As a boy Eric Fogg (b.1903) served as a chorister in Manchester Cathedral. His parents directed his musical development until 1920, when he went to study with Granville Bantock in Birmingham. His early work showed the influence of Stravinsky but he soon developed his own voice and in 1918 produced two important works, the ballet Hansel and Gretel, and Scenes from Grimm for orchestra. In 1919 his Dance Phantasy for string quartet and piano won the Cobbett Prize, and by the age of seventeen he had already reached his Opus 59, which gives some idea of his productivity. In 1924 he joined the North Regional BBC station at Manchester, first as accompanist, then assistant musical director. He moved to BBC London and occasionally accompanied for Children’s Hour as ‘Uncle Eric’. He continued to compose a wide range of works but in 1939, disillusioned with his lack of recognition, he took his own life by throwing himself under a train.
This Concerto for Bassoon, which Fogg considered to be his finest work, was dedicated to Archie Camden who wrote: ‘This concerto exploits the full range of the instrument, its ability for quick passage-work and its fine sound in soft melody. Sometimes jolly and a trifle mischievous, but in the lovely slow movement it can be full and warm-toned over the basses’ ostinato. The orchestral accompaniment is fairly light, with much use of the percussion—particularly in the last movement in an effective and witty duet with the bassoon.’ It was first performed by Camden at a Promenade Concert in 1931 conducted by Henry Wood and was received with much enthusiasm.