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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



THE ART OF THE BAROQUE TRUMPET, Vol. 5

Vivaldi, Concerto in C major, RV537 for two trumpets and strings
Vivaldi
, Combatta un gentil cor from Tito Manilo for soprano, trumpet and strings
Corelli
, Sonata D Major for trumpet and two violins
Ziani
, Trombe d;Ausonia from La Flora for trumpet and soprano
Torelli
, Concerto in D major and strings
Albinoni
, Vien con nuova orribil guerra from La Statira for two trumpets, two oboes and strings
Torelli
, Sonata in D major for trumpet and strings
Galuppi
, Alla tromba della Fama for soprano trumpet and strings
Stradella
, Sinfonia avanti il Barcheggio for trumpet and two violins
Vivaldi
, Agitata da due venti from Griselda for soprano and strings
Franceschini
, Sonata in D major for two trumpets and strings
Niklas Eklund (baroque trumpet), Jeffrey Segal (trumpet), Maria Keohane (soprano), Wasa Baroque Ensemble.
Recorded at the Church of Jonsered, Sweden (1998).
NAXOS 8.555099
[61.10]
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Nowhere in eighteenth-century Europe was the brilliance and suavity of trumpets, strings and the soprano voice more enthusiastically celebrated than in Italy. The fifth concert in the Naxos baroque trumpet series explores this heady combination in a set of pieces that reflect the contrasting ways in which Italian composers wrote for what, in later periods, on later instruments and with less versatile players, could well have been rather too much of a good thing. More reflective works, such as the Torelli and Franceschini Sonatas and Stradelli Sinfonia, counterbalance the role of trumpets in contributing their exciting colours to ceremonial occasions, and an added attraction is that most of these works are unlikely to be found in existing baroque collections.

The word "Handelian" comes easily to mind in the operatic excerpts, though it should not be forgotten that, particularly in his operas, Handel was directly influenced by Italian models such as these. The extracts from Ziani's La Flora, Albinoni's La Satirica and Vivaldi's Griselda whet the appetite for fuller, even complete, versions of these relatively unknown works, unless - like the majority of Italian 18th century operas - they are lost forever.

Despite the persistent brightness of the key of D major in which many of the pieces are written, a comfortable balance is struck, partly by subtle differences between the instruments themselves, which differ in pitch and plating technique from modern orchestral trumpets, and partly by the way in which Maria Keohane matches the varying demands of these difficult works. She has a warm, confident voice and avoids the over-elaboration of the melodic line that can prove an irritant in more self-conscious performances. The Wasa Ensemble is neither too timid nor too assertive, and contributes much to the overall effect. Sound and balance are excellent, as are the informative notes by Edward H. Tarr. Trumpet aficionados will need no encouragement to buy this disc; all lovers of the high noon of the baroque would do well not to miss it.

Roy Brewer




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