Christian LINDBERG (b 1958)
Los Bandidos a 1'51"
Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839 - 1881)
Pictures from an Exhibition ab
J.S.BACH (1685 - 1750)
Sonata in G Minor. BWV 1029 b.
Robert SCHUMANN (1810 - 1856)
Fantasie-Stücke. Op 73 a
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882 - 1971)
Extracts from "L'Oiseau de feu" *a 11'19"
(* Guido Agosti's piano transcription used for this arrangement)
(trombonea - Alto tromboneb ) Roland Pöntinen
Recorded Sept 1998 in Danderyd,
Sweden. DDD BIS CD-988 [69'05"]
Subtitled "The criminal trombone No 2 ½" this is another release by
two Swedish musicians, Christian Lindberg and Roland Pöntien. Previously
issues by the pair have included "The Criminal Trombone" featuring 'stolen
works' with Lindberg as 'defendant' and Pöntinen as 'accomplice'. This
CD continues in a similar vein with comic illustrations and a spoof introduction.
In these days of near saturation in the CD market the need to stand out and
catch the attention of the buying public is obviously not easy. Artists,
or their agents, take different routes and try different things. The current
trend in classical music seems to want performers to be pre-pubescent or
to dress as skimpily as possible - practices which may help to hide limitations
elsewhere. In the case of the two performers on this recording they have
absolutely no need to try anything in the least gimmicky - their skills should
sell records by the bucket-full. They just need to convince that a coupling
of trombone and piano will hold the interest for a full CD. After all, how
many other duos of this instrumental combination do you know?
Lindberg is a trombone virtuoso - one of the best around. He has a phenomenal
technique and seemingly tremendous lips. (Careful now, I don't fancy him).
On this CD he employs two instruments ( one an alto ) and 5 mouthpieces.
With a splendid partner such as Pöntinen their collaboration seems well-nigh
perfect. The matter of finding material is clearly not a problem as the
arrangements on the disc are by Lindberg himself.
This is a studio recording so one assumes that breaks were made, but a complete
version of Mussorgsky's Pictures from an Exhibition, almost 33 minutes
of it, is a tremendous challenge for a brass player, (does he do a live
performance of this material, one wonders?) Lindberg seemed to sail through
it without any problems. His rich, warm tone was even throughout the full
register, with breath enough to carry him through the longest phrases. (The
recording is precise enough to allow some breathing to be heard).
Outstanding in Pictures were the portrayal of the Unhatched Chicks,
the rapid ostinato passage in Samuel Goldenberg, a ferociously
fast Limoges and a richly resonant Promenade and Great Gate
of Kiev with a telling piano contribution. Elsewhere on the disc
the arrangement of Bach's Sonata BWV 1029 (written for viola de gamba ) includes
an Adagio with a lingering long phrased melody, Schumann's
Fantasie-Stücke (written for clarinet and piano) with some delightful
piano playing in an arrangement that retained much of the original of this
work of changing moods. The three final extracts from an arrangement of
Firebird allowed Christian Lindberg to dazzle again. It is remarkable
how the ear tricks the brain into believing more of the score is being heard
than is reality.
A recording that is different in many ways. I enjoyed it and recommend it