Straw Insky


The bassoons fill Variation 2 of the Pulcinella Suite with a wonderful extended running sixteenth-note accompaniment.  On the Heckel system bassoon, the passage is an interesting study on the use of carefully selected fingerings to ensure that the notes speak through the slurs. As one set of possibilities,here are my notes, with reference to the markings in the attached photo of my old Stadio “Passi Difficili per Fagotto.”

+ indicates possible “flick”. Where no +, do not flick

W indicates possible use of whisper (piano) key

  1. For slurs up to tenor e, some instruments respond better with the first finger of the right hand left off. Try also adding, or subtracting, LH5 low E-flat (resonance) key.
  1. For tenor d#, try the forked finger (same as octave lower), with or without the LH5 low E-flat (resonance) key).
  1. For tenor f#, try the old German fingering; same as tenor g, but without the low F key. That is, LH half-hole, 2, 3; RH 1 only. Instead of the old German fingering for tenor f#, you may be more comfortable with the usual modern fingering: LH half-hole (or open), 2, 3 (or open); RH 1, 2, thumb B-flat. For either fingering, you may wish to add LH5 low E-flat (resonance) key, as for most notes in this range.
  1. For slurs up to tenor d, as an alternative to flicking the high D key, which may be awkward in fast passages such as this, use the old German fingering: LH 1,2; RH 2, 3, low F. (For the following tenor c#, you may wish to use the modern “long” fingering in this pattern: LH 1, 2, 3, thumb e-flat; RH 2, 3, low F. The right hand does not change between the first tenor d and the c#.)
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2 Responses to Straw Insky

  1. Verbena says:

    Hello, wondering if you have any tips for extensive fingering options, maybe a book or internet source. Thanx!

  2. reedshack says:

    Probably the best place to start would be the IDRS website’s page on fingerings, which has extensive references:

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