Richard Svoboda, bassoon

Le Phenix CD front cover image"Le Phénix," 18th-Century French Music for Bassoon

Solo CD available at

In November of 2013 I released my first solo recording, entitled "Le Phénix," 18th-Century French Music for Bassoon. This CD, which includes works of Boismortier, Corrette, and Devienne, had been in the works for ten years and includes material from recording sessions in 2003 and 2010. I am joined on the recording by several world-class musicians: fellow New England Conservatory faculty member John Gibbons on harpsichord, and fellow Boston Symphony Orchestra bassoonists Suzanne Nelsen (who plays on every track), and Richard Ranti and Gregg Henegar who join in for the title track, Corrette's "Le Phénix." The immensely gifted Brad Michel handled the recording and editing duties.

Richard Svoboda at 2010 recording sessionExcerpts from recent review in The Double Reed, Journal of the International Double Reed Society

In a recent edition of The Double Reed, reviewer Marc Vallon called "Le Phénix," 18th-Century French Music for Bassoon a "flawless and sophisticated album." Of the Corrette "Le Phénix" he writes that "he uses both French and improvised ornamentation abundantly and elegantly as well as the famous inégalité, so idiomatic of French Baroque music." He goes on to say that "Mr. Svoboda offers a very nice example of perfectly successful notes inégales in the Rigaudon of the Boismortier Op. 40 in which, combined with his graceful ornamentation and his gorgeous tone, he extracts from the piece all the variety and elegance that it can offer." In the Corrette Sonata in D minor "Mr. Svoboda and Ms. Nelsen join forces to create an admirably perfect ensemble in which every note is perfectly articulated, resonant, and rich-sounding." Of the Devienne pieces Mr. Vallon writes "Mr. Svoboda is magnificently at ease in these later works, which prove to be a perfect medium for his technical perfection and sophisticated musicality. His tempi fall all just right, his control of the instument is impressive, and listeners will definitely enjoy the refinement and vocal-like quality of his sound."

2010 recording sessionIn conclusion Mr. Vallon writes "This album is a complete success in many ways. The overall recording sound is warm and clear, the general balance excellent, even if one wishes for a more present harpsichord, which is such an important component of the Baroque tone. More importantly, this CD shows that it is possible to combine stylistic interest and technical perfection. Performances of early music on modern instruments sometimes fall into two common traps: a meticulous following of the deceptive and sketchy notation and an overabundance of ornamentation. Mr. Svoboda, faithfully and perfectly seconded by Ms. Nelsen and his first class team, brilliantly avoids both of these shortcomings in an album that will stand out as a testimony to their highest technical standards and enlightened musicianship."

Ordering Information

You can find "Le Phénix" at the following retailers:

General Information


  • Richard Svoboda, solo bassoon
  • John Gibbons, harpsichord
  • Suzanne Nelsen, bassoon
  • Richard Ranti & Gregg Henegar, bassoons (in "Le Phénix")


  • Brad Michel, recording engineer and editor
  • Richard Svoboda, producer
  • Recorded September 23, 2003 & September 15, 2010 in Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory
  • Released in November, 2013 on the Harmonic Freedom label


  • Corrette "Le Phénix" Concerto for four bassoons & continuo
  • Devienne Sonata in g minor, Opus 24, No. 5, for bassoon & basso continuo
  • Boismortier Suite, Opus 40, for bassoon & basso continuo
  • Devienne Sonata in F major, Opus 24, No. 3, for bassoon & basso continuo
  • Corrette Sonata in d minor, Opus 20, No. 2, Les Delices de la Solitude, for bassoon & basso continuo

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Photos of 2010 recording session by Elizabeth M. Foulser. Used with permission.