Day of issue, bassoon commemorative stamp, "Austria, land of music" series Warm, dark sounds

From the series "Austria, land of music," this commemorative stamp introduces the bassoon, the deepest instrument in the woodwind group.

The bassoon is played seated or standing, using a special double reed in tenor and bass clefs, and held diagonally. The name of the instrument might derive from the Italian word "fagotto" (bundle), suggesting its multi-part construction, though this is not certain. A bassoon is about 1.35 meters tall, has up to 28 tone holes and keys, and consists of four parts mostly made of maple wood: bell, bass joint, boot joint, and wing joint. The metal S-bow is attached to the wing joint, and the mouthpiece, typically crafted by the bassoonists themselves from reed, is attached to it. A precursor to the bassoon was the one-piece dulcian in the 16th century, and since the Baroque period, the bassoon has been constructed from several parts. Around 1830, the instrument maker Johann Adam Heckel reformed the key system, and the Heckel system is predominant today.

The versatile bassoon has a warm, dark timbre. Originally, it served as accompaniment to the choir, but in chamber and orchestral music today, it is primarily used as a bass instrument. The Austrian composer and musicologist Egon Wellesz (1885–1974), who was exiled to England in 1938 and whose 50th death anniversary is commemorated this year, created the Suite for Solo Bassoon, op. 77 (I. Movement: Pastorale) in 1957. The autograph in the background of the stamp shows that the composer added the first bars at a later stage.

Day of issue of the commemorative stamp "Bassoon" in the "Austria, land of music" series + stamp presentation

25 January 2024, 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., presentation at 2:30 p.m.

Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien, Musikvereinsplatz 1, 1010 Vienna

Group picture, left to right:
Hartmut Krones (President of the Egon Wellesz Fund of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde), Antonia Teibler (bassoonist), Kirsten Lubach (stamp designer), Susanna Hiegesberger (stamp archive curator, Austrian Post)

Pictures: © Österreichische Post AG

First day bassoon
First day bassoon
First day bassoon