The Extreme Upper Register of the Bassoon, story of the Wrong Tool

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

The opening solo of The Rite of Spring, by Igor Stravinsky, is played by a bassoon playing out of its normal register. It’s written “out of range”, and the result is a quite weird melody.

Musicians and analysts have been wondering about that for years. How to play this machin ? Le Sacre du Printemps, is about primitive rituels, it’s full of danses sacrificielles and other étranges processions. Soooo… I like the idée to play it weirdly, strangled or lost, lost in a forest, œuf corse…

By the way, héééé, you know the bassoon, this instrument : it’s like a tree, un arbre ! It’s long and made of wood, it’s a tree. A tree without the branches, d’accord.

OK that’s useless, but the idée of beginning that “pagan mass” (of mess) of broken dances by this “out of range” melody played by a bassoon is giving me the chills.

Well. OK. So what ?

Francesco Alberoni is an Italian, a professor of sociology. He wrote a très utile book named Falling in Love, which is completely… out of range for him. As a sociologue, he knows how to study collective movements, and certainement pas some couples and lovers. No no no no. Mr Alberoni, vous n’êtes pas du tout dans votre domaine de compétence…

He is NOT skilled to do that. Toutefois, et néanmoins, he DID it ! He used his sociologist tools to study two persons who fall in love, pfffff. Unappropriate ! Fool !

The result ? A classic, a best-seller. And it’s still a best-seller, more than 30 years after the first print. And it’s a great book by the way. Useful if you’re a broken heart – you’ll understand once you need it, trust me…

I let you elaborate the links between le livre Falling in Love and la musique de The Rite of Spring. It’s Tool Time now.

Tool :

Maybe sometimes, in life or at work, in a brainstorming session or in the middle of a battle, you just have to pick the wrong tool. Or pick the usual tool, and use it the wrong way. Use it nevertheless. Whatever ! Zut ! Maybe you’ll explore a new way to lead the victoire, after all ! Maybe you’ll be enough étrange to surprise everybody, allies and ennemis. You go boy and girl ! You go !

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