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Bassoon Concerto

The first movement starts in an eighteenth century

swimming pool. Our hero, tall and handsome

with a military style moustache and sideburns

is eyeing the water (and the ladies), dressed in his

full-length black costume which leaves his knobby legs

uncovered. Down the middle of his swimsuit is a

row of little silver buttons. He prances around the pool

making muscle-flexing movements with arms and fingers

and then with a broad smile to his female spectators

dives in and starts swimming a graceful breast stroke.

He performs a series of lengths in tadpole allegro then

climbs out, dries off with a flashy towel and goes to

the pavilion for a beer.


Second movement. A rather portly middle-aged lady

is doing some window shopping in her memories. She

walks slowly from shop to shop eyeing the mannequins

in their finery, recalling how similar she looked herself

in her twenties. Slowly she unfolds her umbrella and proceeds

down the street taking care to avoid the youngsters on

their bicycles ringing bells and hooting like a regatta

of geese. The silver spokes of their cycle wheels shimmer

past like violin strings. After a while she tires of the windows

and flops into a café for a pot of tea and a chocolate éclair.


Finale. The swimmer from the first movement and the

plump lady from the second, meet in a forest glade. Center

stage is a lily-pad pool fed by a bubbling brook. The sounds

of unseen frogs fill the air in a steady throaty chorus. Faster

and faster the frogs burp out their allegretto and several of

them can now be seen sitting on the banks of the pond, their

mouths opening and closing and as the sun sweeps through

the sky, the swimmer and the window shopper bid each other

farewell and trundle off to their respective dwellings and

an afternoon nap.

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© Johnmichael Simon



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