"...style is personable, tone has a pleasing, dusky hue, technique fluent and his fantasy engaging...played with consummate ease and grace..."
— San Francisco Chronicle

"...bassoonist of exquisite talent,

made the evening worthwhile"
— Vancouver Province / Canada

"...one of those astonishing talents...

consummate virtuoso"
— Spokesman Review / Spokane WA, USA

"...dazzling flexibility and sweetness of tone

rarely heard from this instrument"
— Sacramento Bee

"...fantastic soloistic ability"
— Baseler Zeitung / Basel, Switzerland

"...a beguiling player with a mellow tone and fine technique...cannot imagine performances offering better service to the music than these"
— Gramophone / London

"..superb interpretation from

the magnificent Jesse Read!"
— Quotidien de Paris

"...virtuosity, warmth and expressiveness,

humour, offhand brilliance, all given their full due"
— Harmonie / Paris

"...an absolute and touching joy"
— Vancouver Sun / Canada

"...he gave an unusually offhanded, mellifluous account of the Mozart Concerto...

drew cheers and foot stamping from the audience"
— Oakland Tribune

“...fluent, elegant and unostentatious in his virtuosity”
— New York Times

"..one of the most tasteful CDs in some time...

lyrical sound, grasp of nuance, creativity of ornamentation and sense of style..."
— The Double Reed

"...bassoon artistry was something to behold"
— Richmond New Leader

"...sweet, great facility...not only did Read

float up and down the fleet passage work, he did it in voices that were different for each mood"
— Philadelphia Enquirer

"...a memorable, pensive performance

of the Mozart Concerto"
— San Jose Mercury

"...like attending an unthinkably perfect bel canto soiree graced by some colouratura voice of mellow, cream purity, flawless intonation, refined expression, beauty, wit, charm, elegance, virtuosity, melancholy, bubbling merriment...drop this review, get out there, grab this disc and see if you don't agree that Read's bassoon is more than capable of speaking for itself"
— High Performance Review



Liquid bassoon leads ensemble

The bassoon is an instrument often relegated to bass lines and backgrounds. However at the opening performance of Allegro's season, the bassoon, as played by guest artist Jesse Read, remained at the front of the stage throughout the evening.

Words like graceful and liquid aren't usually associated with sounds the bassoon is required to produce, but are simply the starting vocabulary for describing Read's performance. Facile, agile and impeccably musical begin to round out the set. Read fronted the large Baroque ensemble consisting of strings, harpsichord and oboes in a charming set of concertos, all from the Baroque and early Classical periods. Telemann was Read's first piece on the program,
and it gave a hint of the virtuosity yet to come.
His fluid sound and flexible tempi in both fast and slow movements brought a relaxed and natural flow
to both the melodic content and the often stiffly performed forms.

As the evening progressed, Read continued to top himself, both in speed and grace. Vivaldi's programmatic concerto, "La Notte," called for painting musical pictures in fitful pyrotechnics to represent a restless night, then sustained lyricism to depict sweet slumber. Morning came in the final movement with ebullient arpeggios reminiscent of "Spring" from the same composer's "The Four Seasons."…..What a pleasure to hear the bassoon featured at such a high level of artistry….The intrinsic value of hearing masterpieces performed live, especially with such an accomplished guest artist, exceeds calculated description.

— William Berry / Correspondent
Spokesman-Review / Spokane