Spring Masterworks Concert

Laurence Perkins & Sheffield Chamber Orchestra
Group type: Orchestras
  • Saturday 5 March
    7.30 – 9.00pm
Ticket typeCost
Students, Under 18s, and Unwaged£6

Showcasing Laurence Perkins and the Basssoon

We are delighted to welcome back bassoonist Laurence Perkins as guest soloist for our next concert. Laurence studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester joining Manchester Camerata as their principal bassoonist in October 1974. He left in June 2017 to pursue more chamber music and solo playing, alongside his on-going work promoting the bassoon.

He will be playing two pieces with us. The first is Carl Maria von Weber’s Bassoon Concertino Opus 75. Only two bassoon concerto’s are regularly performed (the other is by Mozart) and that alone tells you that it is well worth coming to listen to. Weber, one of the first significant composers of the Romantic era, had a real talent for characterisation. The bassoon is capable of a wide range of characters and emotions, and in this piece Weber captures them all.

After the break Laurence will re-join the orchestra to play Elgar’s Romance Opus 62. The Romance was composed for the principal bassoonist of the LSO, Edwin F James, who gave the first performance in February 1911 at Hereford, with the composer conducting. Every instrument in the orchestra has its own stereotype and unjustifiably for the bassoon it is that of a clown. In his previous appearance with us Laurence admirably demonstrated this side to the instrument with his rendition of the the “My Teddy Bear” Polka. This piece is in complete contrast — the Elgar expert Michael Kennedy remarking that the bassoon’s role here is as poet and singer rather than comedian.

Opportunities to listen to outstanding bassoonists are few and far between so do come and enjoy these inspiring pieces — you won’t be disappointed!

Our programme starts with a piece by a very English composer, Granville Bantock. Bantock lived in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and had a prodigious output. For this piece, his Old English Suite, he took some famous and well loved tunes from the Elizabethan era and arranged them for a small orchestra. The suite consists of 5 pieces — the first by Orlando Gibbons (b1583); followed by pieces by John Dowland (b 1563); John Bull (b 1562); Giles Famaby (b 1563) and finally William Byrd (b 1542). So we start the evening by taking you back in time to the golden Elizabethan era of Shakespeare and the Spanish Armada.

We round off our concert with a piece from one of the greats of the early classical era — Haydn and his 99th Symphony in E♭ major. It is the seventh of his twelve London symphonies and it was written in 1793 in Vienna in anticipation of his second trip to London. This piece is notable because it is the very first time that Haydn included clarinets in a symphony. So come and hear what this great classical composer made of this instrument in these four lovely movements — an Adagio/Vivace Assai; an Adagio; a Menuetto and Trio; and finishing with a very lively finale in sonata rondo form.

Photo: Christos Bainpakis


Laurence Perkins (Bassoon) and Sheffield Chamber Orchestra


  • Granville Bantock: Old English Suite
  • Carl Maria von Weber: Bassoon Concertino
  • Edward Elgar: Romance Op.62
  • Joseph Haydn: Symphony No.99

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