CONTINUUM III – Fantasies for a Blue Bassoon

Composed in:
for bassoon soloist, fl (doubles on picc), ob, cl, , 2 hns, 2 tpts, tbn, 5 perc, pno, hp, strings (6-6-4-3-2); in one movement
13 minutes
Doblinger Music Publishers, Vienna (rental score and parts available through
Commissioned by:
Oesterreichische Kammersymphoniker
Premiere performance:
10/20/1997 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, AUSTRIA by the Oesterreichische Kammersymphoniker, conducted by Ernst Theis.
CD recording:


This is another exciting composition for bassoon from the pen of the incredibly gifted composer, Gernot Wolfgang … The 13-minute work is a truly impressive piece of contemporary music and a very significant contribution to the bassoon literature of the 20th Century. There is no doubt in my mind that Wolfgang is a major composer of our times. His style is that of greatly expanded tonality – more into the atonal range – but uniquely melodic and rhythmic without being overly pointillistic and disjunct … It is perhaps one of the most eloquent examples of what composer Gunther Schuller called “third-stream-music”, combining elements of jazz and classical in a unique manner and style … This is a wonderful composition, worthy of serious consideration for performance by the best bassoon soloists of our time …”

Ronald Klimko, The Double Reed

” …   a work successfully traversing that risky bridge between jazz and classical, with integrity intact … the piece – an impressive first orchestral effort for the composer – deftly moves across stylistic boundaries, alternating suggesting the terse harmonic language of contemporary classical music and such jazz influences as Gil Evans’ work with Miles Davis and the general musical thought train of Austria’s greatest gift to jazz, Joe Zawinul. It opens and closes with murmuring, microtonal string activity, crisply puntuated by syncopated lines and active percussion parts … a last emphatic climactic finale is a tease, followed up by a trickling residue of soft sonic activity, drifting into the ether.”

Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News-Press

” …   Gernot Wolfgang’s Continuum III – Variations for Bassoon and Orchestra – a delicate, modernistic piece which incorporates stylistic elements of jazz and Latin music … “

Die Presse (AUSTRIA)