Forshaw/bassoon, Michael Grocutt/bassoon, Yoshi Inada/bassoon, James Kopp/bassoon, Nicholas Macorison/bassoon, Julie Price/bassoon, Richard Meek/bassoon, Jim Stockigt/bassoon, James Thomas/bassoon, Lyndon Watts/bassoon, Takashi Yamakami/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon.

Venetian-born Giovanni Gabrieli studied with the Flemish composer Orlando di Lassus at the court of the Duke of Bavaria in Munich. On his return to Venice he became organist at

St. Mark’s Cathedral. Perhaps influenced by the spacious architecture of this building, Gabrieli exploited the use of cori spezzati (“separated choirs”) in many of his ecclesiastical works.

The Sonata pian e forte is taken from the Sacrae Symphonie (Venice c.1597) and is scored for two “choirs” of four instruments. One of the first works of the Renaissance to specify dynamics, its special qualities are due to extensive use of syncopation, unexpected chromaticisms and skilful use of harmonic suspension. These combine to give the work a unique and somewhat dark expression.

William Waterhouse’s transcription for bassoon ensemble, which he borrowed from David Owen’s arrangement for recorders, was made in the 1970s for his students at the RNCM. To the eight original parts, a contrabassoon part was added for extra resonance in the tutti passages. The transcription is published by the Prairie Dawg Press, Kansas, USA. (Graham Waterhouse)

Anton Reicha (1770–1836)Grand Quintetto for bassoon and string quartet. 1st Movement

Lyndon Watts/bassoon, Lucy Waterhouse/violin, Leonie Curtin/violin, Dorothea Vogel/viola, Emily Robinson/cello.

Anton Reicha was an expatriate Czech who settled in Paris, where he composed and published a large output of music. As a teacher of composition he exercised considerable influence on

composers such as Berlioz, Liszt and Franck. His own music is largely forgotten today, inspite of its solid craftsmanship and, at times, considerable originality. He is best remembered for his unique contribution to the repertory of the wind quintet. He succeeded in establishing what was, at the time, a novel combination of instruments as a viable artistic medium by composing, between 1811 snd 1820, no fewer than 24 quintets for five of the most eminent Parisian wind players of his day. In addition he undertook the original task of furnishing each of them with a quintet for his instrument with strings.

While the Op.89 for clarinet appears to have been written somewhat earlier, that for Flute Op.105, for Horn Op.106 and Oboe Op.107 were all written around 1820. His Grand Quintetto for bassoon dates from 1826. The title page of the autograph score, which is in the library of the Paris Conservatoire, bears a dedication to Antoine Henry (1777–1842) who as well as being an orchestral player enjoyed something of a career as a soloist. A member of Reicha’s group, it was to him that Paganini dedicated his Pezzo da Concerto for bassoon, horn and orchestra.

The quintet’s four movements are each of spacious proportion that is characteristic of this

Giovanni GabrieliSonata pian’e forte for bassoon ensemble (arr. William Waterhouse)

Anton ReichaGrand Quintetto for bassoon and string quartet: 1st Movement

Antonio VivaldiConcerto in G minor for flute, bassoon and strings

Gordon JacobSuite for bassoon and string quartet: Prelude and Rondo

Graham Waterhouse Bright Angel for 3 bassoons and contrabassoon

INTERVAL – 20 minutes

Jean FrançaixDivertissem*nt for bassoon and string quintet

Giuseppe TampliniFantasia di Bravura on themes of Donizetti for bassoon and strings

Graham WaterhouseEpitaphium for string trio - In memoriam W.R.W. UK première

Franz SchubertOctet D803: Finale

Would patrons please ensure that mobile phones are switched off. Please stifle coughing as much as possible and ensure that watch alarms

and any other electronic device which may become audible are switched off.

Programme Programme Notes

Refreshments available from the Restaurant and Bechstein Room.Ice creams on sale in the Foyer and by the Cloakroom.

Please check that your mobile phone is turned off especially if you used it during the interval.

Director: John Gilhooly Wigmore.pdfJames Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble) B right Angel was written - [PDF Document] (4)

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composer. For the first he selects the key of B flat, still perhaps the most effective one for this instrument; for much of it Reicha treats the bassoon as a concertante instrument giving it quantities of florid passage work and exploiting its propensity for leaping arpeggio figures. The first violin is partner to much of the action here. (William Waterhouse)

Lyndon is playing an instrument from the Waterhouse collection – a Savary jeune 1823.

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741)Concerto in G minor for flute, bassoon and strings

Seiya Ueno/flute, Takashi Yamakami/bassoon, Boris Kucharsky/violin, Celia Waterhouse/violin, Joe Ichinose/viola, Graham Waterhouse/cello.

Eighteenth-century Venice was home to conservatories where orphan girls performed on Saturdays and Sundays in Vespers services. This became a tourist attraction and a source of

charitable donations. Vivaldi was associated during 1703–40 with the Pio Ospedale della Pietá, where among sacred vocal works, services often included concertos featuring instrumental soloists. His often virtuosic works for bassoon demonstrate the accomplishment of the resident bassoonists. Vivaldi wrote thirty-eight concertos for bassoon solo and another for oboe and bassoon soli. He also wrote at least three arias with bassoon obbligato for the opera house; these are documented on the Stockigt web site (www.jimstockigtinfo.com) and twenty-two concertos for small ensemble. Of the latter, sometimes called chamber concertos, seventeen call for bassoon. (An eighteenth, now lost, called for two bassoons.) The present work, catalogued under the number RV 106, is contained in an autograph manuscript held in the Turin National Library. (Percy Williams)

Gordon Jacob (1895–1984)Suite for bassoon and string quartet: Prelude and Rondo

Julie Price/bassoon, Celia Waterhouse/violin, Lucy Waterhouse/violin, Joe Ichinose/viola, Graham Waterhouse/cello.

It is safe to assume that most of the chamber music repertory for bassoon and strings, when not written by the composer himself for his own personal use has been composed in response to

a request from a particular player. The distinguished English composer Gordon Jacob was for some 40 years professor of composition at the Royal College of Music. It was at the suggestion of one of his former students there, the bassoonist William Waterhouse, that he composed in 1969 his Suite. As a piece of chamber music it admirably complements the effective concerto he had written some twenty years earlier for bassoon, strings and percussion. Having performed the Concerto with the BBC in Cardiff on the 5th July 1968, Bill approached Jacob for a new work (for bassoon and strings). In 1969 Jacob supplied two: the Suite for Bassoon and String Quartet and the unaccompanied Partita. The Suite was premièred at the Cheltenham Festival in the Town Hall on the 8th July 1969 with the Melos Ensemble. The composer wrote of the work in the programme note that “….. it consists of four short movements, slow and quick alternately. The bassoon is now

well established as a serious and noble instrument. It has outlived its reputation as a vehicle mainly of musical humour, and full use is made of its expressive qualities.” (William Waterhouse)

Today the first and the fourth movements will be played, the fourth having the character of a Tarantella.

Graham Waterhouse (b. 1962) Bright Angel for 3 bassoons and contrabassoon

James Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble)

Bright Angel was written for the International Double Reed Society Conference 2008 in Provo, Utah, where it received its first performance by Michel Bettez, Richard Ramy, Richard Moore

and Henry Skolnick under the direction of the composer. In keeping with the American setting of the Conference, the title refers to a piece of American lore. “Bright Angel”, the name of a trail in the Grand Canyon, stands for impressions of a hike which the author took from the North Rim through the gorge of the Colorado and up to the South Rim in 1972, aged 9, with his father William Waterhouse during the latter’s year spent at Indiana University.

The piece tries to reflect a sense of wonder and awe at both the majesty and the brutality of Nature. Some of the contours (or recollections of them) are mirrored in the variously undulating and jagged lines. Also recalled during the composition were the perpetually shifting vistas, as well as the toil of tramping out the dusty trail, stumbling over boulders, cowering during a storm.

The musical material is mostly contained within the opening motive, first heard as a solitary voice, before recurring over a wide-spanning accompaniment of arpeggios. The slow, reflective introduction gives way to a faster section, based on an energetic, pulsating rhythm. It is to the tranquil mood of the opening that the work eventually returns, to close on an unresolved chord, capturing the eternity of the Canyon. (Graham Waterhouse)

Jean Françaix (1912–1997)Divertissem*nt for bassoon and string quintet (Paris 1942)VivaceLentoVivace assaiAllegro

Lyndon Watts/bassoon, Boris Kucharsky/violin, Celia Waterhouse/violin, Joe Ichinose/viola, Graham Waterhouse/cello, Lucy Hare/double bass.

The Divertissem*nt for bassoon, 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass dates from 1942. After a few

INTERVAL – 20 minutes

Director: John Gilhooly Wigmore.pdfJames Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble) B right Angel was written - [PDF Document] (5)

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initial performances, the manuscript disappeared and the work was presumed lost. In 1966 William Waterhouse succeeded in tracing the missing parts, subsequently recording the work with the Melos Ensemble; on publication the composer dedicated it to him. The bassoon plays a principal role and its varied possibilities are wittily exploited throughout its four short movements. The piece is vintage Françaix with a characteristically rich harmonic palette, catchy, syncopated rhythms, brittle sonorities and a slightly tongue-in-cheek lyricism, hallmarks of the composer from his very earliest works. (William Waterhouse)

Giuseppe Tamplini (1807–1888)Fantasia di bravura on themes of Donizetti for bassoon and strings

Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Boris Kucharsky/violin, Lucy Waterhouse/violin, Joe Ichinose/viola, Graham Waterhouse/cello, Lucy Hare/double bass.

Paraphrases, transcriptions and instrumental arrangements of opera excerpts or of themes and motifs from famous operas are frequent and deeply significant in the context of 18th century.

Giuseppe Tamplini had a long career as an instrumentalist in Milan, the city where he was first bassoon at the Scala Theatre, but also in London where he held numerous appointments. He was first bassoon at the Italian Opera and at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Music Director for the 48th Regiment of Her Majesty The Queen, on the examination commission at the Royal Academy of Music for military music, and, from 1873, manager of Casa Ricordi’s London branch. Along with these activities, Giuseppe Tamplini was zealously engaged in writing his treatises on harmony and study methods for the bassoon, the instrument he had devoted so much effort to, in an attempt to increase its capacities. His extensive experience and thorough knowledge of the instrument are reflected in his compositions; a perfect example of this is the Fantasia di Bravura on Donizetti themes in which, after the bassoon presents the theme, we hear a set of variations with a play of embellishments between the wind instrument and the strings which is extremely captivating and vivacious. (Luigia Mossini (trans. Jennifer Pudney))

Graham Waterhouse (b. 1962) Epitaphium for string trio - In memoriam W.R.W. UK première

Celia Waterhouse/violin, Lucy Waterhouse/viola, Graham Waterhouse/cello.

E pitaphium is a concise work of 76 bars and was originally conceived for the memorial service of William Waterhouse, but remained unperformed until its premiere in Munich in July

2009. The opening theme has an archaic, plainsong aspect. The harmonic language is coloured by the “perfect” intervals of fourth, fifth and octave, often coinciding with the open strings and natural harmonics. Later there are dove-tailing “cadenza” passages, as well as pizzicato episodes. Contained within is a hidden reference to the “Requiescant in pace” motive from Britten’s War Requiem (the first performance of which WW participated in). The music fades away with an augmented version of the opening theme in the high register of the violin, accompanied by patterns of fifths on natural harmonics and bell-like pizzicato chords. (Graham Waterhouse)

Franz Schubert (1797–1828)Octet D803. Finale: Andante molto - Allegro

Gervase de Peyer/clarinet, Roger Birnstingl/bassoon, Tim Brown/horn, Boris Kucharsky/violin, Celia Waterhouse/violin, Joe Ichinose/viola, Graham Waterhouse/cello, Lucy Hare/double bass.

Schubert composed the Octet in the early months of 1824 in response to a request by Count Ferdinand Troyer for a companion work to Beethoven's Septet, Op. 20. The work was first

performed at the home of the eminent amateur clarinettist, Archduke Rudolf (to whom Beethoven dedicated his Archduke Trio). The violinist was Ignaz Shuppanzigh, who had premiered the Beethoven Septet and was associated with the composer's late String Quartets.

By his own accounts, Franz Schubert was keen to compose the Octet as a means of preparing himself for the task of composing a big-scale symphonic work. This was subsequently realized in the Great C major Symphony.

The last movement of the Octet opens with a slow introduction, dominated by a dotted rhythm figure in the winds and upper strings and low, tremolando pedal notes in cello and bass. A spirited, alla breve melody follows, containing a characteristic, ornamental trill, which subsequently plays a significant role in the movement. The opening theme is accompanied by a fleet-footed "walking-bass" in the cello and later also in the double bass. About halfway through is a remarkable sequence of descending whole-tones against a rising arpeggio figure in the cello, which is quoted in Schoenberg's treatise on harmony. The exultant mood of the work is interrupted by a sudden return of the foreboding tremolandi of the slow introduction. The final bars are jubilant and optimistic in a way only rarely found in Schubert's works.

The Octet was one of the mile-stone repertoire pieces of the Melos Ensemble. They were one of the first Ensembles to record it (EMI 1968) and performed it at Carnegie Hall, New York on their first American tour in 1961 and on countless subsequent occasions. (Graham Waterhouse)

The Wigmore Hall Trust, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1U 2BP Registered Charity No 1024838 www.wigmore-hall.org.uk

Wigmore Hall is a no-smoking venue. No recording or photographic equipment may be taken into the auditorium, nor used in any other part of the Hall without the prior written permission of the Hall Management. Wigmore Hall is equipped with a ‘Loop’ to help hearing aid users receive clear sound without background noise. Patrons can use the facility by switching their hearing aids over to ‘T’. In accordance with the requirements of the City of Westmin-ster, persons shall not be permitted to stand or sit in any of the gangways intersecting the seating, or to sit in any of the other gangways. If standing is permitted in the gangways at the sides and rear of the seating, it shall be limited to the numbers indicated in the notices exhibited in those positions.

Facilities for Disabled People: Please contact House Management for full details, tel: 020 7258 8210

To all the performers for giving their services.Elizabeth Scott-Taggart for the silhouette of her brother used on the front cover.John Woolf for his invaluable help with organizing this event.Tim Milner for advice and creating the Souvenir Programme.Parul Babbar for the cover design.John Sanderson for lending his viola.Wigmore Hall for their friendly assistance.[Ed comment – Elisabeth Waterhouse, whose inspiration and own boundless energy has led to today’s event.].

Acknowledgements

Director: John Gilhooly Wigmore.pdfJames Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble) B right Angel was written - [PDF Document] (6)

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recollected in tranquility: a celebration

William Waterhouse: eminent bassoonist and a leading expert on the instrument’s history and music.William Waterhouse is most widely remembered as an outstanding principal bassoonist with London orchestras and a chamber musician. However, he was also a distinguished scholar of his instrument, collecting its literature and publishing rare works.

Born in South Norwood, London, he learnt the piano from an early age. When war broke out, he was evacuated to Barnstaple, where he sang in the church choir. After his father’s death in 1942, he returned to London, where the National Gallery concerts instilled in him a love of chamber music. His education at Whitgift school, Croydon, was rich in music, and enabled him to learn fluent German.

His life as an orchestral player started at school, playing the clarinet in the Purley Youth Orchestra. He also became a member of the Oaks Farm Orchestra, where visiting professional conductors encouraged him: Norman Del Mar lent him a bass clarinet on which he would fill in missing bassoon parts. Just before Waterhouse’s 15th birthday, Anthony Baines encouraged him to try the real thing, so he borrowed and taught himself to play an old Buffet French-system instrument. He then borrowed £85 to buy a Heckel bassoon from the London professional Vernon Elliott, and took lessons from him.

At the age of 17, he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, studying the bassoon with Archie Camden and viola with Cecil Aronowitz; to his great delight, the composer Gordon Jacob taught him harmony. On a visit to Norwich, he picked up four flutes and a pair of bassoons for less than £1; during his first visit to Paris, he discovered 18th-century editions of bassoon music; and so he started collecting.

Two years’ national service were spent with the RAF central band at Uxbridge. On Waterhouse’s return to the RCM, he embarked on an external music degree at London University. He passed the first part, but his schedule with the Philharmonia Orchestra prevented him from taking the finals. “Playing under Cantelli, Toscanini and Furtwängler was inspirational - and the money paid for my first grand piano,” he explained.

On a Philharmonia tour conducted by Herbert von Karajan, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf told him where to find the best secondhand music shops in Vienna, and he added to his collection. Another great friend and mentor was the composer Gerald Finzi, who asked Waterhouse to help him edit the concerto for bassoon by the 18th-century Coventry composer Capel Bond, and helped get him into print as an editor.

On leaving the RCM, he sat next to his teacher, Archie Camden, in the Covent Garden Opera orchestra from 1953 to 1955, before joining the orchestra of Italian-Swiss radio in Lugano (1955-58). During this

W illiam Waterhouse was not only one of the finest bassoonists of his generation, he was also a much loved and admired

teacher, mentor, organologist, writer and collector. He died in Santa Nuova Hospital in Florence, Italy, on November 5th, 2007, while on a working holiday with his wife, Elisabeth. Many tributes have been made to Bill, most notably through the IDRS and BDRS journals, so what follows here are some additional recollections and memories of this outstanding musician, together with photographs from the family archive. For those unfamiliar with Bill we begin with an overview of his life, written by June Emerson and first published in The Guardian in November 2007.

happy period, he bought his first car, learnt Italian and skiing, explored the art and architecture of the region, and climbed mountains. While taking part in a

music competition in Munich, he met an RCM friend, Elisabeth. Two years later, they married.

On his return to London, Waterhouse was able to walk straight into the vacant first bassoon position in the London Symphony Orchestra. Here he met the clarinetist Gervase de Peyer, who invited him to join the Melos Ensemble. With them, he recorded all the wind chamber music of Beethoven, and works by Nielsen, Janacek, Poulenc, Schubert and Jean

Françaix - the Divertissem*nt for Bassoon and Strings, which was dedicated to him. His only solo recording was of the long-neglected Sonata for Bassoon by the Swiss composer Anton Liste (1772-1832).

In 1965, he was invited to join the BBC Symphony Orchestra as co-principal (with Geoffrey Gambold). With more time available, he adjudicated, taught (he was professor at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 1966-96), translated German, and edited for Musica Rara, and Universal Edition in Vienna. Together with Henry Skolnick, he founded Bassoon

Heritage Edition in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which printed classics in facsimile. In 1972, the BBC allowed Waterhouse to become visiting professor at Indiana University, Bloomington. On his return, he was commissioned to write all the bassoon entries for the New Grove Dictionary of Music.

He continued with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for another 10 years, but he began to tire of the “phoney” world of the radio studio. Again, luck intervened: Lyndesay Langwill, the great bassoon expert, made Waterhouse a literary executor. This led to the immense task of preparing a revised edition of Langwill’s massive Index of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers. When Langwill died in 1983, Waterhouse inherited all his books and archive material. He soon realised that an entirely new work was needed,

requiring a great deal more research. The project took 10 years, during which time Waterhouse visited 12 countries.

The many works dedicated to him included Gordon Jacob’s Suite for Bassoon and String Quartet (one of his finest) and Partita for Solo Bassoon. In addition to his Divertissem*nt, Françaix made Waterhouse the dedicatee of his Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano.

The culmination of his work was the building of a library next to the family retreat in Gloucestershire. Completed in July 2000, it houses all his books, manuscripts and instruments. He is survived by Elisabeth, their son Graham, a cellist and composer living in Munich, London-based violinist daughters Lucy and Celia, and a sister and brother.

DON JAEGERMy friendship with Bill was a treasure, both professionally and personally. We met under the most unusual circ*mstances, at dinner in the Hotel Flora in Prague, Czechoslovakia on April 30, 1959. We were both young contestants in the Prague Spring International Competition for Woodwinds. In desperately looking for someone who spoke English, I asked if I could join Bill and Alex Murray (flutist) for dinner. There it all began.

From that point on we met for both personal and professional purposes here (USA) and abroad, and Bill told me the last time that I saw him that the only performance he played as soloist in the USA was with me, with the Midland, Michigan Symphony Orchestra. Bill earned such respect among all musicians, not only bassoonists. As a matter of fact, when I tell young bassoonists anywhere that Bill was a friend, they look at me with envy and amazement. He achieved so much with his musical abilities, integrity, honesty, enthusiasm, and friendliness. My life has been ever so much richer for having met Bill at dinner in the Hotel Flora fifty-two years ago!

Above centre: with Gerald FinziAbove top right: with Pierre Monteux

Director: John Gilhooly Wigmore.pdfJames Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble) B right Angel was written - [PDF Document] (7)

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JIMMY BROWN He was always so thoroughly informed about legions of subjects, and was always so willing to share his knowledge. He had travelled extensively of course, and could make an ordinary orchestral tour into something of an event, by following up a reference culled from a 1912 Baedecker, for instance. He had too, a great sense of curiosity, never allowing a discovery to be an end in itself, merely a beginning. He was an incomparable all-round musician and musical scholar who willingly gave help and advice to so many of us, and he leaves an indelible mark on our musical world.

SIR JOHN MANDUELL CBE So many of us, including everyone assembling in the Wigmore Hall to honour Billy, will have a host of personal memories to treasure and to share. My own stretch back to the middle 50s, scarcely credible as this may seem. They go back to early encounters in the BBC studios, mostly at Maida Vale, when Billy was involved with sessions for the Melos Ensemble

or the BBC Symphony Orchestra. These were very special times, when never-to-be-forgotten characters like Dorati or Stravinsky were stirring the pot in their own highly personal ways ! Almost invariably at such times Billy was in his inimitable top form, bringing delight and pleasure to all around him, and enriching us all with his own very special brand of music making.

Later came the tremendous excitement of starting up the RNCM in the mid 70s. I shall never forget the huge delight I experienced when I managed to persuade half the Melos to throw in their lot with us in Manchester. So it

was that in a very short time Billy, along with with Timmy Graeme, Cecil Aronowitz, Terry Weil and Adrian Beers were bringing inspiration and invigoration to a whole new generation of students. For effectively half the Melos Ensemble to combine at the RNCM to inspire in so many new young people the joys of mixed chamber music and the rewards offered by less familiar repertoire brought a new and very special dimension to the College’s music-making in those early days.

Of course Billy’s invaluable and very personal contribution to what we were trying to achieve became influential and beneficial to many. All friends of Billy will be well aware of just how wise and wide was the guidance he was always able to bring to young people as of course he had to his own splendidly musical and gifted children. But at the RNCM he also moved to another dimension as the revered archivist that he became and continued to be for the benefit of the whole College right up until his death. I shall never forget the sense of excitement with which he would tell us of the latest discovery or acquisition which he had secured to strengthen the archival riches of the College. All this splendid work was of course widely mirrored by all his achievements as he explored and recorded the far-flung riches of the bassoon world.

The last time we saw Billy was at the opening of the RNCM’s new east wing. By this time I was already bound to a wheelchair but I shall always vividly remember the engaging boyish enthusiasm with which Billy, as soon as he saw us, squatted down on the floor next to my wheelchair to chat about the occasion and his latest achievements with all his invariable youthful enthusiasm. Then as the official tour of the new premises got underway who should insist on pushing my wheelchair around as we shared the excitement of exploring this stimulating new dimension to the RNCM? You could not be in Billy’s company without his wonderful sense of involvement rubbing off on you. I shall always recall that last encounter as being as exhilarating as had any that had preceded it

JOHN GRAY I would like to take you back nearly 50 years, to when I joined the double bass section of the LSO for the 2nd half of the Promenade Concerts in August 1958. I can’t quite remember who was conducting the LSO

Left: Bill LSO 1967 with John Burnett

then: maybe I didn’t look . . . A few months after this, I was rehearsing at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the LSO, when two players I’d never seen before walked confidently through

the orchestra, to be introduced by the LSO manager Ernest Fleischman.

One was Bill Waterhouse, tall, slim and blond and very young, and in all likelihood inexperienced. He’s probably just left College I guessed. The other was Gervase de Peyer, the clarinettist. I had played with him 3 years before.

I very quickly learned I had been wrong about the college boy. He seemed to know the ropes, and was soon discussing musical discrepancies with the conductor. I was also very impressed by the sound he was producing. Bill’s big bright sound differed a lot from what I was used to hearing, where they always had a microphone quite low over the top of the 1st bassoon for all broadcasts of the BBC Symphony. Describing Bill’s sound would be difficult. But I so well remember the opening of the’ Rite of Spring’ with Monteux and the LSO in its 50th anniversary performance at the RFH. Hearing it live was a first-time experience for me. It opens with a solo bassoon playing at the top of its range. The very top notes of the bassoon sound like a soprano sax: hard to play, I am sure. On this occasion the bassoon solo, beautifully played, was loud and clear, with no sign of fuss from Bill, though he must have been nervous. I never forgot this performance, nor did I forget Bill’s sound the first time I heard it. His way of playing too, with his instrument supported on the floor with a spike, like a cello, instead of the usual shoulder-strap, and his bassoon almost upright, like an anti-aircraft gun, I thought, trained on an enemy overhead. Also the crook, which was nearly straight. He had almost reinvented the bassoon, certainly the way of playing it! When I got to know him better, I realised how much thought he had put into so many aspects of his playing. He didn’t leave it at that

either. He continued to change his ideas and experiment, searching for the best way of playing, and of supporting the instrument. It was a lifelong commitment.

Many years later Bill and I were invited at the same time by Yehudi Menhin to write “Music Guides” – one, of course on the Bassoon and one on the Double Bass. Eventually, after a few false starts, over several years, with telephone calls between London and Sydney, Bill’s book appeared. My Double Bass book never did.

I’m telling you this, against myself, as a tribute to Bill’s determination and perseverance which lifts him way beyond the normal run as a great achiever in everything he undertook. He was a good friend and an outstanding example to us all. I’m now going to try hard to leave something positive behind for future generations of bass-players. Bill’s work will certainly live on to benefit future wind players. We shall miss him and can all be proud of the way he organised his life to produce tangible proof that he wanted to help musicians who will be living after him.

TIM REYNISH Bill was an absolutely magnificent personality, one I was privileged to work with at Manchester. Nobody else that I have known excelled in so many differing

Director: John Gilhooly Wigmore.pdfJames Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble) B right Angel was written - [PDF Document] (8)

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areas, and produced so many unforgettable moments, The International Double Reed Society Conference (Manchester 1989) was complete magic, and I

shall never know how quite one of the greatest of all conferences developed out of so much apparent chaos. I still have a vivid final memory of a trio played on the last night with Azzolini moving somewhat extravagantly, bassoon almost touching floor and ceiling, Rachel Gough being quite expressive in her graceful movements, and Bill so relaxed and focused with not an excessive movement. Chris Yates tells the wonderful story of the broadcast performance of the Britten War Requiem at the Edinburgh Festival, held up because Bill had fallen asleep, but it was Bill the teacher, the mentor, the musician, the scholar . . . . everything. I remember him planning to arrive at an IDRS conference I think whitewater rafting down the Colorado River, worried about what to do with the bassoon on the journey . . . . and of course as Graham reminded me, the centre of that incredible 60th birthday concert at the Purcell Room, rather upset by the amount of noise we made with the Grainger Hill Song No 1 - well, 6 oboes, 6 cor anglais and 6 bassoons do make a lot of noise in a tiny hall.

GEORGE CAUCHI CBE Bill and I were involved in work that lives on to his credit today, and came about when I was John Manduell’s secretary at the RNCM – the museum of the Collection of Historic Musical Instruments at the College. I put the full collection together by many arguments with Manchester City Solicitors and then turned to Bill, who luckily did such amazing work with them, and their provenance. I need hardly tell you how much so many of us are going to miss him, not only in this country, but also in America, on the continent of Europe and in the East. He was not just a brilliant bassoonist and a master musician: to be sure, he was an icon in music, a very good and charming friend and

always, a simple delight to be with! May God bless and reward him!

ANNA WRIGHTFor many years Bill was involved in advising the Royal Northern College of Music on the Henry Watson Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, initially with Trevor Wye. He began working on it more formally in 1991 and later his work was recognised with his designation as Acting Curator of the Collection. After his retirement as a teacher of bassoon Bill visited the College for two days every month during term-time to work on the Collection. As well as answering enquiries, enthusiastically welcoming visitors and giving talks on organology to students he started, in 1994, to compile a catalogue of the Collection, using his knowledge of instruments from his other work. Bill had always cherished a hope that the catalogue would be published in hard copy; with the assistance of John Turner who secured the generous support of the Ida Carroll Trust to fund the

photography, this was achieved in 2010, sadly some two and a half years after Bill’s death. Bill’s work on the Collection, and the catalogue in particular, has left a marvellous legacy for the College and the world of musical instrument studies.

MICHAEL GROCUTT I had travelled up to Manchester, to audition for a place at the Royal Manchester College of Music; I was just 18. I had asked a professional bassoonist in my hometown where I should study and his advice was

unequivocal – “Go to Bill” and so to Manchester I had come.My first impressions of Manchester were not favourable; it was winter and all seemed an irredeemable, damp, murky grey. The kindest thing that I can say about the college building is that it was unprepossessing and small. I was sat in the office ante room when the door opened and in walked Bill with some query for the staff. The room came alive – the day brightened with Bill’s energy and vitality, an impression that remains strongly with me to this day. Later in that day I had my audition, I was the last on the schedule; it was around 5:30 p.m. Bill had been up since forever and had just finished a full day’s teaching yet the energy was still there. I played the first movement of the Mozart Concerto with little distinction and then we came to the Senaille Allegro Spiritoso. We were 8 bars into the Allegro when I stopped and asked Bill, who was accompanying with great panache and some accuracy, if we could go faster – I was young and everything was to be played as fast as possible – I survived and Bill jumped up at the end crying “Bravo”. As I was later to discover Bravos were not an everyday occurrence but we all worked hard to get one. I went home with a glow that lasted all the journey and the next day cancelled my auditions at the Royal College and Academy.It is hard to separate Bill the teacher from Bill the person, what he taught of the bassoon and what he taught of life. His style was informal and although there was discipline he never played the great man, to us he was simply Bill although it was only when I ceased to be a student that I addressed him as such. He was

generous with his time and unstintingly shared all that he knew – he was committed to his pupils, finding them better instruments, lending them music and giving them extra lessons. The teaching day was structured into 1 hour sessions. These rotated so that

the last person of one week became the first of the next. Timekeeping was not one of Bill’s fortes. The last person of the day often got a seriously short lesson, but they knew that next week’s lesson was going to be a long one. Bill seemed to teach almost up to the time of his train’s departure and then suddenly, and often in mid-sentence, he would fly out of the room to hail a taxi to the station. I don’t know how many trains he missed but I suspect he led a charmed life and that the Gods were kind. Later I was to witness the next chapter of the story. One occasion in Aberdeen found us admiring the Old Masters in the City Art Gallery 20 mins before our ferry for the Shetland Isles was due to depart. Another, in Manchester, found me sat in the train for Birmingham where we had a rehearsal with Bill boarding 5 mins after the train was due to leave,“ I have trained myself not to look at my watch” was all he said. Following him on one such dash I noticed that his ankles moved in much the same way as an Olympic walker and to keep up one was obliged to adopt a similar technique.

As a bassoon teacher Bill was inspirational. He had a method for playing – all was very carefully considered, researched in depth and this was how you should do it. A core concept was to obtain the most for the least effort, which I suspect was a key character trait of the man. Any very successful practitioner inevitably influences his students to adopt his precepts but while Bill had the answers he did not insist that we slavishly copy him. Playing on straightened crooks and spikes was not de rigueur; we mostly all did it anyway but not at Bills insistence. The Gospel in order of teaching was to first adopt a standard set of fingerings and learn to make them work in all situations. Whilst there were extra fingers to add or take off to facilitate some of the more problematic slurs, these fingerings were still based on Bill’s standard set. Bill never taught me muffled fingerings to use in pianissimo – he taught me how to play pianissimo. Nor were fake fingerings allowed for difficult passages. Then there was the breathing, the core of the instruction – breathing /support and integral to this was how to relax the body

left: family on holiday in the Alps

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and adopt a good posture, altering the instrument if necessary to achieve this. The oral cavity was relaxed and opened up, the jaw was dropped, the upper chest and neck were to be free of tension and a flexible support of the air column utilizing the lower abdominal muscles was at all times encouraged by a series of exercises. Always the focus was on using only the muscle groups that were necessary for the task and relaxing those that were not. Embouchure was primarily considered to be a flexible gasket around the reed with little reed being taken into the mouth the better to control the tip. The crook angle was adjusted to mirror the student’s natural angle of bite so that both lips exerted an equal pressure on the blades of the reed. The quality of the breath and how to best utilize this was paramount. Bill often said that he made his best sounds towards the end of the breath. In another life I spent several years studying the flute and was initially puzzled at the concept of tone colour that occupies much of the flute player’s attention to realise, only later, that it was a natural part of my bassoon playing – it had just never been labelled as such. Bill demonstrated these differing qualities of sound continually, and showed you how to make them. And inevitably there was finger technique. Scale exercises over the entire range; all scales to be played from the lowest note of the instrument to the highest and in various patterns with an accent progressively moved to each degree of the scale. Each scale was often played three times, and as facility increased, in one breath simultaneously building control and stamina whilst encouraging the efficient use of the air. This every week, supplemented by a graded curriculum of studies and pieces. Bill taught the instrument as well as the music. Bill always had his instrument with him teaching line and phrasing by demonstration. A vocal singing flexible line that commanded your attention and which surprised and delighted. He taught us how to weave the magic.

To be taught by Bill was to be influenced by all that he said and did. What follows is a series of snapshots of the man.

Ӭ Bill the epitome of control - alive with nervous energy after a concert.

Ӭ The slowest eater I have ever met – he talked a lot and often talked slowly and with great deliberation whilst searching for precisely the right word – he must have liked cold food.

Ӭ Bill at home sharing a very small glass of “schnapps”, Courvoisier in actuality, with his guests (mine was larger but Elisabeth had poured it – this was the only time I saw Bill drink) Graham, he was very small then, came in and asked Bill what we were having – “Drugs” was the immediate and forceful reply.

Ӭ Bill drinking a whole carton of cream with evident relish saying by way of expiation that it hadn’t been available during the war.

Ӭ On being given a hot towel in a Chinese restaurant lying head back in his chair draping the towel over his face and abandoning himself to the moment (that one added to the legend amongst us, his pupils).

Ӭ Bill moving spider-like down a rocky scramble at midnight on a small island in the Shetlands using rock climbing techniques. On the same outing in the face of my all too obvious contempt of his oarsmanship – he thought a while and having ascertained that he was at a disadvantage as his oar was shorter he swapped them for the return journey to get even.

It was typical that when he was in Shetland he still took his early morning swim – he got me in only as far as my knees! He said that whilst teaching in America he had gotten lessons from Mark Spitz’s swimming coach to improve the efficiency of his technique.

When staying with Bill I was struck by the plethora of guide books and maps – wherever he went there were things to do and things to see and all was meticulously researched. To be in a car driven by Bill was unforgettable; the necessity for us ordinary mortals of looking where one was going was for him an occasional pastime.

In all the best lesson I learned was to live a full life that developed all one’s talents – and to do everything with efficiency; both in mastering the bassoon and in

life – combining several elements simultaneously. Bill had an inquiring mind which seemed to never lose a sense of curiosity and wonder. He knew his own worth but yet maintained an essential humility; he was possessed of a childlike energy and enthusiasm, and was a true renaissance man.

TAKASHI YAMAKAMIDear Bill, you have led me to the splendour of music and bassoon. Even now, I open my PC every morning still feeling like an email from you might be there. Your last email was the one in response to mine begging for your advice for deciding what to play on my recital scheduled to be held next year,

I can’t help wondering why God called for you as quickly as this! I still have so many thoughts to learn from you.

SERGIO AZZOLINIBill was always one of the most important persons giving me inspiration for the musical life and for lifestyle. I was very much impressed by his power to search always for new discoveries. He was excited like a child when he found out something important, but just after, he was searching for the next one. There are musicians who focus on playing their instrument, others on speaking about or teaching music, others on writing about music and others on research about music - Bill combined all in his person. In a way I try to do the same and Bill is always a big example for me.

When I asked him to write a text about the Mozart bassoon concerto for my recording with an original bassoon, he would have been able to write a text with all the information he just had about it. But instead of doing like this, he started again with research and again discovered something very important. This was Bill - never giving up, never dealing with routine. His 60th birthday was celebrated with a concert and a party entitled “the proud bassoon” - I won’t forget that he gave me a special place in this event as a soloist.

Regarding this event today, I can say he chose the right title for the instrument as this gives the bassoon a much wider and expressive voice or character. He was also proud about the new generation of bassoon players and he always enjoyed musicians playing sincerely. I really would like to keep this kind of humility and love for music at a time, when I will reach his age.

ALAN ABBOTT I vividly remember one Sunday evening when we got onto the subject of breathing, deep breathing.Eventually I persuaded Bill to stand up and take a really full breath. He did! He took a really full breath, and then another, then another, then a third after which he said he’d have to sit down as he had a headache.

On another occasion we were playing through some “morceaux do Concours” so beloved by French composers. Eventually we came to grief in the “Recitatif et Final” by Jules Semmel-Colliery which contained a Top E natural. Bill confessed that he hadn’t a decent Top E – that the note was rarely written anyway! We then enumerated the works requiring Top E – Ravel G major Piano Concerto, Saint-Saëns Sonata, not forgetting the Wagner “Tannhäuser” overture!

Bill began his quest and weeks later he suddenly appeared in Morecambe where I was on tour with the Carl Rosa Opera, when his bassoon was assembled he fished out his diary from a jacket pocket and found fingering for an acceptable Top E ! He’d spent his only free day in weeks travelling to Morecambe and back! Much later we recorded both the Saint-Saëns and the Semmel-Colliery for Radio RSI.

As an illustration of how seriously Bill took his reformed style of playing, he once came home, a little before midnight having played “Götterdämmerung” at the Royal Opera House. He couldn’t go to bed without playing for twenty minutes on his new reed and crook to get the feel of his new technique! He had then decided that he could only make the change by getting out of London and developing in comparative obscurity, which he did by relocating to the RSI Orchestra in Lugano,And another one...

At Easter, Bill had a break and planned to go to France to buy some cane for reeds. As I had never been to Paris, he suggested that I meet him at the station in Paris after his trip south, and that we spend a few days in the French capital. All went well, his train duly arrived on time, but Bill wasn’t on it. The only thing to do was to wait for the next train some 3 hours later. This I did, feeling lost and helpless, but Bill eventually arrived bearing a huge sack of cane. He hadn’t been allowed on the previous train with such a huge sack, so he had spent the 3 hours at the station splitting the cane with his pocket knife so that it would be only half as bulky! We had a few wonderful days

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in Paris including a wonderful harp recital and a concert by the conservatoire students’ orchestra, when we were reduced to fits of barely repressed mirth by the sound of a French contra, very fluty (husky) and played with vibrato in true French style.

GRAHAM WATERHOUSEAs a child William Waterhouse (WW) experimented quite extensively with composition. There is a chest in the attic with piano pieces written between the ages of about 12 and 14. The writing was un-schooled, but sound in instinct. Later on as a young student at the RCM, WW was glad to qualify for Harmony and Counterpoint tuition from Gordon Jacob. In his work as editor, the keyboard realizations (e.g. of the Mozart Bassoon Sonata) were always based on a thorough and complete grounding in the principles of harmony. His reading of literature of all epochs was also informed by an understanding of the surrounding parts (a prerogative of bass-instrument players perhaps!), and harmonic awareness was paramount in his comprehension of a musical score. In my turn, I was started off on the Harmony Tutors of C.H. Kitson and W. Lovelock aged about 11 or 12 (on a skiing trip). Explanations from WW were sketchy; I was expected to work the rules out alone and was subtly but unmistakably made to feel awkward when things were not right. Later we were all encouraged to work through tracts of Hindemith’s Elementary Training. I remember WW saying that a goal one should aim for was to learn a 4 part motet (in C clefs) from memory, then be able to write it out. Among the many reasons he admired Liszt was the latter’s alleged ability to learn a work away from the keyboard and then perform it from memory.WW was not very “vocal” in his encouragement in the early years. Perhaps the part of the reason was that he only spent extended time with his family during the Summer holidays, whilst mountaineering, camping, visiting Italian cities or French Chateaux. I recall his enthusiasm for my first attempt at a String Quartet. He amended passages, helped write out the parts and even organized a cassette recording of it, though I later suspected this was to improve my chances in the Scholarship examination for Highgate School. He loved playing viola with his family, a sentiment not always reciprocated, one has to add! His greatest delight was to play quartets or movements from the Mozart C major String Quintet K.515, him on 2nd viola. Despite

having had Cecil Aronowitz as a teacher, his vibrato was erratic (to say the least) and he still managed to mark fingerings using the digit “5”.On two occasions in particular I benefited as composer from WW’s great experience. The first was going through a new piece of mine for bassoon and piano at an IDRS conference prior to our giving its first performance. He played through the bassoon line, and, while carefully preserving the fabric of the music, transformed it into a “real” bassoon part, finding just the right balance of technical sophistication for the musical content - a lesson which remained with me to the present. On another occasion I sent WW my Nonet (Spohr combination) soon after which there arrived a fairly detailed letter in which he took issue with my over-use of expression-marks, thereby, in his view, distancing the performer from the work. The performer’s own musical integrity was for him an important part in the equation of conveying a piece to an audience. A worthwhile piece of music should encourage and challenge the musician to engage his own artistry. Brahms, he said, was the ideal, whose scores were uncluttered, leaving room for the individual reading. WW had a deep instinct for the spirit and “message” of a piece and was unfailingly able to capture this in his own performances.In the other fine arts WW admired those luminary figures who displayed a combination of great individuality and

technical perfection. These included Rembrandt, Dürer, Titian, Dante, Milton.He had a penchant for supporting “under-dog” composers such as Alkan, Franz Schmidt, Henri Brod, Tadeusz Baird, Skalkottas. He corresponded with and maintained lively relations with a number of contemporary composers during his career including such diverse figures as Stockhausen (whom he particularly admired for the strength of his “vision”), also Françaix, Britten, Gordon Jacob, Alan Hoddinott and Louis Andriessen. He had a pragmatic attitude to the great composers of the past, delighting in underlining “parallels”, doubtful part-writing or inconsistencies in recapitulations on the relevant pages in his miniature scores (which he always took with him to orchestral rehearsals). He was fond of Brahms’ own piano-duet transcriptions, pointing out the Master’s deviations from the orchestral originals for purely pianistic reasons, or comparing fragments of Mozart sketches with the passages in the works they became. He acquired the complete Bach and Mozart editions from Leipzig as payment for his work with Deutscher Verlag für Musik and Hofmeister in the pre-Unification days.Talented as he was, and with his keen, quick-witted and assimilating mind, he could probably even have become a composer – but then he was too pluralistic,

too interested in too many other aspects of music-making, perhaps not quite single-minded enough, and was eventually destined for other journeys over his career of some 55 years.

RON KLIMKO He was my friend, my mentor, my ‘guru’, my walking encyclopedia of the world. I feel a part of me died with him. Before I met Bill Sol Schoenbach told me “ A day with Bill Waterhouse is like a year with anyone else” How true, and then some, that turned out to be. We all loved and revered Bill so much – his legacy will remain forever as one of the truly most brilliant men this world has ever created.

TAKAKO YAMASAKI-HERTzSince I have known Bill and Elisabeth, they have always been a wonderful couple to me. Bill told me of several little episodes of his youth with Elisabeth in a very charming way, and I loved to listen to him as it reminded me about my parents in Japan. As Bill had a passion for diving, when he traveled for congresses abroad, he went to diving in places like the Red Sea, the Australian Sea. I remember he showed me the pictures he took of a beautiful ray, or a big turtle “who is having his breakfast” (Bill said).

Bill was always very keen on each country’s culture. He told me about a lots of museums and historical places he visited during his orchestral tours in Japan. When he visited Japan with Elisabeth in 2004, he managed to make a journey from Tokyo to Okinawa (to dive in a rough sea, just a few days after a big typhoon had passed there), then Kyusyu where my parents are. During their short stay, Bill and Elisabeth visited many many places and in the evenings, we played some Mozart String Quintets with Bill on the viola! So many times I heard Bill laughing and sneezing while I was staying upstairs of his house in London. Sometimes, he

left: concert in Whittall barn

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Bill we sing ‘thank-you,’for showing us howa life can be livedto the fullest somehow

You savoured each daywith passion and joylived moment by momentall richly employed

In sculpting a lifeof remarkable heightsso fearless a pioneerwhose career did ignite

Respect from the worldfor the master you arein creating that variedand rich repertoire,

Of conferences, concertscatalogues and bookswith lectures, collectionsand research which took

You off on wide travelsaround the whole worldto gather deep knowledgeas precious as pearls,

That youshone on those peoplewho were mightily blessed

to be in your companyand share such greatnessThrough your breathtaking intellect put to fine useproducing outstandingbassoon history books

With your sparkling cascadeof artistic finessedevoted to musicwith deep tenderness.

As students we’re proudof our teacher supremeexceptional trainingspectacular regime

Of colourful exercisesto aid our techniqueand musical experiencesmost joyfully unique

Your energy so brilliantyour charisma so brighta truly pure channelthrough which Divine light

Did flow and glistenknow you’ll always be treasured with an abundance of love that can never be measured

Bill we sing ‘thank-you.’

Katherine Plomer

Memories of our exceptional Bill Waterhouse

1. 75th birthday song from sister Eliza2. with Elisabeth3. with siblings, Eliza and Dick4. with Roger Birnstingl 5. on honeymoon in Aldeburgh listening

to Britten and Rostropovich in the first play through of Britten’s Cello Sonata

6. Günter Angerhöfer7. in the wind section of the first NYO8. on tour with Pierre Boulez9. with Gerald Corey10. bassoon class NCMC 198311. in St. Petersburg 12. with Hank Skolnick

13. in the Cotswolds with Gervase de Peyer 1963.14. with Sergio Azzolini, Ron Klimko,

Richard Meek and friends outside No.8615. with Brian Pollard16. with Eleanor St. George17. book launch for The Bassoon18. with the LSO in the early 1960s19. with Takashi Yamakami20. Lake Geneva with Francis Travis21. Richard Moore, Matthew Dart and Jim Kopp22. on the Markneukirchen Jury23. with Katia de Peyer and Elisabeth24. Joanne and Jim Kopp25. with Dominic Weir26. Reiner Weber

Bill and friends

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asked me to play Dohnányi’s Violin Sonata (of course, it was Bill who played the piano)! Thanks to Bill and Elisabeth, 4 years of my stay in London became much richer.

MARTIN SCHUNEMANN We first met in Obersaxen, Switzerland, and I still see him in front of me as bassoon teacher in our wind ensemble. In connection with that, we started lots of mountain tours. Our conversations during our wanderings were mostly concerned with music. For example, while padding up a narrow path in the Alps of Berchtesgaden, his eye fell on the signpost ‘R 109’. Suddenly he asked, “Martin, are you familiar with Bruckner’s opus 109?” When I said that I was ashamed to say that I wasn’t, he only lifted his eyebrows reproachfully. What a shame not to know opus 109 of Bruckner ! But then his eyes looked into the direction of infinity, while he explained that Bruckner must have thought of a landscape like this in front of our eyes while composing this opus. Then I often had great trouble to get him back to reality and to focus his attention on the bumpy way. In those situations one always had to keep an eye on him!

MILAN TURKOVIC Bill and I met when I was still struggling with essentials of bassoon playing as a young student.Many years later he introduced me to Sol Schoenbach of Philadelphia. Like Sol, Bill was among the few admired friends who also were great mentors, opening the doors for me into a cosmopolitan world of wind playing. In all the later years we did not meet very frequently. But we constantly kept in touch by phone and e mail. Whenever there was a particularly complicated question, Bill was the person to ask. And his answers

were consistently reliable. He was a friend and a mentor.

COLIN HOWARD As a young and inexperienced Director of Music at Highgate School in 1978 and therefore fortunate teacher of Graham, (which opened up what was to become an enduring and wonderful friendship with the Waterhouse family), I recall Bill’s beady eye on me from within

the scratch, professional orchestra for a school choral concert at the RCM. His was a critical and discerning eye, by no means unfriendly yet utterly focused on the music and conductor. I knew Bill must have worked with all the great contemporary conductors and I sensed this weight of rich experience in his glance. Most players seem content to acknowledge the waving (or drowning) gestures of the maestro intermittently, yet here was the first bassoon watching shrewdly my every movement as I directed Handel’s ‘The King shall rejoice’. A few years’ later, at Temple Dinsley (NCMC), Bill was obliged to play once again under my baton, in a rendition of Gabrieli’s Sonata pian’ e forte for eight bassoons, except that on this occasion his gaze was averted - for good reason - as the conductor was in drag!

JULIE PRICE I have been reading Bill’s Bassoon Book – there can’t be anything more informative and comprehensive in print. I admired his unbridled enthusiasm for life, his thirst for knowledge and willingness to share it, his individuality unbound by convention or affectation, his endless energy, his humility and generosity.

MARGARET MURRAY Even at the age of fifteen when I first met him, that incomparable enthusiasm was so evident. I shall treasure the memory of that wonderful welcoming smile on the few occasions in the more recent past when we have met again, such as his public concert (60th), his birthday party in Gloucestershire and my 75th birthday party.

GAYNOR HOWARD (née Thomas) He will be remembered with affection by his pupils, and he will never know how much of an idol he was to aspiring bassoonists. I know this well, as I had a 6th former who was completely in awe of his playing!

DAVID and IDA MILLERJust one tiny but treasured memory from his 60th birthday concert – Bill playing a duet with Sergio Azzolini (beautifully played, of course) and us hugely enjoying the physical contrast between the flamboyant swaying movements of the Italian and the completely still and (apparently) unemotional calm of the Englishman. We feel privileged to have had the

opportunity to meet him, and to have experienced his kindness.

MORRIS KAHN Bill was very special to me - as a musician, scholar and friend. His knowledge and interests were formidable and he stretched himself to the very limit in their pursuit. I am proud to have published his definitive book - Bassoon - which is now a significant addition to our Series: Yehudi Menuhin Music Guides.

HECKEL As you surely know, I knew your husband for more than 50 years and think he is the highest authority on the history of the bassoon. It may comfort you to know that even death, he will stay alive in our hearts.

ANTHONY GOLDSTONE Bill was the sort of guy one felt would go on for ever – he was an institution and a remarkable man. I was so fortunate to know him and to gain so much from his teaching and his virtually limitless knowledge, and of course friendship.

EDGAR WILLIAMSBill was a big influence on my playing career. We played together as students and the enthusiasm which he showed then never left him. When I left the Bournemouth Orchestra in 1963, Bill involved me in a lot of work with the BBC and LSO – taking in tours of America and the Soviet Union, and it was very exciting to be experiencing music at that high level. His enthusiasm for the Alexander Technique was quite crucial. That was taken up by all my students at the RSAMD.

JIM STOCKIGT Without his stimulus the paper The Bassoon in Vocal Obbligato Repertoire would probably have remained a pile of unordered photocopies. It is clear that Bill stimulated many people to achieve more as a result of his musical challenges. He was one of the most scholarly people that I have ever met and it was a privilege to have known him.

JAMES KOPPAmong his many publications, William Waterhouse wrote three books of particular interest to bassoonists. The Proud Bassoon (1983), an annotated catalogue written for an exhibition mounted at the Edinburgh University Collection of Historical Musical Instruments, contained many insightful comments about historical bassoons, including his own. Bill later agreed, at the request of Lyndesay G. Langwill, to oversee the seventh edition of Langwill’s Index of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers. Bill put the new edition on a solid scholarly footing, supported by much library research and correspondence with colleagues on several continents. The resulting volume, called The New Langwill Index of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors (London: Tony Bingham, 1993), quickly became the pre-eminent reference in its field. Bassoon, Bill’s contribution to the Yehudi Menuhin Guides (London: Kahn & Averill, 2003), is a practical guide for the aspiring or accomplished bassoonist, lucidly written and full of original insights.

Bill also signed a contract in 1997 to write a history of the bassoon for Yale University Press. It was understood by both parties that the long-delayed Menuhin Guide would be completed first. Meanwhile Bill continued a busy schedule of performing, teaching, adjudicating, lecturing, and writing, including the 12,000-word ‘Bassoon’ article in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001). The Grove article, which reflected much original research, was a foretaste of the historically oriented book he might have written. Doubtless he had many more insights tucked away in his fabled memory, but he did not put them down on paper (or into computer memory, I should say). In July 2007, with his time in demand by the broad public of bassoonists and organologists and his health beginning to threaten, Bill invited me to join him as co-author of the Yale book, and his publisher agreed. We exchanged initial thoughts about the subject and our collaboration, but in early November 2007 he died a sudden and premature death, leaving only a detailed table of contents. After discussions with the Waterhouse family and Yale University Press, I assumed full authorship of the book. I found Bill’s organizational scheme to be well suited to the task and largely followed it, although I filled in many blank spaces, as

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Bill and I had already agreed to do. But the words that will appear in the book are my own, as are the judgements, interpretations, and opinions. The name of the William Waterhouse Estate will appear on the title page as co-publisher in appreciation of the research materials put at my disposal by Elisabeth Waterhouse, who has been an advocate of bassoonists’ interests during most of her life. The Bassoon will be published in early 2012 in the Yale Musical Instrument Series.

TONY BINGHAMIn 1980 there were talks with Lindsay Langwill about a new and expanded edition of his Index. He was happy for Bill to be editor and for me to publish it. LL gave Bill his reference library for use during his lifetime, Bill added his own library to it and, for the rest of his life, kept adding additional volumes. The combined library will now return to Edinburgh.We applied for and were given a grant by The Leverhulme Trust, this paid almost all of Bill’s travelling expenses plus a bit more for his time.At the start, in 1982 all the information was on file cards and Bill continued with this system until about 1985 when he bought a computer.

The next eleven years, before publication in 1993, saw Bill and I spend many happy hours together. First

on a basic methodology which was changed and refined many times, then on much discussion of many individual entries.

These hours I spent with Bill were instructive for me, I learned a lot from him, he had a very orderly approach to sorting the information, a facility necessary in compiling a six thousand name dictionary. The information in all the entries had to be presented in exactly the same order, Bill was fastidious about this, and it certainly makes the finished book easier to use.

In the gathering of information Bill travelled widely in Europe, visiting many friends and colleagues who each added a small part to the greater jigsaw. We were fortunate that the Americans formed a committee to sort out the info on US makers so there was less for Bill to do there, but still much liaising on what and how much to put in.

In 1991, with the end, we thought, in sight, we had to choose a method to turn all this info into a book, we converted the Wordstar files to Ventura and, with some outside help, designed and set the book. There were some real struggles in this part but eventually all were overcome and the book appeared in December 1993. Bill was pleased when it won the Oldham Prize for the best music reference book published that year.

And the next edition…. time for younger members of the 'old musical instrument community' to take up the challenge.

JIM MENDENHALLThe one thing that always comes to mind when I think of Bill is that he is the person, more than anyone else, who made my brain feel alive. The last time I saw Bill was on the weekend of my 60th birthday. On that day I made my way from Vienna to the Cotswolds by subway, train, plane, train, underground and finally bus. Bill and Liz met me in the middle of nowhere and as soon as they learned that it was my birthday, Liz made a special feast and Bill retrieved a bottle of champagne. Just before we left for London, Bill observed that he wished he had more time for the piano. I mentioned that there was no time like the present, and he and Liz sat down to play Brahms’ Haydn Variations. Liz revealed little on her face, but I could see Bill’s eyes twinkling and that big grin get bigger as he threw himself into the piece – he was never one to do something half way.

FRANCIS & ANGELA BARNARD We have many memories connected with your music Barn. One that particularly comes to mind is the little

game that he played, the PDQ Bach, where the pianist fails to turn up for a concert and he therefore decides to play the piano and bassoon simultaneously. It provided a hint of the breadth of his knowledge, of so much of the world of music while being very simple and lighthearted at the same time. We miss his erudition and his friendliness very much indeed. We miss his arrival and departure from the Church on his motor-bike, having perhaps come all the way from London to play the organ for us in Gloucestershire !

ROGER BIRNSTINGL“Grande personalità che così tanto ha nobilitato il mondo del fa*gotto” — an immense personality who

has done so much to ennoble the bassoon. This is how one of my Italian friends and one time student of mine, described the unique Bill Waterhouse. I have known Bill since about 1951 when I was at the Royal College of Music. We met at the Commonwealth Institute in London on an occasion when I played 2nd bassoon to him. On the programme was the Petite Suite of Debussy and I remember that he told me that this was originally a piano piece that had been orchestrated by Henri Büsser and not the composer. It was a small snippet of knowledge which, however, exactly sums

up Bill’s attitude to all things he was interested in. Throughout his life he would delve for information about anything worth knowing about. As the years of inquiry went by he became informed not only on music, but on just about anything from sanskrit and semantics (he spoke at least four languages), to Far Eastern cultures, art, architecture, ceramics, mountains and not least, scuba diving. He collected from a very early age, scouring flea markets and antique shops to return with the most varied ‘finds’; bassoon works and tutors, musical memorabilia

of all sorts, books, pictures, letters, manuscripts and early instruments.

We quickly become good friends and he would invite me down to his south London home where we had bassoon afternoons followed by high tea of kippers and scones prepared by his mother. We would do crazy things like playing all through a Milde study book, playing alternately one study each. Perhaps Bill would produce some piece he had dug up and ask me to play the piano accompaniment. This was a mistake as he soon found out, and it was then I who had to play the solo part whilst he did an impeccable sight read at the piano. He was always an amazing sight reader and I remember the then second bassoon of the Coliseum telling me that Bill had come in at the last minute to replace the first bassoonist who had been taken ill. It was for a performance of Prokofiev’s War and Peace and he was seeing the part for the first time. The only mistake he made all the evening was when the second bassoon came in one bar early and Bill followed him.

Sometimes he would come to my flat in South Kensington and hear me play my pieces. Although there was less than one year in age difference, I hung on his words of suggestion over interpretation, ideas that seemed so right (‘how could I not have thought of that?’ I would say to myself). With the Gordon Jacob Concerto he was particularly inventive and this wisdom I still remember and have passed on to my students (with attribution). He had strong ideas about the bassoon too. ‘When you listen to an orchestra playing on the wireless’ (not radio in those days)’ you can guess which orchestra is playing, let’s say, from the solo oboist because the great players have a distinctive tone. For instance, hearing the unmistakable Leon Goosens, it must be the Royal Philharmonic. It should be like that for us too; have a special

Bill performing Schickele’s P.D.Q. Bach, Purcell Room.

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something in the sound so that you are not just another bassoon player but a personality’. There is a lot to be said for that I feel.

From 1953 to 1955 Bill was in the Covent Garden orchestra, playing next to his teacher, Archie Camden and I would often hear performances. In those days one could get a ‘gallery slip’ ticket for one shilling and six pence. In these seats perched up near the proscenium arch it was best not to have vertigo and there wasn’t much of the stage to be seen. However there was an excellent view of the pit and I had my eyes and ears open for the bassoon section.

Then a change came. It was 1955 and I had been on a climbing course in Switzerland where I heard that there were auditions for a job in the Swiss-Italian Radio in Lugano. I didn’t think it was the moment for me to leave London so I suggested to Bill that he might enjoy some time in the sun. Subsequently he won the job and stayed there for three years. He loved Lugano with its superb climate, learning Italian and with the chance to play any concerto he wished on the radio. But then came an invitation to join the LSO as principal, an offer he could not refuse. So I took his job in Switzerland and Bill returned to London. Happily he came to visit from time to time, once with his future wife, the pianist and violinist, Elisabeth Ritchie. We had so much fun together climbing his (and my) favourite mountains and swimming in the limpid lake. Sadly he would not stay long as there was the stronger pull of Italian cultural sights just a few miles to the south.

On one of these visits he arrived in a battered VW to collect some music. It was to do with the fact that during his Lugano sojourn he had made many good friends, one being a niece of Thomas Mann. She had a huge collection of music and had just died. When the VW left, it was filled to the brim with scores of all sorts. This is just one example of the tremendous talent he had for not hanging around when an opportunity

presented itself. Another example is of John Parr, an amateur bassoonist of Sheffield, born in about the 1870s who had collected scores and indeed wind instruments all his life. During his brief holidays from the railways where he earned his living, he would travel all over Europe hand copying original works from famous libraries (it was he who discovered the score of the Hummel Concerto). He died aged about 98. Bill managed to acquire this whole collection, many of the gems of which, he later had published. Some of the collection was donated to the British Library.

In 1964 Bill left the LSO and I took his place there whilst Bill moved to the BBC Symphony Orchestra. (The bassoon parts in the LSO were all marked up with Bill’s special system of pencil cues avoiding the danger of making a duff entry; it is simple and foolproof and is a technique I have used ever since). Thanks to Gervase de Peyer he was now in the Melos Ensemble with which he made so many recordings including the Françaix Divertissem*nt. There are many stories of Bill on chamber music tours. He would never miss a chance to see some museum or church which he would already have read about. After many hours on the road, his old VW dormabile packed with members of the ensemble, all of them just wanting to find the hotel, have a rest and change before finding the concert venue, would hear Bill saying ‘it’s only 4 o’clock and you just cannot miss seeing the fabulous romanesque church of San Zeno’. They were then obliged to endure ploughing through intense traffic trying to find the sainted church. Frayed tempers perhaps, ‘but that’s just Bill’. He was always forgiven.

During his early years Bill did a very clever thing. He found that Kurt Ludwig made a reed that was perfect for his playing style. By dint of many visits to Munich he built up a stock that was to last him all his performing life. Consequently he didn’t have those reed problems that so many of us suffer and

could spend his time doing more worthwhile pursuits. This meant that he could return to the ennoblement of his instrument that I mentioned at the beginning. I will not attempt here to list all the many publications and books written by Waterhouse, the many entries in the New Grove Dictionary, the monumental New Langwill Index of wind instrument makers and the Menuhin Guide to the Bassoon being perhaps the most important. His editions from, amongst others, Universal, Bassoon Heritage Edition and Emerson are known by every bassoonist in the world. But it was the bassoon itself that was his first priority. He loved to play his old 7000 Heckel and he would have no truck with adding new keys. For him no high d key let alone a high e and he needed no lock considering the left hand whisper key quite sufficient. But everything to do with the instrument or its precursors impassioned him. I can still remember receiving a letter some 15 years ago in which he expressed his exuberance and joy in finding in America a 17th century Spanish dulzian (‘bajòn’). And so it was throughout his life. The Proud Bassoon was how he named so aptly the extensive exhibition held at the Edinburgh Double Reed Convention in 1980. It was as though he were thinking, ‘alright all you famous musicians who play those popular solo instruments like the flute, the horn and the oboe; but watch it chaps, the bassoon is equally expressive and indeed noble.’ I think it is fair to say that being a great soloist was never of interest to him ; it was the instrument itself that had to be put back on the map to what it was in the time of Vivaldi and his 38 concertos.

Bill had so much more to do; sadly he had not been able to complete the work on the bassoon he was

writing with James Kopp as co-author, for publication by Yale University. But Bassoon and Waterhouse will continue to be linked inseparably due to the immense contribution he has made to the bassoon world. He will be greatly missed and certainly can never be replaced.

SIMON HARRISThe fact that he commanded the respect of the entire music profession does not altogether explain everyone’s sense of loss, nor does the fact that he had the sort of mastery that people nowadays do not attempt to acquire. It is easy to say that he was the sort of musician that today’s society does not produce – but that suggests that he was old-fashioned, which he was not. My feeling is that he was never dependent on the sort of purely technical instruction that passes all too often nowadays for education but tended to take responsibility for what he was. And the result was a sort of multifaceted musician that the world wrings its hands that it does not have. He will be sorely missed.

WALTER SALLAGAR I well remember our last meeting in Vienna (Cim Cim Congress) when we talked so many subjects of our interest and had a good dinner at the Asian restaurant I know well – we were the latest guests. If I had known of his fate so close maybe I would have been tempted to persuade Bill to stay in his premises enjoying the collection, pianos, organ, books etc. and not continuing his exhausting travels. But it would not have fitted Bill’s lifestyle ! Therefore I think we all should be thankful and honoured to have Bill so many

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years in close friendship – I think it must have been half a century with me – and all the wonderful people in the world will

think alike. None of us will forget this charming and inspiring true British Gentleman of great wisdom and humanity.

DONALD CASSON I suppose the number of times he and I met cannot be more than a dozen but I always felt him to be one of my very good friends. The peak achievement was when he let me stay at Whitehall Cottage. I was hoping that my presence would somehow set off the spark that would result in the Yale book but it wasn’t to be: even my account of a visit to France to see the world’s one and only contrabass oboe didn’t turn him from the task he had set himself – to organize the judges for a competition in Markneukirchen.

KATHERINE JEANS Bill in my memory, was a musician who was so totally “at one” with his instrument. Bill and the bassoon together formed the most perfect partnership although he was remarkably adept at playing other instruments too. I recall an enchanting performance he gave on his triple flageolet in the old tithe barn down the road at the Burford Bridge Hotel (in the late 1970s). It takes a genius to find such an instrument, let alone to perform on one ! He gave a beautiful rendition of a charming little piece in 3-part harmony, with the most amazing finger dexterity - sometimes having to cover several holes with each finger.

GRAHAM NICHOLSON I thought that he would live to be over 100 – of all the humans I had ever met. For him I am not sorry, he had done more in his ¾ century than most people could in 300 years. For me, I am sorry not to have his wit, his lightness of being, his intellectual repartee, his

knowledge and soundness of judgement. I was pretty much counting on that for the next 25 years. I am so happy to have talked to him for 1 ½ hours on the Thursday before you left. He was so happy to have the challenge of two talks. He was over the moon about getting his diving certification back He was a pleasure to talk to, he was in his element and talked very enthusiastically about life, his books, his future.

ALEXANDER MURRAYMy first meeting with Bill was when we were both teenagers at a summer music camp in Sherborne. Our paths did not cross again until he joined the Covent Garden Orchestra in 1953 where he sat next to his former teacher at the Royal College, Archie Camden. He left after a year to play in the Lugano orchestra and I joined the LSO in 1955. I think he joined me there two years later, by which time I was an enthusiast for the Alexander Technique, having lessons with Charles Neil. I don’t recall whether I persuaded Bill to have lessons at that time, but I do remember that by 1958, after Charles’ death, he was certainly having lessons with John Skinner.

The LSO had a busy schedule at that time but Bill and I decided at short notice to compete in the Prague Spring Festival early in 1959. A week at the Hotel Flora with an international group of competitors brought us close together – as translators from Italian (Bill) to Russian (me) and French (me) to Russian and Italian. Bill became friendly with an American oboist, Don Jaeger who was the first contact in a chain of events which transformed my life. Our Russian friends called me “Sasha” and from that moment on, Sasha was Bill’s name for me.

One of the subjects of our personal talks during this time was marriage – Bill was about to decide whether or not to propose. When we returned to London, we were together on a trip to Brighton for a concert with Monteux. It was a Sunday afternoon affair and my wife was with me. He consulted her on the same problem and I think she was sufficiently reassuring.

Ernest Fleischmann had become General Secretary of the orchestra and a life of touring ensued. I think

the first major one was in 1960 when we replaced the Israel Philharmonic in Israel while they toured the USA. I became a constant room-mate of Bill and soon learned what a dynamo I was living with. His favorite reading was Baedeker and no sooner were we established in a hotel than he was out in search of antiquities.

When we visited Japan, after an 18 hour flight we reached the hotel and while most of us were lining up at the desk to pick up room keys, we saw Bill rushing out of the door – at 10 o’clock at night. One of the wags said “He’s off to look at a Roman brick”. It transpired that Bill’s Baedeker had told him that the Japanese baths closed at 11pm and he was off to discover the marvels of that experience. Little did he know that the Hotel was fully equipped with them and with massage experts, revitalizing tired pilots and, in our case, exhausted musicians. When we returned from Japan, the overhead bin in the aircraft was bulging with wallpaper that Bill had bought during the visit!

It was a sad day for the LSO when Bill left to join the BBC although his friends understood the appeal of sharing a principal position with the possibility of following other interests – which in Bill’s case were so widespread and demanding!

In 1966 I was appointed to the faculty at Michigan State University but was unable to obtain a visa until January 1967 which is when we moved to East Lansing to begin a 40 year residence in the USA.

Our connections during the last thirty years have been very spasmodic, sometimes due to our mutual friends who have been guests of the Waterhouses in Highgate. Bill has made a few visits to the University of Illinois, the last one of which, shortly before his illness was a very impressive performance in which he accompanied himself on the piano while playing the bassoon. He had traveled all day to get to Urbana and was tired after the concert but suddenly perked up and we had a delightful few hours reminiscing.

I cannot think of anything appropriate to say about Bill, except that he was a great friend, a great musician and a great eccentric. He is missed by all who knew him.

FRANCIS TRAVISAs a young conductor working in Lugano, I met Bill and as we conversed, he drew my attention to Berlioz's Les Nuits d'Été. This turned out to be a milestone in my life, as I recorded it with the Wiener Symphoniker and it became the first CD of the work.

JOHN TURNERMy first encounter with Bill was playing baroque chamber music in, I guess, the mid 70s. with Susi and Katharine Jeans, Evelyn Barbirolli and Bill at the delightfully eccentric Boxhill Festival, held annually at Cleveland Lodge, Susi’s rambling home in the Surrey Downs. Susi’s large eyes gleamed and her hair swished around uncontrollably, as I rushed off with hectic double-tonguing. The ever beguiling and tactful Evelyn would say “John, not so quick - I didn’t start playing the oboe till I was 18, and my fingers won’t move that fast!” Katharine, my co-recorder player, was usually shattered after having to prepare the pre-concert supper for assorted high court judges, surgeons, antiquarians and the like. Bill, sphinx-like, played the basso line on a baroque bassoon, with that seraphic and unforgettable smile that I always associate with him, coping patiently and gently with all the unsynchronised entries, missed repeats and wrong notes that were liberally flying above him. It was an object lesson in the importance of the baroque bass line that I have never forgotten. His later association with the RNCM, whose lawyer I was for many years, was a joy, and he was an enormous supporter of the journal Manchester Sounds, which we launched when Manchester’s Henry Watson Music Library was under threat from the powers that be. I shall always be grateful to him.

HENRY SKOLNICK The International Double Reed Society held its 1986 conference at the North Carolina School for the Arts. I had recently returned to the USA from post-graduate work in Berlin, and was eager to hear the many fine players who were attending from around the world. One of these was William Waterhouse. I had spent my music school days often listening to his recordings with the Melos Ensemble, and was really looking forward to his presentations.

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On the first day of the conference, a public bulletin board was set up, and one of the first notices posted was from Bill. He was looking for a ride to Miami after the conference. I was the only person attending from Miami, so approached Bill to offer a ride. Once we started discussing a plan, Bill said that his actual destination was the Florida Keys to do a week of scuba diving! The year before, he had been guest teaching in Australia, and had done a scuba diving course in order to see the Great Barrier Reef in person. In order to keep his scuba license current, he needed to log some dive time, and the Florida Keys are well known for fine diving.

At that time, I had family with a rental apartment in the Florida Keys just south of Marathon, a town mid-way between Miami and Key West. After confirming it was available, I offered it to Bill. He was delighted with this news, and said that being liberated from a housing cost would enable him to spend a few extra days diving. As a way of thanking me, Bill offered to give me bassoon lessons around the edges of our diving trips.After a brief stop at my home in Miami, we first went on a three-day trip through the Everglades. Daytime was spent exploring varied habitats, and evenings were spent sitting around swimming pools chatting about the bassoon, repertoire, reeds, the natural world, politics

and many other things. We then headed for the Florida Keys.

We spent a week in Marathon, and every day was the same. We would wake early and have a hearty breakfast. Then off for a morning dive, lunch break, and an afternoon dive. Then back to the apartment for a bassoon lesson followed by dinner. After dinner, we would sit around and continue our conversations. Imagine how thrilled I was as a young bassoonist at the start of my professional life, to be hanging out with one of the world’s most highly regarded bassoon scholars! I learned more in those two w at any other time in my life.

One of our common interests in those conversations was bassoon repertoire. At that time, before the digital age, one had to locate a hard copy of a piece of music in order to access it. For bassoonists, this was a daunting problem. Bassoon music had always had a small market, and most of the historic repertoire had either never been published, or published in small print runs. As a result, many significant works were not available to bassoonists in those days. Bill had been collecting this repertoire for decades, and I was keen to know it. So it was during one of our conversations in Marathon that we first talked about forming a publishing house together. By the end of his stay, Bill and I had a detailed plan. He would supply the editorial guidance, and all of the source material from his own extensive library. I would run the business side of things, including production, distribution and advertising. The name we chose was meant to reflect our mission; to make available the four centuries of bassoon repertoire that had fallen out of circulation. Bassoon Heritage Edition was born.By the following summer, our business was launched, and our first titles were in production. BHE 1 was a facsimile reproduction of the 1733 publication of Six Sonatas for the Bassoon or Violoncello With a Thorough

Left: Reichenbach Falls October 2007

Bass for the Harpsichord by Johann Ernst Galliard. Bill had an original copy of this in fine condition in his library. These sonatas are well known to bassoonists in modern editions, but having this source material was an exciting development. It won us wide attention, and set a high standard for our venture.We added three or four titles to our catalog each year, and built a diverse catalog of recital and chamber music from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. In 2003, due to changes in my own circ*mstances, we turned BHE over to Koenigsbeck to incorporate into his catalog with Accolade Musik Verlag.

There are countless episodes and stories from the Bassoon Heritage Edition project. But it is the origin of the project that stands out for me. It was Bill’s sense of adventure, his drive to see and experience the grandeur of the world that led him to the Florida Keys that summer.

I was fortunate enough to witness that first hand, and have been forever inspired by it. Bassoon Heritage Edition was a perfect reflection of an extraordinary man, and a dear friend.

KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN In an exchange of emails following Bill’s death in November 2007, Richard Moore asked Stockhausen whether he recalled working with Bill when recording Zeitmasse and Adieu. Stockhausen replied:

“Not only in rehearsals, but also in many hours before and after rehearsals and recordings, and during

our trips with the ensemble, I had the pleasure and privilege of sharing with William Waterhouse his rich cultural knowledge and enthusiasm. He was a musician as we all should be: excellent as a performer, open minded, curious, well educated, joyous, full of humour. I greet him in the beyond and hope to meet him again.”Four days after sending this reply, Stockhausen himself passed away.

ROBERT BIGIOThere are dry-as-dust scholars who contrive to suck the joy out of any subject, and there was Bill, chirping with enthusiasm and filled with a love of music and a love of learning. Bless you, Bill. A smile forms on my face every time I think of you.

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PerformersRoger Birnstingl BassoonRoger Birnstingl was born in England in 1932 and studied piano and bassoon at the Royal College of Music, London. In 1955, as a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra with Herbert von Karajan, he made his first of over twenty-five United States tours. He has been principal bassoonist of the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic and for thirteen years, the London Symphony before joining l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in 1977. During this period he has played under most of the great conductors including Klemperer, Monteux, Munch, Stravinsky, Kondrashin, Bernstein, Sir Georg Solti, Abbado, Ormàndy, Ozawa, Barbirolli, Sir Colin Davis, Lòpez-Corbos and Rafael de Burgos.

Linda Begbie BassoonLinda is currently studying Bassoon at the RNCM.

Stefano Canuti BassoonStefano Canuti currently teaches bassoon in the Conservatorio Superior de Aragon and he is also International Chair in Bassoon at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

Ben Couldwell BassoonBen studied at the RCM with Martin Gatt and Nicholas Hunka. As a postgraduate, Ben specialised in contrabassoon and since leaving the college in 2008, he has run the bassoon department at Howarth of London. He continues to play as a freelance player regularly performing at the Minehead Festival as well as performing with his wind trio.

Howard Dann BassoonHoward is a passionate French system bassoon player and currently works for Howarth of London. He won a scholarship to study bassoon at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and was awarded ‘Ernst and Doris Haigh Memorial Award for Performance’ and the college’s woodwind prize in his final year. He went on to study for a postgraduate diploma at the Royal College of Music. It was whilst at the RCM that Howard formed the Emerson Quintet, with whom he won the inaugural ‘June Emerson Launch-pad Prize’ for chamber music. He has won various awards and plays as a freelance with many orchestras including the Queens Hall Orchestra.

Alec Forshaw BassoonAlec Forshaw had lessons with Bill when he was in the NYO, and continued these while studying at Cambridge University. He is a founder member of the London Woodwind Ensemble, the Galliard Trio, and the chamber group, Harmoniemusik. He performs regularly with Lontano, the Contemporary Chamber Orchestra, the London Chamber Orchestra, and with the National Theatre. He pursues a varied career as bassoonist, harpsichordist, writer and arranger.

Michael Grocutt BassoonMichael Grocutt studied with Bill in Manchester (1971-75)

participating in the Munich Competition at the end of his studies. He was a freelance player based in the North for a decade before moving into education. In 1993 his students won the Maurice Jacobson Outstanding Performance Award at the National Festival of Music for Youth. He became Head of Woodwind and Brass for the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1996 and having retired moved to North Wales in 2009.

Yoshi Inada BassoonYoshi Inada was born in Japan, and started his career as a medical doctor (neurologist). He soon realised that he wanted to be a musician, and came to London to study with Bill, later studying at the Royal Academy of Music. He was also influenced by Elisabeth (Bill’s wife) to study Alexander Technique. He teaches Alexander Technique at Trinity College of Music.

Jonathan Jones Contrabassoon Jonathan is currently studying Bassoon at the RNCM.

James Kopp BassoonJames Kopp is a bassoonist, reed maker, and writer on musical topics. He has performed with the New Jersey Symphony as well as many operatic and chamber ensembles in the New York area. He is also a performer on bassoons of early centuries, appearing with the New York Collegium, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, and Handel & Haydn Society (Boston). James is the author of The Bassoon, to be published by Yale University Press in association with the William Waterhouse Estate in 2011.

Nicholas Macorison BassoonNicholas Macorison currently studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, having previously studied in Prague and Birmingham. He is an active freelance musician, playing the bassoon and contrabassoon in a variety of ensembles and orchestras throughout the UK. He is also bassoon tutor to the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq.

Richard Meek Bassoon Richard is Professor of Bassoon and music theory at Texas Tech University. He is also principal bassoonist with the Lubbock, Roswell (NM) Symphony Orchestras and Abilene Philharmonic. He performs also with the Obietech trio and on baroque bassoon with the Texas Baroque Trio. Richard is editor for solo and ensemble works for the bassoon with Allyn Publications and supervises bassoonists at the annual Texas Tech Band/Orchestra Camp.

Julie Price BassoonJulie Price is currently Co-Principal Bassoon of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Principal Bassoon of the English Chamber Orchestra. She has previously held the Principal Bassoon post with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a Professor of Bassoon at the Royal College of Music.

Jim Stockigt BassoonJim Stockigt is a physician-endocrinologist who studied bassoon in Melbourne with Thomas Wightman. He has had professional experience on both modern and baroque bassoon and has been active in orchestral and chamber music in Australasia, California and London and has participated in numerous Kronach symposia. Medical travel has often been enhanced by side-trips to music libraries. He is the instigator of the collection “Arias with obbligato bassoon: the bassoon in vocal works, 1700-1850”, a project that owes much to active encouragement from Bill Waterhouse. (Website for the aria collection: www.jimstockigtinfo.com).

James Thomas BassoonJames Thomas is currently studying Bassoon at the RNCM.

Lyndon Watts BassoonAustralian bassoonist Lyndon Watts won the principal position in the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in 1998. He began learning bassoon in 1988, and from 1992 to 1993 he worked casually with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and won numerous prizes in Australia. Lyndon then studied bassoon with Professor Eberhard Marschall in Munich, Germany, followed by lessons on early bassoon with Alberto Grazzi in Verona. In 2002 he was a prizewinnner in the ARD Music Competition. Lyndon has performed as soloist with various Australian and European orchestras and has a professorship at Berne University of the Arts. He gives regular masterclasses throughout Europe and Asia.

Takashi Yamakami BassoonTakashi Yamakami studied at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music for his undergraduate and graduate degrees. His principal teachers include Yoshihide Kiryu, Heihachirou Mita and Albert Hennige. He is currently contributing as Secretary General at the Japan Bassoon Society and as Lecturer at the Tokyo Metropolitan High School of Music & Fine Arts. He organized a Japan Tour for William Waterhouse in 2004. He gave bassoon recitals, and a lecture and demonstration on bassoon reed-making at IDRS conferences in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Seiya Ueno FluteSeiya Ueno was born in Tokyo in 1989. He is a flutist of the new generation with true talent and virtuosity. He was Grand-Prix winner of the 2008 Jean-Pierre Rampal International Competition and also the Grand-Prix winner of 13th “Gheorghe Dima” International Music Competition 2011. He has also appeared as soloist with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Octet, and New Japan Philharmonic. Seiya currently lives in Paris, and continues to perform in France, Japan, and many other countries in Europe and Asia.

Gervase de Peyer ClarinetGervase de Peyer born in 1926, plays with the fluency and flair born of years working with the likes of Sir Thomas Beecham, Herbert von Karajan, Otto Klemperer, Aaron Copland and Pierre Boulez. From 1969 to 1972, his ongoing LSO position as principal clarinet and the success

of the Melos Ensemble of London (whose recordings have been reissued by EMI) overlapped part of his twenty year engagement in New York City as founding member of the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center (1969-1989). In 1990 he founded the Melos Ensemble in Washington DC. He now lives in London.

Timothy Brown HornTimothy Brown has enjoyed a flourishing international career as a soloist and chamber musician as well as playing in Britain’s leading orchestras with such distinguished musicians as Stravinsky, Klemperer and Gunter Wand. He played Principal Horn with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has played with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields since 1968 and made several award-winning recordings with their Chamber Ensemble. He was a member of the Melos Ensemble in its later years.

Leonie Curtin ViolinLeonie works with Early Music groups such as La Serenissima and the Avison Ensemble, The Sixteen and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She also teaches at the Junior Guildhall School of Music. Previous to this, she lived and worked in Dublin, playing with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and the new music group, Crash. She originally learned with the Suzuki method in Cork, received her degree from the GSMD and her postgraduate degree from the University of Illinois.

Boris Kucharsky Violin Boris Kucharsky is of Russian, Slovakian and German descent and was born in Dortmund, Germany, in 1971. He studied at the Menuhin School in London and became a protégé of Menuhin, who, in 1990, conducted a performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto that first laid the foundation for Boris Kucharsky’s reputation as one of the outstanding violinists of his generation. His recordings include the complete Sonatas for Piano and Violin by Beethoven. He is a Professor at Montclair State University in the USA and a much sought-after teacher at numerous Summer Courses across Europe.

Celia Waterhouse ViolinCelia Waterhouse enjoys a busy career as a chamber musician, orchestral player with BBC Symphony Orchestra, teacher and soloist. Besides regularly giving recitals she plays with the London-based Alexander Quartet and is a regular soloist and leader with the Tallis Chamber Orchestra and Arco Strings. She also teaches chamber music at annual summer courses in England and Germany.

Lucy Waterhouse Violin and ViolaAfter university Lucy ventured up to north Norway and led a chamber ensemble,. She also later played in Norwegian Opera and Oslo Philharmonic. Back in England, Lucy freelances with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, leads “Caledonian Quintet” and TANGO VOLCANO, which tours Britain regularly, performing in festivals, often accompanied by a dance couple. The Times: “you won’t find tango played better anywhere”.

Director: John Gilhooly Wigmore.pdfJames Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble) B right Angel was written - [PDF Document] (18)

33

The PLG is proud to be working closely with the Waterhouse Family in presenting today’s special event to celebrate the life and work of William Waterhouse, probably the most pre-eminent bassoon player of his day in the UK.

Sincere thanks are expressed to the many musicians taking part and to all those who have helped to make the occasion materialise.

Today’s outstanding concert fits very well into many past PLG special celebrations, which include events for Lord Menuhin, Sir Lennox Berkeley, Lord Berners, Dame Ninette de Valois, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Sidonie Goosens in her presence on her 100th birthday, John Ogdon, Sir Andrezj Panufnik, Adolphe Sax, Dame Edith Sitwell, Dame Joan Sutherland, Stan Tracey, Sir William Walton, among many.

The free use of Park Lane House, 45 Park Lane, London W1 in 1956 led to the founding of the Park Lane Group with the principal aims of presenting events of special value and interest and for providing a prominent central London platform for highly talented young artists.

This policy of creative opportunity has been continued for 55 seasons with excellent results. Well over 1,500 young artists have been presented over the years and an important proportion (far too many to list here) have achieved major international and national careers. The success of such a large number of fine artists, their recognition in perceptive press reviews, plus the PLG's adventurous and imaginative programming, has established the PLG as a leading platform for young performers of outstanding talent. The long-running annual 10-concerts PLG Young Artists New Year Series in the Purcell Room has given prominent opportunities to over 1,600 young musicians, with regular outstanding press reviews. A good proportion perform in the PLG Wigmore Hall Young Artists Series. Another vital set of events is the 21-concerts PLG Lunchtime Young Artists Series. In addition, the PLG Young Composers’ Symposium & Concerts Weekend each autumn in Southbank Centre.

PLG PO Box 56260 London N4 9AG E: [emailprotected] T: 020 7255 1025

Joe Ichinose ViolaJoe Ichinose comes from a family of string players and grew up playing chamber music. Since graduating from the RNCM in Manchester in 2007, he has been freelancing as an orchestral musician and has played with a number of quartets and chamber ensembles in and around London. Joe is also the youngest faculty member on the National Chamber Music Course.

Dorothea Vogel ViolaDorothea Vogel studied with Rudolf Weber in Winterthur, Paul Coletti at the Peabody Institute, USA, and with David Takeno and Micaela Comberti at the Guildhall School in London, where she graduated with the coveted Concert Recital Diploma. Since joining the Allegri Quartet in 2001, Dorothea has been busy playing concerts all over the country and abroad, teaching masterclasses and leading workshops at universities. Her viola is by Ludovico Rastelli, Genoa, circa 1800.

Emily Robinson CelloEmily studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Mats Lidström and Jennifer Ward-Clarke and in The Netherlands with Jaap ter Linden. She co-founded the prize-winning ensemble Opera Quarta, whose first CD of works by Jean-Marie Leclair was awarded the Diapason d’Or. Emily currently performs in the UK and France with The King’s Consort, Academy of Ancient Music, Concert d’Astrée and Le Cercle de l’Harmonie.

Graham Waterhouse Cellist and ComposerGraham Waterhouse is based in Munich and is active as cellist and composer. Besides chamber music works for solo cello and for cello with speaking voice, he has written a Cello Concerto, premiered in 1995 in Mexico City, and a Concerto da Camera for Cello and Ensemble, premiered in January 2011 in Munich by the composer. Commissions include works for the Munich Biennale, International Double Reed Society, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and Park Lane Group, London. His latest CD features works for string orchestra played by the English Chamber Orchestra and for winds played by Endymion. He has held residencies in Cambridge (as visiting Fellow in Churchill College), in Albertville, France and future plans include a residency in Tromso, Norway.

Lucy Hare Double BassLucy’s link with the Waterhouse family began when she co-founded Tango Volcano with Lucy Waterhouse in 2001. She plays regularly with many of London’s orchestras, opera and ballet companies and in the West End. She is a founder member of the Oxford Concert Party, taking tangos and celtic music and dance into unusual places including some of Britain’s highest security prisons. She is proud to have appeared alongside Basil Brush on this year’s BBC Red Nose Day.

Graham Waterhouse: Works for and with Bassoon

Bassoon and Piano / Contrabassoon and Piano / Contrabassoon SoloAztec Ceremonies / cbsn, pn op. 37 (1996) Hofmeister 10’Diplo-Diversions / bsn, pn op. 44 (1998) Hofmeister 11’Contraventings / cbsn op. 46 (1998) Hofmeister 7’Phoenix Arising / bsn, pn (2008) Accolade 10’

Multiple BassoonsHexenreigen / 4 bsn (1998) Accolade 7’Contradanza dei Lupi / 4 cbsn (or 4 bsn) (2004) Accolade 6’Bright Angel / 3 bsn, cbsn (2008) Accolade 10’

Chamber Music with PianoGestural Variations / ob, bsn, pn, op. 43 (1998) Hofmeister 14’ The Akond of Swat / tenor bsn, bsn, pn (2009) 12’

Chamber Music with Strings Nonet / wind quintet, string trio, db (1991) Lienau 10’Jacobean Salute / wind quintet, string quartet, db (1997) Lienau 14’Strepitoso / wind quintet, string quartet, db (1997) 12’Bassoon Quintet / bsn, string quartet (2003/2011) Lienau (in preparation) 15’

Wind Chamber MusicMouvements d’Harmonie / 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 hn, 2 bsn op. 29 (1991) Accolade 10’Steirische Fantasie / wind ensemble, op. 19 (1997) Hofmeister 11’Hymnus / thirteen wind instruments, op. 49 (1998) Hofmeister 11’Échanges Triples / ob, cl, bsn (2006) 9’Variations sur un Théme Normand / double wind quintet (2010) 11’

Additional information on the composer and his works: www.arbc.de/waterhouse

National Chamber Music Course

Residential summer music course for string players aged 10 – 18 years

7 — 13 August 2011

Founded in 1976 by Elisabeth Waterhouse, this hugely popular summer string chamber music course is now in its 27th year.

Contact: Elisabeth Waterhouse or Paresha Amin, tel: +44 208 883 7583, email: [emailprotected], www.ncmc.org.uk

Tutors have included: Colin Howard, David Frühwirth, Gordon Back, Carolyn, Yasuo & Joe Ichinose, Graham, Celia, Lucy & William Waterhouse, Erika Klemperer, Susanne Stanzeleit, Frances Angell, Boris Kucharsky, Jan Schmolck, Tim Boulton, Ron Colyer, Simon Fischer, Lizzie Stone, Felicity Lipman, Rhuna Martin, David Waterman, Donna Lee Croft, Steven Isserlis, Sophie Langdon, Isidor Saslav and many others.

“..highlight of my summer...”

Director: John Gilhooly Wigmore.pdfJames Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble) B right Angel was written - [PDF Document] (19)

Director: John Gilhooly Wigmore.pdfJames Thomas/bassoon, Linda Begbie/bassoon, Stefano Canuti/bassoon, Jonathan Jones/contrabassoon. (RNCM Bassoon Ensemble) B right Angel was written - [PDF Document] (2024)

FAQs

Who is the famous person who plays the bassoon? ›

Bill Conti. The composer famous for his theme from the movie Rocky and many other TV themes and movie scores, Bill played bassoon and won a scholarship to college on the instrument.

How many bassoon players are in an orchestra? ›

A modern full-scale symphony orchestra consists of approximately one hundred permanent musicians, most often distributed as follows: 16–18 1st violins, 16 2nd violins, 12 violas, 12 cellos, 8 double basses, 4 flutes (one with piccolo as a specialty), 4 oboes (one with English horn as a specialty), 4 clarinets (one with ...

What voice is the bassoon? ›

The bassoon is a musical instrument in the woodwind family, which plays in the tenor and bass ranges.

Why is the bassoon unpopular? ›

“It doesn't tend to be viewed as a solo instrument; there are not many classical concertos written for it,” said Polk. “It's more a social instrument.” But perhaps the biggest issue is that the bassoon is not easy to play.

Why is bassoon so difficult? ›

All instruments have their challenges. The bassoon may well just have the most obstacles to making it an accessible first instrument. The size can restrict it to learners over ten, and the complex keywork can be tough to tackle. Bassoons are fickle, fragile instruments, so the player needs to take proper care of it.

Why do so few people play the bassoon? ›

Those few who do are often intimidated by the complexity of the instrument or don't have the right resources to help them. Many of the materials and websites do not really make the bassoon appealing to younger musicians, further resulting in a low level of interest in the instrument.

Are bassoon players rare? ›

Even though the bassoon is a rare instrument and not many people know about it, it's well-known and enjoyed in the musical and orchestral world. While the bassoon may not appear in every middle or high school orchestra, it is seen in most colleges, universities, professional orchestras, and symphonies.

Is A bassoon higher than a flute? ›

The woodwind family of instruments includes, from the highest sounding instruments to the lowest, the piccolo, flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon and contrabassoon.

Who is the most famous bassoon player? ›

Bernard Garfield is probably the most well known bassoonist in America over the past 70 years. He is a composer, teacher, and recording artist. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he is probably best known for his 43 year tenure as the principal bassoonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1957 to 2000.

What type of person plays the bassoon? ›

As the bassoon is a very large instrument with a very long tube for sound to travel through, it is an instrument that produces low notes. So, if you want to be a bassoon player you would, ideally be quite tall with large hands just to physically hold and play the instrument.

Who is the most famous bassoonist? ›

Bernard Garfield is probably the most well known bassoonist in America over the past 70 years. He is a composer, teacher, and recording artist. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he is probably best known for his 43 year tenure as the principal bassoonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1957 to 2000.

What is a bassoon player called? ›

The Bassoon (ファゴット, fa*gotto) is an instrument in the woodwind family. A musician who plays the bassoon is called a bassoonist or bassoon player.

Is the bassoon a dying instrument? ›

The fact that bassoons now share this endangered status may come as more of a surprise, but this summer the reed instrument has become a strong candidate for international protection, according to fans of the sound of the symphony orchestra.

Why is a bassoon called a fa*got? ›

Do the names "bassoon" and "fa*gotto" originate in the French language? It is said that the name "fa*gotto" is derived from "fa*gottez", which is French for "a bundle of two wooden sticks." As the same word also exists in Italian, it is also said that the name originates from this Italian term instead.

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