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Crystal Records — Susan Nigro, Contrabassoon recordings

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            Susan Nigro is a true contrabassoon crusader. One of the world's very few soloists on this instrument, her numerous recitals and solo appearances have occurred in such places as Salzburg, Montevideo, Rome, and throughout the United States. She has been a featured artist many times at the annual conferences of the International Double Reed Society. Her solo performances are frequently accompanied by master classes, lecture-demonstrations, or workshops designed by her to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the contrabassoon's unique sound and surprising versatility.
            Nigro's quest for contrabassoon solo literature has led her to commission and perform many new compositions, and she has premiered more solo works for this instrument than has any other musician. She has four solo CDs on Crystal, including this one.  All have been received with great acclaim. Another solo CD, The Bass Nightingale, includes the first commercially available recording of the Contrabassoon Concerto by Gunther Schuller.
            The winner of a Pro Musicas International Career Development Grant and a finalist in the Chicago Park District Talent Search, Nigro received an honorable mention prize in the Rome Festival Concerto Competition. Her orchestra experience includes performances with the Chicago Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and extensive freelancing in the Chicago area.
            Nigro received bachelor's and master's degrees from Northwestern University and an additional graduate degree from Roosevelt University. Her teachers were Burl Lane, Ferdinand Del Negro, Willard Elliot, Leonard Sharrow, Sherman Walt, and Wilbur Simpson. For three summers she attended Tanglewood Music Center, where she was awarded the Henry B. Cabot Prize. She honed her ensemble skills in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

A small sample of the rave reviews she has received for her CDs:

"This is Susan Nigro's fourth CD for Crystal Records, a company that specializes in performances of music for wind and brass instruments. The disc has two appropriate subtitles: "Bellisima" and "Italian Tunes for the Big Bassoon." Perhaps some connoisseurs will think the superlative degree of beautiful not quite appropriate for the biggest and deepest sounding of the woodwinds, but they should listen before making such a judgement...Nigro can spin a legato with the best."  Fanfare, July/August 2006

"For as long as I can remember, the name Susan Nigro has been synonymous with the contrabassoon; one cannot be mentioned without the other. Five [of her recordings] have been made with Crystal Records — a fine match. Crystal Records produces good quality recordings that represent solo music like this very well...I suspect that all of Susan Nigro's fans have already snatched up this recording. In case you have not done it, do it. There is excellent music-making here."  American Record Guide, July August 2006

"In her latest recording, Susan Nigro takes on the music by Italian composers from Baroque to Romantic to Modern. ... Throughout the recording Susan's playing is superb. With her excellent musicianship and style she often makes you forget that you are listening to a "lowly" contrabassoon, and you find yourself concentrating instead on the beauty of her tone, her flawless technique, or the lovely expressiveness of her phrasing. This is a wonderful recording showcase for the contrabassoon, and I recommend it strongly to you." Ronald Klimko, International Double Reed Society Journal, Winter 2006

CD346: THE BIG BASSOON, Susan Nigro, Contrabassoon. Vazen Muradian: Contrabassoon Concerto; Donald Draganski: Heart's Desire; Alan Palider: The Narwhal; Ralph NIcholson: Miniature Suite; Frank Warren: Music for Contrabassoon and PIano; Matt Doran: Four Movements. With Mark Lindeblad, piano. "Nigro is a veritable Paganini of the contrabassoon. A fun disc!" Fanfare. (This will test the bass of your system.)
UPC 009414734624 For more information about Susan Nigro and for a sound clip of this CD, click here.ORDER NOW

Sound samples (uses RealPlayer) Click on the link to hear approximately one minute of the movement shown.
Muradian Contrabassoon Concerto:  Mvt 1 (Adagio;Allegro)   Mvt 2  (Adagio)   Mvt 3 (Moderato)    Draganski:  Heart's Desire    Palider: The Narwhal    Nicholson: Miniature Suite  Mvt 1
(Prelude)  Mvt 2(Poco adagio)  Mvt 3(Waltz)  Mvt 4(Finale)    Warren: Music for Contrabassoon    Doran: Four Movements  Mvt 1(Largo)  Mvt 2(Theme & Variations)  Mvt 3 (Andante)  Mvt 4(Allegro)


CD348: LITTLE TUNES FOR THE BIG BASSOON. Susan Nigro, Contrabassoon and Mark Lindeblad, Piano. Debussy: Jimbo's Lullaby; Cherubini: Morceau pour le Basson; Desmond: Take Five; Hagen: Harlem Nocturne; Mancini: Pink Panther; Tartini: Suite: Gemiani: Allegro; Bozza: Burlesque; Gipps: Honey-Coloured Cow, The Ox and the Ass, Leviathon; Phillips: Concert Piece; Laudenslager: Little Suite; Organn: Romance; Davis: Variations on Robert Schumann; del Negro: Down in the Deep Cellar; Fucik: Der Alte Brummbar; Traditional: Clarinet Polka, Tarantella Napoletano.
UPC 009414734822 (For more information about Susan Nigro and for a sound clip of this CD, click here.ORDER NOW

Sound samples (uses RealPlayer) Click on the link to hear approximately one minute of the movement shown.
Cherubini:  Morceau Pour le Bassooon   Tartini Suite:  Mvt 1 (Moderato)   Mvt 2 (Andante)   Mvt 3 (Allegro)    Gemiani:  Allegro (
Concerti Grossi No 2)    Debussy: Children's Corner  Jimbo's Lullaby    Bozza: Burlesque    Gipps: Honey Coloured Cow    Leviathan    The Ox and the Ass Introduction and Carol    Phillips: Concert Piece    Laudenslager: Little Suite  Slow Dance   Quick March    Organn: Romance    Desmond: Take Five    Hagen: Harlem Nocturne    Mancini: The Pink Panther    Davis: Variations (on a Theme of Robert Schumann)    del Negro:  Down in the Deep Cellar    Fucik: The Bear With A Sore Head    Trad: Clarinet Polka    Trad: Tarantella napolitana

CD349: THE 2 CONTRAS. Burl Lane and Susan Nigro, Contrabassoons. Mozart: Sonata for Bassoon & Cello, performed on two contrabassoons; Vanhal: Concerto in F Major for two contrabassoons; Arthur Weisberg: From the Deep for two contrabassoons; Daniel Dorff: Sonatina d'Amore for two contrabassoons; Etienne Ozi: Sonata No. 1 for two contrabassoons; Michael Curtis: The Impish Imp for two contrabassoons.
            This is the world's first two-contrabassoon CD. Susan NIgro's last two CDs on Crystal Records were the first contrabassoon solo CDs and have been hugely successful. Burl Lane is the contrabassoonist with the Chicago Symphony. William Eddins is Resident Conductor of the Chicago Symphony. This is an extraordinary CD which customers will be intersted in for musical values as well as to test the low end fidelity of their speaker systems.
UPC 009414734921  (For more information about Susan Nigro and for a sound clip of this CD, click here.

Sound samples (uses RealPlayer) Click on the link to hear approximately one minute of the movement shown.
Dorff: Sonatina d'Amore  Mvt 1 (Allegro cantabile)   Mvt 2 (Allegro)   Mvt 3 (Molto allegro)    Ozi: Sonata No. 1  Mvt 1 (Allegro)   Mvt 2 (Andantino)   Mvt 3
(Polonaise)    Weisberg: From the Deep   Mozart: Sonata for bassoon & cello  Mvt 1 (Allegro)   Mvt 2 (Andante)   Mvt 3 (Rondo)    Vanhal: Concerto for 2 bassoons  Mvt 1 (Allegro moderato)   Mvt 2 (Andante grazioso)   Mvt 3 (Allegro)    Curtis: The Impish Imp

CD843: NEW TUNES FOR THE BIG BASSOON.  Susan Nigro, contrabassoon.  Barton Cummings: Concertino for Contrabassoon and Arioso; Timothy Grassel: Reminiscences; P. Kellach Waddle: Broken Icicle Twilight & Severe Thunderstorm Warning; Edward McKenna: Bagatelle; Ann Marie Kurrasch: Ponderings from the Pond; Graham Powning: Sonata. Sue Nigro with Mark Lindeblad, piano.  UPC 009414784322 ORDER NOW

Sound samples (uses RealPlayer) Click on the link to hear up to one minute of the movement shown.
Concertino: Mvt 1
  (Caprice)   Mvt 2 (Pavilion Dreams)   Mvt 3 (Variations)  Reminiscences: Mvt 1  (Andantino)   Mvt 2 (Piacevole)     Waddle: Broken Icicle Twilight     Cummings: Arioso    McKenna: Bagatelle   Kurrasch: Ponderings from the Pond    Waddle: Severe Thunderstorm Warning     Powning: Sonata  Mvt 1 (The Stranded Whale)   Mvt 2 (The Rescue by Humans)   Mvt 3 (Free Again in the Ocean)


CD845: BELLISSIMA. Susan Nigro, Contrabassoon & Mark Lindeblad, piano. Rossini: Cavatina from La Gazza Ladra, Introduction, Theme and Variations from Quartet #6, Allegro - Albinoni, Adagio in G Minor; Vivaldi: Sonata No. 3 in A Minor; Besozzi: Sonata in Bb major; Nussio: Divertimento; Procaccini: Moments.  

"Susan Nigro is the world's best exponent of the contrabassoon and tames the beast, having it sing and swoon." American Record Guide. One of the world's very few soloists on this instrument, her numerous recitals and solo appearances have occurred in such places as Salzburg, Montevideo, Rome, and throughout the United States. She has been called "a veritable Paganini of the contrabassoon." Fanfare UPC 009414784520 ORDER NOW     Click here for CD845 cover photo and details

Sound samples (uses RealPlayer) Click on the link to hear up to one minute of the movement shown.
Besozzi: Sonata in B flat major  Allegro 
Adagio  Presto    Rossini: La Gazza Ladra:  Cavatina   Moderato  Allegro grazioso    Procaccini:  Moments    Albinoni:  Adagio in g minor    Rossini:  Allegro    Nussio:  Divertimento  Intrada  Minuetto  Pantomima  Nenia  Corteggio    Vivaldi:  Sonata No. 3 in a minor  Largo  Allegro  Largo  Allegro    Rossini:  Introduction, Theme & Variations   Introduction   Theme   Variation I   Variation II   Variation III   Variation IV   Finale

CD847: ORIGINAL TUNES FOR THE BIG BASSOON. Susan Nigro, Contrabassoon.  Ann Marie Kurrasch: A Day at the Park; Frank Proto: Little Suite for the Big Bassoon*; Elaine Fine: More Greek Myths & Harlequin Sonata; Joel Bjorling: Night Shadows* & Dreamscapes*; David Stybr: ContraBassooNova; Giorgio Koukl: Potato Polca. *The works by Proto and Bjorling are for Unaccompanied Contrabassoon. On the other works, Susan Nigro is joined by Mark Lindeblad, piano.
UPC 009414784728

 Sound samples (uses RealPlayer) Click on the link to hear up to one minute of the movement shown.
Kurrasch:  A Day at the Park   I. Hooray!  We're Here!    II. Soliloquy on the Clouds   III. Catching Butterflies   Proto: Little Suite for the Big Bassoon I. Adagio - Quasi Cadenza   II. Allegro   III. Slow, funky blues   IV. Tempo di Mambo    Fine: More Greek Myths  I. Apollo   II. Artemis   III. The Labors of Heracles  IV. Aphrodite   V. Dionysus    Bjorling: Night Shadows  I. Prelude  II. Phantasm   III. Mystery Caper    Stybr: ContraBassooNova  "Um ImaginaŤ‹o do Brasil"    Fine: Harlequin Sonata  I. Moderato   II. Tempo di Siciliano   III. Allegro    Bjorling: Dreamscapes  I. Dreamtime   II. Etude   III. Jazz Walk    Koukl: Potato polca

CD848: SCOTT JOPLIN RAGS FOR THE BIG BASSOON.  Susan Nigro, Contrabassoon, plays 18 of Scott Joplin's most famous Rags.  UPC 009414784827.   ORDER NOW     

An extraordinary recording of an extraordinary American composer. Scott Joplin's Rags are well-known to listeners, having been used in many movie scores (such as "The Sting") and having been a mainstay in popular concerts for more than a century. This CD features 18 Rags, including his most-popular Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer. They are played by Susan Nigro, probably the world's foremost solo contrabassoonist. Pianist is Mark Lindeblad. The Rags are amazingly effective in these renditions.

Included in this collection are Maple Leaf Rag, Original Rag, The Easy Winners, Cleopha, The Strenuous Life, Elite Syncopations, The Favorite, The Sycamore, The Chrysanthemum, The Cascades, Bethena, Rag-Time Dance, Fig Leaf Rag, Solace, Plesant Moments, New Rag, Magnetic Rag, and The Entertainer.

CD848 Sound samples (mp3 files) Click on the link to hear up to 35 seconds of the movement shown. (to return to this page after listening to samples, please use your browser back button)
Maple Leaf Rag    Original Rags    The Easy Winners, A Ragtime Two Step    Cleopha, March and Two Step    The Strenuous Life, A Ragtime Two Step    Elite Syncopations    The Favorite, A Ragtime Two Step    The Sycamore, A Concert Rag    The Chrysanthemum, An Afro-American Intermezzo    The Cascades, A Rag    Bethena, A Concert Waltz    Rag-Time Dance, A Stop-Time Two Step    Fig Leaf Rag, A High Class Rag    Solace, A Mexican Serenade    Pleasant Moments, Ragtime Waltz    New Rag    Magnetic Rag    The Entertainer, A Rag Time Two Step

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Phone 360-834-7022,  fax 360-834-9680,  email: order@crystalrecords.com.

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