Paris Conservatoire Contest Pieces

The Paris Con­ser­va­toire’s annu­al con­cours (con­test) has added a great num­ber of solo works to the bas­soon’s reper­toire. From 1797 until 2011, these con­cours award­ed prizes to the top-ranked stu­dents in each dis­ci­pline. Attain­ing a pre­miere prix (first prize) prac­ti­cal­ly guar­an­teed the musi­cian a good job, and at var­i­ous times also earned the play­er a new instru­ment, musi­cal scores, and/or mon­ey.

For the first cen­tu­ry of the Con­ser­va­toire’s exis­tence, the pieces for the com­pe­ti­tion were most­ly writ­ten by the bas­soon pro­fes­sors (Wil­lent-Bor­dog­ni, Cokken, Jan­court, etc.). The “gold­en age” of con­cours pieces was 1898–1984, dur­ing which the Con­ser­va­toire most­ly com­mis­sioned new works from estab­lished com­posers. After 1985, new works were only occa­sion­al­ly ordered, and Alexan­dre Ouzounof­f’s NAIROBI, la nuit of 1999 seems to have been the last new­ly-com­mis­sioned work for bas­soon. The main table below is a list of the known bas­soon morceaux de con­cours for the years 1824–2010 (infor­ma­tion for the years 1825–1834, 1837–1839, 1871, and 2011 isn’t avail­able).

After 2011, the Con­ser­va­toire’s exam­i­na­tion process changed, and it stopped award­ing prizes as such. Per Sophie Levy, the Con­ser­va­toire’s Archives Man­ag­er, the clos­est thing to the old con­cours is the end-of-first-year exam in the 2e Cycle Supérieur, which is akin to a mas­ter’s pro­gram. The pieces used for this exam for 2012–2018 are list­ed in a sep­a­rate table at the bot­tom of the page.

The bulk of the infor­ma­tion for the years 1824–1984 is tak­en from Kris­tine Fletcher’s book, The Paris Con­ser­va­toire and the Con­test Solos for Bas­soon, to which I added just a few minor details.1 Fletcher’s book is one of the great bas­soon ref­er­ence works, but it has long been out of print and copies are hard to come by today. The sim­ple list below pro­vides only a small frac­tion of the wealth of infor­ma­tion in Fletcher’s book—seek out a copy of it in a uni­ver­si­ty library if you want more details about the Con­ser­va­toire, the con­cours, or any of the indi­vid­ual works or com­posers. If you have access to Pro­Quest Dis­ser­ta­tions and The­ses, her dis­ser­ta­tion pro­vides much—but not all— of the same infor­ma­tion.

Ryan Romine was kind enough to fill in 1985 for me, from his own cor­re­spon­dence with bas­soon­ist Frédéric Bouteille.2

Infor­ma­tion for the years 1986–2004 comes from Jef­frey Lyman’s arti­cle “The Morceaux de Con­cours for Bas­soon Since 1984: A Parisian Tra­di­tion Con­tin­ues.“3 If you’re an IDRS mem­ber (which I’d high­ly rec­om­mend), you should be able to access the arti­cle here.

For the years 2005–2018, I am indebt­ed to Con­ser­va­toire archivist Sophie Levy, who pro­vid­ed me with a list of works and a brief expla­na­tion of the dis­con­tin­u­a­tion of the award­ing of prizes after 2011.4

Some notes on this list:

  • I’ve pro­vid­ed links for pieces which are down­load­able from IMSLP. I’ve uploaded a few pieces myself, and will con­tin­ue to hunt for copies of oth­ers that are in the pub­lic domain. I’ll try to keep on top of adding new links as more pieces are added — please let me know if you add one of the miss­ing pieces to IMSLP.
  • The table is sortable by any col­umn (pro­vid­ed you have Javascript enabled). Click a col­umn head­er to sort by that field.
  • Works com­mis­sioned specif­i­cal­ly for that year’s con­cours are marked with a blue dag­ger ().
  • Works are for bas­soon and piano, unless oth­er­wise spec­i­fied.
  • From 1970 until 2005 a sec­ond piece, usu­al­ly a stan­dard of the reper­toire, was required each year. I’ve split each of those years into two rows (e.g. 1970a and 1970b) so that the list will remain entire­ly sortable.

 

Year Com­pos­er Work Notes
1824 Rethaler, [Auguste] Con­cer­to
1835 Gebauer, François René Con­cer­to in C unspec­i­fied excerpt
1836 Gebauer, François René Air Suisse en Sol
1840 Berbigu­ier, [Tran­quille] Con­cer­to
1841 Barizel, Charles Con­cer­to
1842 Barizel, Charles/Berr, Frédéric Con­cer­to
1843 Barizel, Charles Con­cer­to
1844 Barizel, Charles Con­cer­to
1845 Barizel, Charles/Berr, Frédéric Con­cer­to in G minor
1846 Barizel, Charles/Berr, Frédéric Con­certi­no
1847 unknown Con­certi­no
1848 Berbigu­ier, [Tran­quille] Con­cer­to
1849 Wil­lent-Bor­dog­ni, Jean Bap­tiste Fan­taisie
1850 Berr, Frédéric Fan­taisie
1851 Wil­lent-Bor­dog­ni, Jean Bap­tiste La Mélan­col­ie, Fan­taisie
1852 Cokken, Jean-François Andante et Ron­do
1853 Berr, Frédéric Con­certi­no
1854 Cokken, Jean-François Andante et Ron­do
1855 Berr, Frédéric/Cokken, Jean-François Con­cer­to unspec­i­fied excerpt
1856 Wil­lent-Bor­dog­ni, Jean Bap­tiste Fan­taisie
1857 Cokken, Jean-François Solo
1858 Tulou, Jean-Louis/­Cokken, Jean-François Solo
1859 Tulou, Jean-Louis/­Cokken, Jean-François Solo
1860 Cokken, Jean-François Solo
1861 Cokken, Jean-François Solo
1862 Cokken, Jean-François Pre­mier Solo
1863 Berr, Frédéric Deux­ième Con­cer­to
1864 Cokken, Jean-François Con­certi­no
1865 Weber, Carl Maria von Con­cer­to in F, Op. 75 unspec­i­fied excerpt
1866 Weber, Carl Maria von Con­cer­to in F, Op. 75 mvt. I
1867 Berr, Frédéric Con­cer­to in C minor
1868 unknown Con­cer­to unspec­i­fied excerpt
1869 Weber, Carl Maria von Con­cer­to in F, Op. 75 unspec­i­fied excerpt
1870 Berr, Frédéric Con­cer­to unspec­i­fied excerpt
1872 Bervil­liers Con­certi­no
1873 Cokken, Jean-François Con­cer­to in D minor unspec­i­fied excerpt
1874 Cokken, Jean-François Deux­ième Con­cer­to
1875 Weber, Carl Maria von Con­cer­to in F, Op. 75 mvts. II & III
1876 Jan­court, Eugène Troisième Solo, Op. 53
1877 Mozart, Wolf­gang Amadeus Con­cer­to in B‑flat, K. 191 mvt. I
1878 Weber, Carl Maria von Con­cer­to in F, Op. 75
1879 Jan­court, Eugène Qua­trième Solo, Op. 54 unspec­i­fied excerpt
1880 Jan­court, Eugène Deux­ième Solo, Op.52
1881 David, Fer­di­nand Con­certi­no unspec­i­fied excerpt
1882 Jan­court, Eugène Six­ième Solo, Op. 66
1883 Jan­court, Eugène Pre­mier Solo, Op. 23
1884 Mozart, Wolf­gang Amadeus Con­cer­to in B‑flat, K. 191 mvt. I
1885 Jan­court, Eugène Cinquième Solo, Op. 57
1886 Jan­court, Eugène Sep­tième Solo, Op. 99
1887 Jan­court, Eugène Huitième Solo, Op. 100
1888 Weber, Carl Maria von Con­cer­to in F, Op. 75 mvts. II & III
1889 Jan­court, Eugène Con­certi­no in A minor, Op. 118
1890 Jan­court, Eugène Qua­trième Solo, Op. 54
1891 Jan­court, Eugène Neu­vième Solo, Op. 123
1892 Weber, Carl Maria von Con­cer­to in F, Op. 75
1893 Mozart, Wolf­gang Amadeus Con­cer­to in B‑flat, K. 191
1894 Bour­deau, Eugène Pre­mier Solo
1895 Weber, Carl Maria von Con­cer­to in F, Op. 75 mvts. II & III
1896 Weber, Carl Maria von Andante e Ron­do Ongarese, Op. 35
1897 Mozart, Wolf­gang Amadeus Con­cer­to in B‑flat, K. 191 mvts. II & III
1898 Pierné, Gabriel Solo de Con­cert, Op. 35
1899 Puget, Paul Solo de Bas­son
1900 Bour­gault-Ducoudray, Louis-Albert Fan­taisie
1901 René, Charles Solo de Con­cert
1902 Bloch, André Fan­taisie Var­iée
1903 Dal­li­er, Hen­ri Sonata in B‑flat Alle­gro
1904 Tau­dou, Antoine Morceau de Con­cours
1905 Bertelin, Albert Intro­duc­tion et Ron­do
1906 Pierné, Gabriel Solo de Con­cert, Op. 35 com­mis­sioned for 1898
1907 Bour­deau, Eugène Deux­ième Solo
1908 Weber, Carl Maria von Con­cer­to in F, Op. 75 mvt. I
1909 Büss­er, Hen­ri Réc­it et Thème Var­ié
1910 Cools, Eugène Con­cer­stück, Op. 80
1911 Jean­jean, Paul Prélude et Scher­zo
1912 Mou­quet, Jules Bal­lade, Op. 34
1913 Dal­li­er, Hen­ri Sonata in B‑flat Alle­gro; com­mis­sioned for 1903
1914 Pierné, Gabriel Solo de Con­cert, Op. 35 com­mis­sioned for 1898
1915 Tau­dou, Antoine Morceau de Con­cours com­mis­sioned for 1904
1916 Puget, Paul Solo de Bas­son com­mis­sioned for 1899
1917 Büss­er, Hen­ri Pièce de Con­cours, Op. 66
1918 Weber, Carl Maria von Con­cer­to in F, Op. 75 mvt. I
1919 Mou­quet, Jules Bal­lade, Op. 34 com­mis­sioned for 1912
1920 Dal­li­er, Hen­ri Sonata in B‑flat Major mvt. I
1921 Bour­deau, Eugène Pre­mier Solo first used 1894
1922 Pierné, Gabriel Solo de Con­cert, Op. 35 com­mis­sioned for 1898
1923 Mozart, Wolf­gang Amadeus Con­cer­to in B‑flat, K. 191 mvt. I
1924 Saint-Saëns, Camille Sonate, Op. 168
1925 Büss­er, Hen­ri Can­tilène et Ron­do
1926 Weber, Carl Maria von Con­cer­to in F, Op. 75 mvts. II & III
1927 Büss­er, Hen­ri Réc­it et Thème Var­ié com­mis­sioned for 1909
1928 Ollone, Max d’ Romance et Taran­telle
1929 Vidal, Paul Ada­gio et Saltarelle
1930 Grovlez, Gabriel Sicili­enne et Alle­gro Gio­coso
1931 Mazel­li­er, Jules Prélude et Danse
1932 Pierné, Gabriel Solo de Con­cert, Op. 35 com­mis­sioned for 1898
1933 Pierné, Gabriel Prélude de Con­cert, Op. 53
1934 Mozart, Wolf­gang Amadeus Con­cer­to in B‑flat, K. 191 mvt. I
1935 Boz­za, Eugène Réc­it, Sicili­enne et Ron­do
1936 Bloch, André Fan­taisie Var­iée com­mis­sioned for 1902
1937 Weber, Carl Maria von Andante e Ron­do Ongarese, Op. 35
1938 Forêt, Féli­cien Pièces Brèves
1939 Büss­er, Hen­ri Por­tugue­sa, Op. 106
1940 Mozart, Wolf­gang Amadeus Con­cer­to in B‑flat, K. 191 mvts. II & III
1941 Pierné, Paul Thème et Vari­a­tions
1942 Dutilleux, Hen­ri Sara­bande et Cortège
1943 Pierné, Gabriel Solo de Con­cert, Op. 35 com­mis­sioned for 1898
1944 Presle, Jacques de la Petite Suite en Fa
1945 Boz­za, Eugène Fan­taisie
1946 Duc­los, René Fagot­ti­no
1947 Bloch, André Danc­ing Jack
1948 Bitsch, Mar­cel Con­certi­no
1949 Maugüé, Jules M. L. Diver­tisse­ments Cham­pêtres
1950 Martel­li, Hen­ri Thème Var­ié, Op. 74
1951 Sem­ler-Collery, Jules Réc­i­tatif et Final
1952 Tans­man, Alexan­dre Sonatine
1953 Maixan­deau, Marie-Vera Lied et Ron­do
1954 Jolivet, André Con­cer­to mvt. II
1955 Fla­ment, Édouard Capric­cio, Op. 142, No. 3
1956 Mon­feuil­lard, René Lamen­to et Final
1957 Tomasi, Hen­ri Con­cer­to mvt. I
1958 Duc­los, René Trois Noc­turnes
1959 Garten­laub, Odette Sonatine
1960 Tans­man, Alexan­dre Suite
1961 Casadesus, Robert Deux Pièces
1962 Bernaud, Alain Con­certi­no da Cam­era
1963 Chal­lan, Hen­ri Fan­taisie
1964 Riv­i­er, Jean Con­cer­to mvts. II & III
1965 Aubin, Tony Con­certi­no del­la Brughiera
1966 Garten­laub, Odette Pro­fils
1967 Weber, Alain Palin­dromes
1968 Vaubour­goin, Marc Con­cer­to mvts. II & III
1969 Mar­goni, Alain Après une Lec­ture de Dreis­er
1970a Gotkovsky, Ida Vari­a­tions Con­cer­tantes
1970b Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to in E minor, RV 484
1971a Boizard, Gilles Fan­taisie
1971b Mozart, Wolf­gang Amadeus Con­cer­to in B‑flat, K. 191 mvt. I
1972a Boutry, Roger Inter­férences I
1972b Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to in B‑flat, RV 503
1973a Keller, Ginette Ébauch­es
1973b Weber, Carl Maria von Con­cer­to in F, Op. 75
1974a Castérède, Jacques Échanges
1974b Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to in A minor, RV 497
1975a Manen, Chris­t­ian Les Enchant­ments de Cir­cé, Réc­it d’Ulysse, Op. 96
1975b Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to in E minor, RV 484
1976a Petit, Pierre Thème et Vari­a­tions
1976b Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to in B‑flat, RV 503
1977a Char­p­en­tier, Jacques Grave
1977b Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to in C minor, RV 480
1978a Bernaud, Alain Hal­lu­ci­na­tions
1978b Weber, Carl Maria von Andante e Ron­do Ongarese, Op. 35
1979a Françaix, Jean Con­cer­to mvt. I
1979b Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to in F, RV 488
1980a Boutry, Roger Tim­bres
1980b Mozart, Wolf­gang Amadeus Con­cer­to in B‑flat, K. 191 mvts. II & III
1981a Bitsch, Mar­cel Par­ti­ta
1981b Saint-Saëns, Camille Sonate, Op. 168 mvts. I & II
1982a Boutry, Roger Prisme
1982b Mozart, Wolf­gang Amadeus Con­cer­to in B‑flat, K. 191 mvt. I
1983a Lan­cen, Serge Sonatine
1983b Hum­mel, Johann Nepo­muk Con­cer­to in F mvt. I
1984a Dubois, Pierre Max Sonatine-Tan­go
1984b Bois­morti­er, Joseph Bod­in de Con­cer­to in D
1985a Stock­hausen, Karl­heinz In Fre­und­schaft
1985b Bach, J.C. Con­cer­to in E‑flat Major Bil­lau­dot Edi­tion (with caden­zas and piano reduc­tion by Mau­rice Allard)
1986a Philip­pot, Michel Com­po­si­tion pour bas­soon et piano
1986b Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to in C minor, RV 480
1987a Bar­tolozzi, Bruno Col­lage
1987b Tiêt, Tôn-Thât Jeu des cinq éléments II
1987c Tele­mann, Georg Philipp Sonata in F minor
1988a Bal­lif, Claude Solfegi­et­to
1988b Weber, Carl Maria von Andante e Ron­do Ongarese, Op. 35
1988c Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to in B‑flat (no RV num­ber giv­en) could be RV 501–504
1989a Stock­hausen, Karl­heinz In Fre­und­schaft
1989b Hum­mel, Johann Nepo­muk Con­cer­to in F mvts. II & III
1989c Work of the candidate’s choice
1990a Cam­pana, José-Luis Involtura Sono­ra bas­soon and cel­lo
1990b Devi­enne, François Sonata in G minor
1991a Tiêt, Tôn-Thât Jeu des cinq éléments II com­mis­sioned for 1987
1991b Ozi, Eti­enne Sonata No. 3
1992a Solal, Mar­tial Seul con­tre tous
1992b Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to in C, RV 477
1993a Per­sichet­ti, Vin­cent Para­ble bas­soon alone
1993b Crusell, Bern­hard Con­certi­no with­out the Polon­aise
1994a Gag­neux, Renaud Opus 41 bas­soon and clar­inet
1994b Saint-Saëns, Camille Sonate, Op. 168
1995a Tiêt, Tôn-Thât Jeu des cinq éléments II com­mis­sioned for 1987
1995b Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to in B‑flat, RV 502
1996a Pichau­reau, Claude Nymphea-Lotus
1996b Ozi, Eti­enne Sonata No. 2
1997a Her­sant, Philippe Hopi bas­soon alone
1997b Hum­mel, Johann Nepo­muk Con­cer­to in F mvts. II & III
1998a Yun, Isang Monolog
1998b Mozart, Wolf­gang Amadeus Sonata, K. 292 bas­soon and cel­lo
1999a Ouzounoff, Alexan­dre NAIROBI, la nuit bas­soon and per­cus­sion
1999b Berwald, Franz Con­cert Piece, Op. 2
2000a Garten­laub, Odette Pro­fils com­mis­sioned for 1966
2000b Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to in D minor, RV 481
2001a Her­sant, Philippe Nig­gun pour bas­son seul
2001b Devi­enne, François Quar­tet op. 73, no. 3 in G minor bas­soon and strings
2002a Taïra, Yoshi­hisa Mon­odrame II bas­soon alone
2002b Devi­enne, François Sonata no. 6 in C
2003a Win­ter, P. Con­cer­to in C minor
2003b Vival­di, Anto­nio Con­cer­to of the candidate’s choice
2004a Tiêt, Tôn-Thât Jeu des cinq éléments II com­mis­sioned for 1987
2004b Stock­hausen, Karl­heinz In Fre­und­schaft
2005a Taïra, Yoshi­hisa Mon­odrame II bas­soon alone
2005b Devi­enne, François Can­di­date’s choice from the Six Sonatas, Op. 24
2006 Brendler, Edward Diver­tisse­ment pour bas­son et orchestre
2007 Saint-Saëns, Camille Sonate, Op. 168
2008 Bach, J.S. Prélude from the 2nd cel­lo Suite, Prélude from the 3rd cel­lo Suite, or Alle­mande from the flute Par­ti­ta bas­soon alone
2009 Devi­enne, François Sonata of the can­di­date’s choice
2010 Ver­di, Giuseppe Capric­cio per fagot­to e orches­tra

: This piece was com­mis­sioned specif­i­cal­ly for that year’s con­cours.

 

Pieces used for the 2e Cycle Supérieur for the years 2012–2018 (see the note above about how the process changed after 2011):

Year Com­pos­er Work Notes
2012 Schu­mann, Robert Ada­gio et Alle­gro,Op. 70 orig­i­nal­ly for horn and piano
2013a Bitsch, Mar­cel Con­certi­no Can­di­date’s choice of Bitsch or Boutry (Muri Com­pe­ti­tion selec­tions)
2013b Boutry, Roger Inter­fer­ence I Can­di­date’s choice of Bitsch or Boutry (Muri Com­pe­ti­tion selec­tions)
2014 Tele­mann, Georg Philipp Choice of one of the 12 Fan­tasias for Solo Flute
2015 Dard, Antoine Bas­soon sonata of the can­di­date’s choice Acco­lade edi­tion
2016 Bach, J.S. Can­di­date’s choice of one of the Préludes from the Suites for Solo Cel­lo bas­soon alone
2017 Devi­enne, François Can­di­date’s choice of one sonata from The 6 Sonatas, Op. 24
2018 O’Ri­or­dan, Kirk Temp­ta­tion bas­soon alone

  1. Kris­tine Klopfen­stein Fletch­er, The Paris Con­ser­va­toire and the Con­test Solos for Bas­soon (Bloom­ing­ton, IN: Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 1988). 

  2. Frédéric Bouteille, e‑mail mes­sage to Ryan Romine, May 5, 2012. 

  3. Jef­frey Lyman, “The Morceaux de Con­cours for Bas­soon Since 1984: A Parisian Tra­di­tion Con­tin­ues,” The Dou­ble Reed 28, no. 2 (2005): 101–105. 

  4. Sophie Levy, e‑mail mes­sage to author, March 22, 2019.