Of the many bassoon recitals I have heard in my life, that of Lyndon Watts of the Munich Philharmonic, ranks amongst the finest. If ever a recital had been planned to show the capabilities of the bassoon, with and without a reed, with a range up to extreme G#, this was it. From the pianissimo opening of the Saint-Saëns Sonata, this was a quite perfect and technically flawless performance. ... We all loved it and one young 10-year-old boy announced that he would ask his teacher how to do these tricks. He may be disappointed!

-Roger Birnstingl, BDRS Journal 

 

 

 As we made our way into the new Dora Stoutzker Hall at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama the excitement was palpable, and Lyndon Watts did not disappoint. ... They began with the Saint-Saëns Sonata, Lyndon’s beautifully controlled tenor G emerging from the gently rippling broken arpeggios of the piano part. ... The second movement was technically superlative as one would expect ... Again the shaping of the third movement was beautifully judged, the tempo of the final Allegro moderato finding just the right balance between poise and flair. Next came an unaccompanied CPE Bach sonata ... Lyndon Watts showed excellent period feeling for this music and his wonderful flexibility between registers and the variety of colour in his playing enabled him clearly to show the implied counterpoint. 

 

The final two works brought us firmly into the late twentieth century.The first, Hallucinations

by Alain Bernaud, was again accompanied by Catherine Milledge, and it was hard to believe that this duo was only a few hours old or that this could be the first time they had performed this piece together, such was the sense of ensemble and common musical purpose. The dynamic contrasts and the technical demands of this work were once again delivered with virtuosic ease, the very fast passage near the end being particularly impressive before the niente on the final high Bb. The Bernaud was followed by the third of Heinz Holliger’s Three Pieces for Solo Bassoon. This displayed technique of the highest order ... at speeds which almost defied belief.

-Steve Marsden, "The Lyndon Watts Recital" BDRS Journal 

 

 

Lyndon Watts’ opening bassoon recital provided an exemplary demonstration of the bassoon’s unique musical versatility. Following the Sonata for Bassoon and Piano Op. 168 by Saint-Saëns, [which combined] technical virtuosity with moments of exquisite lyricism ... 

Klaus-ur by Heinz Holliger covered a wide range of extended bassoon technique, from the blisteringly rapid articulation of the opening sections, through passages bordering on the comedic, to a virtuosic section played without the reed ...

-Mike Reeve, "Personal Highlights" BDRS Journal

 

 

For us bassoonists the outstanding event was the ritorna vincitor homecoming of Lyndon Watts, last seen ten years ago when he had quit his native Sydney to complete his studies in Europe. Now Principal of the Munich Philharmonic and prize-winner there of the recent ARD Competition, he offered us three quite outstanding programmes; these ranged from an impeccably stylish Baroque recital with his wife Olga on harpsichord, the Crusell Concertino with orchestra, to a tour de force rendition of Heinz Holliger’s Three Pieces for solo bassoon (he must be the only player to have all three in his repertoire).

-William Waterhouse, “My Report on IDRS 2004” The Double Reed, Vol. 27, No.4

English Reviews