Release Date: February 12, 2016
Catalog #: NV6029
Format: Digital


Anti-Concerto For Bassoon

Michael J. Evans composer

Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronský conductor
Jan Hudeček bassoon

Fusing together the areas of visual art, music, literature, and history, composer Michael J. Evans presents his multimedia project, MISERY, on Navona Records. Taking inspiration, text, and imagery from Russian author Anton Chekhov’s (1860-1904) tale of the same name, the composer’s work can serve multiple functions: an anti-concerto for bassoon, the soundtrack for an illustrated graphic novel or silent film, the music for a stage work (dance, pantomime, shadow, or puppet theater), or any combination of the aforementioned.

The music illustrates the story of a despondent Russian sleigh-driver named Iona Potapov, embodied by the bassoon. Antithetical to that which the soloist would typically play in a romantic concerto, generally representing a heroic figure, the soloist here represents a character who fades into the background, creating an anti-concerto. The music is closely connected to the text, depicting the forlorn protagonist’s unsuccessful attempts to tell his story to each of his fares. Although he is surrounded by people, Potapov is completely alone. When the bassoon cadenza is finally reached, he can freely express his grief, no longer bound by words alone, or the social conventions limiting his expression of pain. The piece culminates in an emotional climax and catharsis.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Artist Information

Michael J. Evans


Michael J. Evans is an American composer based in Washington DC He has recorded with pianist Karolin Rojahn, Sirius Quartet, St Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, Millennium Symphony Orchestra, Kiev Philharmonic, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Moravian Philharmonic and Janaček Philharmonic.

Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra


The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the foremost and oldest symphony orchestras in the Czech Republic. It is based in the historical capital of Moravia, the city of Olomouc, and has been a leader of music activities in the region for the past 70 years. Its artistic development was directly influenced by distinguished figures from the Czech and international music scene.

Petr Vronský


After successes in several important international competitions for conductors — including the competition in Besancon France in 1971 and the Karajan Competition in Berlin in 1973 — his career began at the opera company in Pilsen. From 1974 to 1978, he was Chief of Opera of the State Theater in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic. In 1978, he was appointed Chief Conductor of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he held until 1991. Vronsky was later appointed Chief Conductor of the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava in 2002.