Clarisse Profilet

Resident Dallas Symphony bassoonist Scott Walzel and pianist Steve Harlos gave new meaning to the concept of a bassoon recital March 21 by performing a repertoire that was a step beyond the wind instrument’s traditional supporting role.

Walzel adapted songs for solo performance with such forbidding titles as “Sonata in A Minor for Flute Alone” by J.S. Bach in his classical first half and “Scrapple from the Apple” by Charlie Parker in the jazz-oriented second half of the performance.


Advertisement



Advertisement



Advertisement


Walzel’s inspiration came from playing jazz saxophone throughout his entire undergraduate career, although he made the difficult decision to permanently retire in favor of a potentially more prosperous career in an orchestra with the bassoon.

“I had a choice when I went to grad school, and I locked away the sax so I wouldn’t be tempted by all the studio gigs in Los Angeles. I was glad with my decision but missed the music I got to play on sax.”

Walzel and Harlos merged more than 300 years of music – from the classical works of J .S. Bach and Alvin Etler to the jazz improvisations of Hoagy Carmichael, Errol Garner and Charlie Parker – and maintained firm composition throughout the performance despite alternating between drastically different musical genres. The performance was surprisingly engaging and a definite success.