Buddhist Bassoon Trio/Quartet

1972-1980 Information & Live Performance Downloads

The Buddhist Bassoon Trio/Quartet began as successors to the Bubonic Bassoon Quartet in 1972 performing as a trio - John Miller, Frank Nizzari & Steve Young (me).  In 1973 our trio was John Miller, David Carroll & myself. Between 1974 and 1977 we performed as a quartet - John Miller, David Carroll, Frank Nizzari, & Steve Young.  David Carroll couldn't make it in 1977 and Bob (aka. Robert) Williams then joined the group. From 1978-80 we performed as a trio. John Miller is principal bassoon of the Minnesota Orchestra. Robert Williams is principal bassoon of the Detroit Symphony and David Carroll was principal bassoon of the Montreal Symphony at the time of these recordings and subsequently joined the NY Philharmonic. I was a free lance musician in Boston playing with the Opera Company of Boston, Boston Ballet, many Broadway musicals, choral societies, chamber music, big bands - and in the summer at Cape Cod mainly playing baritone sax & other woodwind doubles. Sadly, Frank Nizzari who was also a wonderful free lancer, passed away a few years ago. In 1987 I was elected as the president of the Boston Musicians local union (AFM Local 9-535). In 1995 I was elected as the international president of the American Federation of Musicians of the U.S. & Canada. I now work with AFT in representing faculty and staff at NJ's state colleges and universities.

Buddhist Bassoon Trio John Miller Steve Young Robert Williams

The name for our group came as result of a radio announcer mistakenly announcing the Budapest String Quartet as the Buddhist String Quartet. John Miller thought it was funny and would work for us - and it did - even though we are not Buddhists (at least as far as I know). I wrote many of the arrangements for the Buddhist Bassoon concerts between 1972 and 1980 for our group which was known as the Buddhist Bassoon Trio or Quartet depending on our configuration.  I never anticipated these arrangements being used anywhere else except for our own annual fun.  Eventually, I gave them all away and have since discovered that they had circulated far beyond what I had thought the interest would or should be. But who am I to judge taste given the nature of some of these arrangements.

I usually conceived these arrangements during the summer while working on Cape Cod playing sax and woodwind doubles for big name entertainment headliners like Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Jack Jones, Jerry Lewis etc..  The arrangements were generally performed at our annual Labor Day weekend concerts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and in Belmont, Ma.  Playing these concerts around Labor Day was tough for me because I wasn't playing much bassoon during the latter parts of the summer due to the Cape Cod gigs. The concerts were much looked forward to by many bassoon aficionados and we had a sort of cult following.

Beginning in 1978, we wore monk's robes (without street clothes underneath) which were still very hot to perform in! Of course, just like baseball games and such, The Star Spangled Banner (played while standing) began every concert. Audiences weren't quite sure how to react during that piece.

In our 1976 concert I also played contra bassoon for some pieces using a borrowed contra. Getting a reed to work with it and figuring our how to play it were somewhat challenging because of our brief rehearsals and the time that I could use the borrowed instrument the same week.

Originally our rule was whoever wrote the arrangement would play first bassoon which in many arrangements generally has the higher and sometimes more difficult part. My work around was to write the first part as fourth bassoon and the fourth part on the first bassoon part. My trickery was found out almost immediately and we changed the rules. Subsequently, to determine who played which part, our parts were almost always drawn like picking cards from a deck at the 1st rehearsal and that was your part for the concert.  There were only one or two rehearsals taking place two or three days before our annual concerts to read the new arrangements and check for last minute corrections to the parts.  Many of the new arrangements were initially in pencil and completed the day of the 1st rehearsal.

In some of our concerts we utilized a variety of gimmicks within the arrangements.  For example, while playing our bassoons we had a Buddhist Bassoon bass drum played by John Miller with a foot pedal that we used for Zacatecas as well as “foot” castanets that I played with my feet for the off beats. I challenge any bassoonists out there to try to play foot castanets while playing the bassoon. I played the bass drum for my arrangement of the Star Wars medley and even utilized a slide whistle to play a jazz solo my 12th Street Rag arrangement.

In many of my arrangements I liked to insert quotes from well known bassoon excerpts from standard symphonic repertoire, of my favorites, quoting the Rite of Spring and other bassoon solos in Penny Lane, the Mozart Bassoon Concerto in Watermelon Man and Buglers (Buddhist) Holiday.  In other arrangements I would interpose parts of other pieces of music.  For example in my Star Wars Medley, the piece begins with Jaws theme while “When You Wish Upon a Star” plays above the low throbbing of the “Jaws” bassoon.  Another example of my musical quotes was placing the theme from “The Stripper” into the “Ain’t She Sweet” arrangement (today very politically incorrect – but not at the time it was arranged).

To record these concerts we used whatever cheap recorder we could borrow or had available.  We had no professional sound set up or microphone placement.  Sometimes it worked — and sometimes not.  The cassette tapes were put into digital format, cleaned and burned on my home PC. The sound on the tapes had deteriorated some.

Scarborough Fair has remained one of my favorite arrangements.  I used a dissonant chord- release on the 2nd and 3rd beats of the introduction and in other parts of the piece. I also added a varied counterpoint as the piece progresses and modulated to a pseudo fugue to end the arrangement.  Cartoon Music is a fun three theme arrangement using the Mickey Mouse theme followed by the Woody Woodpecker theme and ending with Looney Tunes.  Looney Tunes is the longest segment in which I added a couple of different treatments.  The added treatments are Chinese, Viennese Waltz and Klezmer.

Once in a while, we forgot which repeats to use in a piece.  The hand copied arrangement got stuck on the last page turn of John Miller's part during Bassoonists’ (Buddhists) Holiday which made us come to a grinding halt. After audience laughs including our own laughs, we began playing the piece again from just before the breakdown.

Ultimately, it was a thrill and privilege to be able to perform with all of these extremely talented high profile bassoonist colleagues and friends.

Any unappreciative mail or comments about these arrangements should be addressed to John Miller or Bob Williams. And of course, appreciative comments can be addressed to me. For those who have asked, I have been living in New Jersey since 1995.

Steve Young


I liked to recycle some of my arrangements for other instrumental combinations when I was performing various chamber concerts around the Boston area. The performances and re-arrangements below were for bassoon and string trio (violin, viola & cello). I tacked these on for the last part of a concert at Boston's Gardner Museum in 1983. They followed the more serious pieces (Hindemith, Devienne etc.) on that concert and were recorded with a handheld tape cassette recorder - and again with little rehearsal. (Steve Young - bassoon, Michael Rosenbloom - violin, John Englund - viola & Marc Simcox -cello)

Humoresque - Glière - Jalousie Tango - Bassophobia (Saxophobia) - Cartoon Music

Original arrangements for bassoon & string trio performed are below. All of these files are in PDF format and have all of the parts.

Jalousie Tango - Bassophobia - Cartoon Music

Humoresque - Glière (Only the string parts are here from what I arranged from the bassoon & piano version. You need to have a copy of the bassoon part from that edition to perform this because it is copyrighted)

Chant Duo - Bassoon & Cello or Two Bassoons by Young - PDF of manuscript


Woodwind Trio (Flute, Clarinet & Bassoon) version of Cartoon Music (S. Young - Bassoon, M. Marvuglio- flute, A. Lizotte - Clarinet) - from Berklee College of Music Faculty Concert in 1982

Cartoon Music for WW Trio

See menu item "S. Young Other" for interesting woodwind trios.


The Original Vox Bassoonae by Newton Wayland

Explanation of creation of Vox Bassoonae

Live 1973 performance of Vox Bassoonae - Steve Young - Bassoon, Newton Wayland -narration and other misc. things, Fred Buda - Percussion - or version

Vox Bassoonae Score (PDF)

Fun piece I wrote based on a Limerick

Bassoonist from Maine - by S. Young - Bassoon, M. Marvuglio- flute, A. Lizotte - Clarinet, M. Saunders -vocal - from Berklee College of Music Concert in 1982

Bassoonist from Maine - by S. Young - Bassoon, Newton Wayland - Vocal, Fred Buda - drum set - Live concert in 1973

Buddhist Bassoon Quartet 1974-75 Concerts

John Miller, David Carroll, Frank Nizzari, Steve Young


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston. MA and/or

Belmont Unitarian Church, Belmont, MA

To download and save any compositions below, in IE right click the title and choose "Save Target As" or in Chrome, left click the title and choose "Save Link As" to a location of your choosing on your computer.

Heth Sold sold ein mewiskin garn om win - arr. Miller

Wedding Guest- arr. Carroll

Four Brothers - arr. Young (Nizzari - jazz solo)

Two Dances Susato arr. Young

Prelude & Fugue -Russian composer (let me know if anyone knows the name)

Chanson Repolsif - arr. Miller & Carroll

Scherzo- Any Bassoonist Can - R. Jannotta

Bilbao Song

Mexican Hat Dance - arr. Young

Funeral March

Watermelon Man - arr. Young (Nizzari - 1st & last jazz solo, Young - 2nd jazz solo)

Entrance & Polka of Bassoon Players - arr. Carroll - or version

Peter & the Wolf - Prokofiev -arr. Miller & Carroll (narrator - Newton Wayland)

Last Tango in Bayrueth - Peter Schickele

Scherzo - Prokofiev

Jalousie Tango - arr. Young -Jajousie Tango - or version

Vox Bassoonae - poem - Newton Wayland vocal

Vox Bassoonae - Wayland (Wayland -percussion etc effects) We moved throughout the hall during performance of this piece. (For the first version on this piece performed in 1973 for bassoon, narrator and percussion go here: and Newton's explanation go here.

Mexican Medley - arr. Young

I Was a Teenage Bassoonist - arr. Miller & Carroll -or version

French Song - arr. Miller (Nizzari - jazz solo)

Stepping on the Exhillerator Polka - David Carroll


 

Buddhist Bassoon Quartet - 1976 Concerts

John Miller, David Carroll, Frank Nizzari, Steve Young


Belmont Unitarian Church, Belmont, MA

To download and save any compositions below, in IE right click the title and choose "Save Target As" or in Chrome, left click the title and choose "Save Link As" to a location of your choosing on your computer.

Le Phénix 1 - Courette

Le Phénix 2

Le Phénix 3

Scarborough Fair - arr. Young - or version

Zorba - arr Young

Magic Bassoon arr. Young (Young - contra bassoon) - or version - here to download arrangement

Fagoten but not Gone - R. Lurtsema (with help from Young) - involved a lot of acting and moving around hall (Nizzari - jazzy section solos)

12th Street Rag - arr. Young (Young - contra bassoon)

Aint She Sweet - arr. Young (Young - contra bassoon)- or version

In My Merry Oldsmobile - arr. Carroll (Nizzari - jazz solo (Young - contra bassoon)

Gravy Waltz - arr. Carroll (Nizzari - jazz solo)

French Song - arr. Miller (Nizzari - jazz solo, Young - contra bassoon)

 

Buddhist Bassoon Quartet - 1977 Concert

John Miller, Robert Williams, Frank Nizzari, Steve Young


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston. MA

To download and save any compositions below, in IE right click the title and choose "Save Target As" or in Chrome, left click the title and choose "Save Link As" to a location of your choosing on your computer.

Star Spangled Banner - Arr Young

Motet

Wilder Suite- 1. Chorale Style 2. Groovy 3. Lullaby 4. Jazz Style

Yuletide Fantasy - Arr. Carroll

Chaconne - Purcell - arr. Carroll (trio - Miller, Williams & Young)

Bassoonist From Maine - S. Young (Young vocal - I won our internal audition for the worst voice and thus got stuck singing the vocal part - and screwed up my own arrangement. I have never attempted to sing before or since this.)

Quartettino - Schuman - 1. Ostinato 2. Nocturne 3. Valse 4. Fughetta (parts used were copied from score in pencil for concert) - version

Cobra's Revenge

Kyrie - Josquin desPres

Question & Answer Period - Frank Nizzari takes it a little "outside"

Mexican Hat Dance - arr. Young - or version

Entrance & Polka of the Bassoon Players -arr. Carroll


 

 

Buddhist Bassoon Trio - 1978-79 Concerts

John Miller, Bob Williams, Steve Young


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

To download and save any compositions below, in IE right click the title and choose "Save Target As" or in Chrome, left click the title and choose "Save Link As" to a location of your choosing on your computer.


1978 CONCERT

Star Spangled Banner arr. YoungBuddhist Bassoon Trio Robert Williams Steve Young John Miller

Early Renaissance - unknown at this time

Round the Mulberry Bush - Hartley

Kummer Trios - #9 Allegro and #12 Presto

Gravy Waltz - arr Carroll

Chaconne - Purcell - arr Carroll

Under the Old Apple Tree - arr. Carroll

Scarborough Fair - arr. Young

Bouree - Alvin

Penny Lane - arr Young

Take Five - arr. Carroll

Suite (1. Hornpipe 2. Waltz 3. March) - Hartley

St. James Infirmary Blues - arr Young - or version

12th Street Rag - arr Young (slide whistle solo-Young) or version

Zorba - arr. Young

Trio for 3 Bassoons - Stefan de Haan - I. March II. Waltz III. Quasi adagio -Vivace

Love of 3 Oranges - Prokofieff


1979 CONCERT

Sonata # 1 - Speer- arr. Young

Serenade - Weissenborn

Menuett - Vachey

Watermelon Man (Fagot) - H. Hancock, arr. Young (Jazz solo - Young)

Renaissance Piece - unknown at this time

Latin Medley - arr. Young (vocal Bob Williams) - or version

Three Waltzes and March - Chase

Polka - Weissenborn - or version

Se je perdu mon ami - J. de Prez arr. Young

Turkish March - Weissenborn - or version

French Song - arr Miller

Cartoon Music around the world - arr. Young -or version


 

Buddhist Bassoon Trio - 1980 Concert

John Miller, Bob Williams, Steve Young


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

To download and save any compositions below, in IE right click the title and choose "Save Target As" or in Chrome, left click the title and choose "Save Link As" to a location of your choosing on your computer.

Star Spangled Banner - arr. Young

Polonaise - WeissenbornBuddhist Bassoon Trio

Chaconne - Purcell - arr. Miller

Round the Mulberry Bush - arr. Hartley

Divertissiments-Bozza 1. A11egro moderato

Divertissiments-Bozza 2. Adagio ma non troppo

Divertissiments-Bozza 3. Allegro giacoso - or version

Bassoonists (Buddhists)Holiday - L. Anderson - arr. Young ( The hand-copied arrangement got stuck due to the scotch tape on the last page turn of John Miller's part. This made us come to a grinding halt. After we and the audience laughed, we began playing again from the point of the stuck page.)

Festering Overture - Matt Marvuglio

Question and Answer period

Bassophobia (Saxophobia) - R. Wiedoeft-arr. Young - or version

Zacatecas -arr. Young (Bass drum -J. Miller, foot castanets - S. Young)

Star Wars Medley - J. Williams- arr. Young (Bass Drum-S. Young)

In My Merry Oldsmobile - arr. D. Carroll - or version

Faster In My Merry Oldsmobile - arr. D. Carroll ( from Belmont, MA 1980 Concert)

Witches Frolic -G. Bautick (from 1980 Belmont, Ma. Concert)


Leave a comment on the Buddhist Bassoon Guestbook

1980 Buddhist Bassoon Trio - Live on WGBH Boston - Morning Pro Musica with Robert Lurtsema - host.

The world premiere of Mendelssohn's Song Without 3 Bassoons was performed on this live broadcast (later in the broadcast)

 

Interesting music I performed with others in Boston


Berklee College of Music Faculty Woodwind Trio

(aka. - Boylston Woodwind Trio)

Matthew Marvuglio - Flute, Andre Lizotte - Clarinet, Steve Young - Bassoon

With special guest Mary Saunders - Mezzo Soprano

1982 Concert - Berklee Performance Center

Divertimento No 3-W. A. Mozart Steve Young Bassoon

Allegro, Menuetto, Adagio, Menuetto, Allegro Assai

Serenade en Trio - Eugene Bozza

Allegro Vivace, Fughetto, Vivace

Four Songs - Matthew Marvuglio

1. Korosta Katzina (Hopi) 2. Neither Spirit Nor Bird (Shoshone) 3. Song (Laguna)
4. A Lover's Lament (Tewa)

Bassoonist From Maine - Young

Giocoso - Ramiro Cortes (Matthew Marvuglio - finger cymbals)

Three Pieces - Walter Piston

Allegro & Scherzando, Lento, Allegro

Trio - Flors Peters

Andante, Allegro Vivace

Trio - Alexander Von Kreisler

Allegro, Andante, Tempo Di Valse

Cartoon Music - arr. Young


1984

Lithuanian Folk Suite I-IV by Jeronimas Kačinskas (Berklee Faculty) - 1984 at Berklee Performance Center


1985

Pastorelle # 3 - Francis Poulenc - arr. S. Young - Berklee Performance Center 1985 -Download the arrangement here


Six Songs for mezzo soprano and bassoon
by Newton Wayland on poems by e e cummings


Jan Curtis Mezzo Soprano, Steve Young - Bassoon

Live 1973 concert at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - or version

Also on the same concert:

Hindemith - Sonata for Bassoon & Piano with Newton Wayland on Piano same Live 1973 concert as above- or version

Explanation of creation of Vox Bassoonae

Live 1973 performance of Vox Bassoonae - Steve Young - Bassoon, Newton Wayland -narration and other misc. things, Fred Buda - Percussion - or version

Five Commercial Songs by Newton Wayland - Newton Wayland - piano/vocals, Jan Curtis Vocals, Fred Buda - drum set, Steve Young - bassoon

Bassoonist from Maine - by S. Young - Bassoon, Newton Wayland - Vocal, Fred Buda - drum set & muttering

Vox Bassoonae Score (PDF)


Other Concerts

Zelenka Trio Sonata #5 Live Concert 1972 Gardner Museum (tape recording was damaged and almost gone)
Tim Valentine, Alan Williams -oboes, Steve Young -bassoon, Olivia Toubman - cello, Martin Pearlman - harpsichord

Francois Devienne - Quartet in C Major Opus 73 No. 1 for Bassoon & String Trio - Live Concert 1975 Gardner Museum - Boston, MA. - Steve Young - Bassoon, Carolyn Edwards - Violin, Mary Hadcock - Viola, George Seaman- Cello

Vivaldi Concerto in a minor 1st movement - Live 1976 Concert - Gardner Museum

Other Berklee Concert

(I played Bari Sax, Bass Clarinet & Bassoon in this concert)

Mainstream Revisited - Bud Billings - February 28, 1989 - Berklee Performance Center - Boston, MA

Part 1

Part 2