Richard Lambert Music

Humoresque (Op.33)

A solo bassoon piece exploiting the humorous nature of the instrument whilst exploring its full register

Completed in January 2009, this short tour de force for the 'clown of the orchestra' exploits the humorous nature of the instrument, whilst exploring its full register.

Structured in a simple A B A1 form, the outer sections are highly chromatic (loosely centred around the note B flat, but eschewing a sense of key) and there are many changes of time signature, giving it a highly rhythmic energy.

The brief central section is more reflective and is a free development of a motif heard in bars 30 to 35: an eighteen-note 'theme' is subjected serially to four variations in a quasi-waltz style, employing this time a consistent ¾ time signature.

The sections are joined with a hesitant quaver figure, which is first heard in bar 19.

The piece was commenced in Valletta, overlooking Marsamxett harbour in Malta. Parts were written in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo, overlooking the South China Sea, and parts in Kuching, Sarawak, overlooking the Kuching River, before being completed in Harringworth, UK (‘overlooking’ the gardening).



  1. 7 August 2009 at St Lawrence Jewry Church, next Guildhall, London EC2. Miriam Butler (bassoon)
  2. 15 March 2010 at the Famagusta Cultural Centre, Cyprus, at a concert for International Women's Day. Miriam Butler (bassoon)
  3. 19 March 2010 at Goethe Zentrum, Nicosia, Cyprus, at a poetry and music evening with poet Bjoern Kuhligk. Miriam Butler (bassoon). See photo gallery
  4. 6 October 2012, at the Karmi (Karaman) village church, near Kyrenia, North Cyprus, by Miriam Butler (bassoon)
  5. 9 December 2012: broadcast on Radio Muza, Tbilisi, Georgia. Miriam Butler (bassoon)
  6. 1 October 2017 at Tateuchi Hall, Community Hall for Music and the Arts, Mountain View, San Jose, CA 94040. Matt Volkar (bassoon).


This recording of Humoresque was produced using computer software called Sibelius: it is not a live recording.


You can view and purchase the score of Humoresque from Forton Music (FM517: 2015 ISMN 979-0-57048-416-4).

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