Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:


(b. 1920)
Trumpet Concerto (1950)
Variations for trumpet and orchestra
Trumpet Concerto (1955)

Trumpet Concerto (1967)
Bibi Black (trumpet)
Moscow Chamber Orchestra/Constantine Orbelian
CHANDOS CHAN 9668 [72.05]
 Amazon UK  Amazon USA

Here are four works for trumpet and orchestra all from the pre-Perestroika USSR.

The Arutyunian is a singularly attractive work dating from 1950. It is brilliant (as you would expect), languorously suggestive of warm summer nights in the Caucasus and, in places, a hair's breadth from Gershwin's blues. Those of you who may have heard the violin concerto this is a much more attractive work given a strapping performance and vivid recording. The big theme struts like a toreador.

The Variations are as strikingly memorable - a warm steady flow of orientally-accented lyricism alternates with ripe and pert virtuosity. There is none of the hieratic minimalism we get from Hovhaness whenever he is put near an orchestra and a trumpet. Philip Taylor's lucid and informative notes suggest parallels with Kabalevsky.

The Pakhmutova concerto is bright, eager, imaginative and not a moment too long.

Vainberg's concerto is again a work of technical challenge. It is more modernistic than the Arutyunian; rather like a Malcolm Arnold concerto but with a higher dosage of dissonance (nothing to frighten anyone off but noticeable all the same).

All the usual high production values from Chandos.


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

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