Classical / Crossover RECORDINGS



“Congratulations to Smith are in order for achieving what no other bassoonist has yet attempted on disc, and to ASV for backing the project.”

Complete Vivaldi Bassoon Concertos

Complete Vivaldi Bassoon ConcertosComplete Vivaldi Bassoon ConcertosWinner of ‘Best Concerto Recording Of The Year’ by the Music Industry Association and awarded the coveted Penguin Guide’s * * * rosette rating as well as inclusion in Fanfare’s annual ‘Want List’.

Performed with the English Chamber Orchestra and the Zagreb Soloists.
Conducted by Philip Ledger(ECO) and Tonko Ninic (Zagreb Soloists)

Available on 5 separate CDs or 6 Cassettes/LPs.

‘Want List’ recommendations in 1987, 1988, 1989, & 1991.
“This is a marvelous disc, a marvelous series, and long may it prosper. Highly recommended.”

“Virtuosic and imaginatively varied works. Mr. Smith and the English Chamber Orchestra play with great spirit and musicality.”
New York Times

From ‘Best of the Year's New CD Releases’:
“An outstandingly characterful performance...This is enjoyably spontaneous music-making.”

— Penguin Guide to Compact Discs

From ‘Records of the Month’:
“Smith plays effectively contrasted concerrtos with fluency and panache.”
— The Times (London)

“Smith has a vigor and rich tone that makes him always interesting to listen to.”
— American Record Guide

“Stylish performances by Daniel Smith...Smith bestrides almost all these difficulties with a nonchalant ease, and makes a simply gorgeous sound en route.”
— CD Review

ASV's Vivaldi Bassoon Concerto cycle occupied five individual full-price releases, now bundled together in a specially priced boxed set. It's safe to say that these 37 works constitute the largest one-composer contribution to the bassoon's concerto repertoire. While the works adhere to Vivaldi's patented quick-slow-quick three-movement form (save for the brief, four-movement "La Notte"), they're hardly stamped from the same cookie cutter. Try to predict how the churning sequences in the Allegros will play out and you'll constantly be surprised by Vivaldi's inventive vitality. The central slow movements contain some of Vivaldi's most poignant melodies (the C major Concerto KV 467's gorgeous Andante, for instance) and starkest mood paintings, such as the bassoon's obsessive dotted rhythm motif against a bed of sustained strings in the A minor KV 499.

Each of the five discs is programmed to ensure maximum contrast and variety for those who wish to sit through, say, seven or eight concertos at a stretch. I wager that listeners will often return to discs three through five, for the Zagreb Soloists under Tonko Ninic's guidance bring more characterful bite, color, and accentuation to Vivaldi's orchestral writing than the less individual proficiency of Philip Ledger's excellent English Chamber Orchestra. Bassoon soloist Daniel Smith commands his unwieldy instrument to the point where it's all too easy to take his suave tone, superb breath control, and idiomatic flair for granted. Theoretically, five CDs' worth of baroque bassoon concertos from a single author is tantamount to overkill, but this set proves a glorious exception.--

RATING Sound Quality: 9 Artistic Quality: 9


These are modern instrument performances, of course, but they have a striking family resemblance to the English Concerto discs in their general springiness of step and unmannered liveliness. It rather goes to show that the big question is not so much whether the instruments are "original" or not, as what you do with them. The bassoon has perhaps undergone more far-reaching changes and if you compare Daniel Smith with the player who concluded the previous disc you will hear that the modern instrument has much more "ping" around its sound and sings out the slow movements in rather fruitier tones. Daniel Smith seems to take the view that the fastest tempos he can do in the quick movements are the right ones, and since his passage work is immaculate, and he still finds time for plenty of very musical phrasing and never for a moment gives the idea he has a train to catch, I think he can be said to have justified his view. Michael McCraw takes more measured tempos in the outer movements of his work, raising the question whether this was an interpretative choice or dictated by the mechanism of the early instrument. If the "original" bassoon makes a weaker sound, it would also be possible to find that it has a sweeter voice in the slow movement, so not everything in the modern instrument is pure gain.
— Christopher Howell


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  CD 1  
Concerto No.18 in C
Concerto No.25 in F
Concerto No.10 in Am
Concerto No.12 in Am
Concerto No.28 in C
Concerto No.12 in F
Concerto No. 4  in C
Concerto No.15 in F
Click here for music excerpt......... Concerto #12: Mov. 3, Allegro (ECO) MP3: 117kb


  CD 2  
Concerto No.31 in C    
Concerto No.16 in C    
Concerto No.37 in G    
Concerto No.33 in C 
Concerto No.19 in F    
Concerto No.17 in C    
Concerto No. 5  in Dm
Concerto No.26 in C 

Click here for music excerpt......... Concerto #26: Mov. 3, Allegro (ECO)MP3: 123kb

  CD 3  
Concerto No.1 in Bb
   ("La Notte")
Concerto No.13 in C
Concerto No.21 in C
Concerto No.11 in Gm
Concerto No.32 in F
Concerto No.23 in Gm
Concerto No.34 in C
Click here for music excerpt......... Concerto #11: Mov. 2, Largo (Zagreb) MP3: 115kb

  CD 4  
Concerto No.29 in G    
Concerto No.20 in F    
Concerto No.30 in G    
Concerto No. 6  in Em 
Concerto No.36 in Bb   
Concerto No.14 in Cm
Concerto No.35 in Bb
Click here for music excerpt....... Concerto #20: Mov. 3, Allegro (Zagreb) MP3: 182kb

  CD 5  
Concerto No. 7  in Am
Concerto No. 8  in F
Concerto No.27 in Eb
Concerto No. 3  in C
Concerto No. 2  in Am
Concerto No. 9  in C
Concerto No.24 in Bb
Click here for music excerpt.........Concerto #27: Mov. 1, Presto (Zagreb) MP3: 124kb

Visit the MHS web site
The complete set of 37 Vivaldi bassoon concertos is also available as a 5 volume CD collection on the Musical Heritage Society label, the world's largest mail-order record club. The series was chosen twice as a featured selection and has just been re-released.



7 favourite bassoon concertos

Daniel Smith, bassoon
Performed with the English Chamber Orchestra
Conducted by Philip Ledger

Concerto No.16 in C (RV469)
Concerto No.33 in C (RV470)
Concerto No.19 in F (RV488)
Concerto No.17 in C (RV472)
Concerto No.5 in D min (RV481)
Concerto No.4 in C (RV474)
Concerto No.22 in F (RV486)

...I am a great admirer of Daniel Smith. The bassoon is officially an 'endangered species' of musical instruments and it is up to players like him to promote the bassoon as a major solo instrument. In this he has succeeded admirably as he performs regularly in both classical and jazz....Smith has recorded all 37 of Vivaldi's bassoon concertos, a terrific feat within itself. These concertos are technically demanding and Smith displays a fine technical command of the instrument. His use of ornamentation is superb throughout and he sings on the lowest notes with great ease-much to be admired. An album better 'dipped' into by bassoonists and Vivaldi fans alike. Ideal reference material.
— Lynda Baker



8 bassoon & 6 recorder concertos

Bassoon concertos:
RV 467, 491, 500
, 499, 466, 486, 474, 487
Daniel Smith (bassoon)
E.C.O / Philip Ledger

Recorder Concertos:
RV 441
, 444, 433 (Tempesta di Mare)
RV 443
, 434, 439 (La Notte)
Dan Laurin (Recorder)
Drottningholm Baroque

2 CD(s)


ASV Quicksilva/Regis

5 Bassoon Concertos   Regis : 'Bassoon Concertos'

HENRY HARGRAVE: Concerto No. 4 in Bb for Bassoon & Orchestra
ANTONIO VIVALDI: Concerto No.26 in C (RV479) for Bassoon & Strings
JOHANN WILHELM HERTEL: Concerto in Am for Bassoon & Orchestra
CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER: Concerto in G for Bassoon, Strings & Continuo
JOHANN CHRISTOPH BACH: Concerto in Bb for Bassoon & Orchestra

Performed with the English Chamber Orchestra
Harpsichord continuo & Conductor: Philip Ledger

“Daniel Smith is a most able soloist, velvet toned and fluent, and the ECO are in fine form, crisp, spring-heeled and apparently enjoying their work. The recording is excellent...I thoroughly enjoyed this recording and recommend others to do so...”
— Gramophone

“This anthology has much to offer and it can be recommended to afficionados of the instrument. An exceedingly pleasing disc with first-class sound...”
— Fanfare

Click here for music excerpt......... Concerto in G: Mov. 3, Allegro
                   (Christoph Graupner)
MP3: 153kb


Englih Music For Bassoon & Piano

SIR EDWARD ELGAR: Romance, Op.62 (c.1909-1910)
GORDON JACOB: Four Sketches (1976)
THOMAS ARNE: Sonata No.5 (1756)
THOMAS DUNHILL: Lyric Suite (1940)
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: 6 Studies in English Folk Song

Performed with Roger Vignoles, Piano

“Performances are all expert and imaginative, and Smith’s attractive tone quality is well served by a vivid recording”
— Gramophone

BBC Radio 3's new signature tune is taken from the ASV recording of English Music for Bassoon and Piano with Daniel Smith on bassoon and Roger Vignoles on piano. For the next few months, early listener's will hear two movements of the Avison Sonata in F...
— Music Week

"Mr. Smith's tone is warm and generous and Mr. Vignoles is as always, a treasure. An unexpected release, to be sure, this is one of the best chamber music recordings of the year"...
— Washington Times

Click here for music excerpt......... Four Sketches: Polka (Gordon Jacob) MP3: 76kb


ASV & Forum

Music For Bassoon & String Quartet  

GORDON JACOB: Suite For Bassoon& String Quartet (1969)
FRANZ DANZI: Bassoon Quartet in Bb, Op.40 No.3 (c. 1814)
ANTON REICHA: Grand Quintet For Bassoon & String Quartet (1826)

Performed with the Coull Quartet

" The agile, velvet-toned Smith and his bow-wielding colleagues play stylishly, seductively and with admirable rapport in this splendid album."
— Gramophone

"Daniel Smith is a virtuoso bassoonist with a beautiful sound... for everybody who loves bassoon or chamber music in general..."
Luister ( Holland)

"Whilst these three substantial works would not fit into our traditional definition of 'light music', they are nonetheless highly tuneful, sweet and palatable. It was refreshing to hear two beautiful early Romantic works (both new to me) alongside the concise and imaginative suite by English master Gordon Jacob. Jacob was highly skilled in orchestration and his writing for this particular ensemble is impeccable. Of the other two composers. not well-Known, Danzi is regarded as being one of the main influences on Carl Maria von Weber, and Reicha as having influenced the likes of Berlioz, Lizst and Franck. Their chamber music is perfectly constructed, the bassoon having one of five equal voices in the musical conversation Both bassoon and strings have a rich tone complemented by stately tempi dignified and never rushed. This could be described as light music in an extended form: well worth hearing."
— Peter Edwards

Click here for music excerpt.........Suite for Bassoon & String Qrt:
Mov. 2, Caprice (Gordon Jacob) MP3: 170kb



18thc. Bassoon Concertos#1


Performed with the Ravina Chamber Ensemble

"The bassoon is "the gentleman of the orchestra", and Daniel Smith is a truly fine bassoonist..."
The New Records

..."These two discs are very fine. They show that Smith has a superb technique, that he moves from the cello-like bass register to the oboe-like upper register with elegant smoothness, and that he maintains a lovely tone throughout. His phrasing is sensitive whether lively or lyrical."
— Classical Records, Kingston, Ontario, Richard Perry



18c. Bassoon Concertos#2

ANTONIO VIVALDI: Concerto in F (RV485)

HENRY HARGRAVE: Concerto No.4 in Bb
CAPEL BOND: Concerto No.6 in Bb

Performed with the Ravina Chamber Ensemble

" Bassoon fanciers will be pleased with these recordings, which are designed to display the considerable capabilities of Daniel Smith
— American Record Guide



Vivaldi Bassoon Concerti

Concerto No.34 in C      (RV471)
Concerto No.23 in Gm  (RV495)
Concerto No.14 in Cm  (RV480)
Concerto No.32 in F      (RV490)
Concerto No.35 in Bb   (RV503)

Performed with the Ravina Chamber Ensemble

"The distinguished artist Daniel Smith performs with the Ravina Chamber Ensemble, displaying rare lyric quality and beauty..."
— The Wax Works



3 Bassoon Concertos

‘Featured Selection Of The Month’ - Musical Heritage Review

ANTONIO VIVALDI: Concerto in C for Bassoon & Strings
J.C. BACH: Concerto in Bb for Bassoon & Strings

Performed with the English Chamber Orchestra
Harpsichord Continuo and Conductor Philip Ledger

" The performances are truly fine, exploiting Smith's always virile sound "
— American Record Guide.

“ An unexpectedly successful recording of bassoon concertos which gave me much pleasure. Smith is a master of colour and mood, and he has a strong musical personality. Strongly recommended.”
— Gramophone

“...This release is something akin to a breath of fresh air. Whole-hearted, committed performances from the American bassoon virtuoso Daniel Smith.”
— Classical Selection Club.

Click here for music excerpt.........Concerto in Bb
Mov. 3 (J.C. Bach) MP3: 118kb

JEANNE SINGER: TO STIR A DREAM - American Poets in Song

To Stir A Dream

Selections featuring Daniel Smith (Bassoon Obbligato):
(Words by Cornel Lengyel) Sung by Austin Miskell (Tenor)

  • Geography Lesson
  • Neighbors
  • The Foolish worm
  • The Great Orator
  • The Joker

Click here for music excerpt.........The Foolish Worm
MP3: 165kb


London Pride

Selections featuring Daniel Smith:

Studies in English Folk Songs

Cockaigne Ov (In London Town) - Philharmonia Orch/Owain Arwel Hughes
Studies In English Folk Song: The Lady And The Dragoon -
Daniel Smith/Roger Vignoles
Studies In English Folk Song: As I Walked Over London Bridge -
Daniel Smith/Roger Vignoles
Hammersmith Prld And Scherzo -
London Wind Orch/Denis Wick
St. Paul's Ste: The Dargason (Greensleeves) -
RPO/Alan Barlow
A London Ov - Philharmonia Orch/Owain Arwel Hughes
Carillon De Westminister -
Jane Parker-Smith
The Dreams Of London -
Brain Rayner-Cook/Roger Vignoles
London Ste: Covent Garden -
East Of England Orch/Malcolm Nabarro
London Ste: Westminister -
Peter Esswood
London Ste: Knightsbridge March ('In Town Tonight' Theme) -
East Of England Orch/Malcolm Nabarro
London Pride -
Noel Coward

Performed with Roger Vignoles, Piano



Baroque Jazz

Unique interpretations of baroque works performed with an all-star British jazz rhythm section, including Oscar Peterson's drummer Martin Drew. Composers featured are Byrd, J.C. Bach, Vivaldi and Purcell.

Click here for music excerpt......... Allegro in Bb (Antonio Vivaldi) MP3: 164kb



Bassoon Sampler

A cross-section of Daniel's work, from baroque to all-out jazz.

Click here for music excerpt........ Original Rags (Scott Joplin) MP3: 132kb


Jazz Suite For Bassoon

A suite especially written for Daniel Smith by renowned British composer (and former member of classical/rock group 'Sky') Steve Gray. Originally written and performed with the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, this version has been specially arranged for small jazz combo and features some of the best British jazz musicians on the scene today.

Click here for music excerpt.........Jazz Suite: Finale (Gray) MP3: 164kb


ASV White Line

Bassoon Bon-Bons

26 short pieces and excerpts written by a wide range of composers, from Gordon Jacob and Debussy to Chopin and Bach.

Performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Coull String Quartet and pianist Roger Vignoles.

"...Daniel Smith plays so expressively that in the end, even the jaded listener, unaware of having much of a sweet tooth, is liable to weaken and reach for a sample..."
— Fanfare

"...Rachmaninov's 'Vocalise', beautifully turned by Mr. Smith, as are all the items on this well recorded disc..."
— CD Review

“A pleasantly mixed CD from the gifted Daniel Smith, contains many gems...”
— Classics

“...Daniel Smith, ‘The James Galway of the Bassoon’, serves up a generous helping of musical confectionery: 12 transcriptions of very popular pieces (with the RPO/Ettore Stratta), sprinkled throughout with further tasty morsels by 6 English composers from Arena to Legare. Unique!”
— ASV 'New Releases'.

"This album is made up exclusively of good music: it relies not on a virtuoso solo line, so the bassoon shines forth without a sense of dominating. Each track is a tuneful miniature, ranging in period from early baroque to mid 20th century, and featuring Daniel Smith alongside full orchestra, string quartet or piano. About half of these were written for the bassoon; the others are tastefully fresh arrangements of pre-existing classics. Daniel Smith's virtuosity is not merely in his fingers; the wealth of sounds he produces is almost incredible, from the classic grandfather-like pomposity in his Gordon Jacob through to a cello-like richness heard in his interpretations of Chopin, Elgar and Schubert. A rather more comprehensive CD booklet would have been very welcome. This is a beautiful programme, sensitively produced, making for good start-to-finish listening."
Peter Edwards

Click here for music excerpt....... Golliwogg's Cakewalk (Claude Debussy) (RPO) MP3: 96kb

ASV White Line

Bravo Bassoon

Scott Joplin rags, Franz Schubert chamber music, Anton Rubinstein piano sonatas and George Gershwin songs are just some of the sources of inspiration for this varied collection of arrangements for bassoon and chamber group.

Performed with Jonathan Still, piano and members of the Caravaggio Ensemble.

"Among the most delightful selections are the spirited Scott Joplin rags...expressive and enchanting renditions of Rossini, Schumann and Schubert and others...This one is a keeper! Highly recommended."
— Fanfare Magazine

"Following the terrific success of Bassoon Bon Bons, this happy collection of music from Kern through Gershwin, Schubert and Fauré will give pleasure to many..."
— Hartlepool Mail

"An exuberant second helping of bassoon delights from American bassoonist Daniel Smith (‘The James Galway of the Bassoon’), following on from his highly successful Bassoon Bon-Bons and demonstrating just how versatile this remarkable instrument can be! (His Largo al factotum is amazing!) Another hugely enjoyable 'crossover' White Line"
— ASV 'New Releases'

This disc was built on the success of the above album, Bassoon Bon-Bons, following a winning formula of twenty-odd tasteful miniatures, and covering a good range of tuneful music. One difference is that this programme is a little more geared towards what we would call 'light music' including Gershwin songs and Joplin rags, the latter performed with the strings and piano of the delightful Caravaggio Ensernble. Nearly half of these tracks are songs and it struck me what a perfect instrument the bassoon is for capturing the lyrical and intimate qualities of the human voice. It can be a bass, baritone, tenor or all three within the same piece. Daniel plays these songs as though he's singing them with well-measured tempi and plenty of breathing space. A highlight for me is his rendition of Rossini's Largo Al Factotum from The Barber of Seville. Like the above disc, this is a great programme to listen to complete right through to the sumptuous bottom B flat at the end of Yankee Doodle.
— Peter Edwards

Click here for music excerpt.........Tarantella (Milde) MP3: 164kb




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