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Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

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Slavonic Fantasy
Carl HÖHNE (1871-1934)

Slavonic Rhapsody* (1899)
Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)

Nocturne op.9/2**, Etude op.25/9**, Prelude op.28/24 (arr. Dokshitser)
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)

Romance op.5
Alexander ARUTIUNIAN (b.1920)

Concert Scherzo*, Air and Scherzo (1983)*
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)

Slavonic Dances in E minor op.72/2 (not op.10/2 as stated on cover) and G minor op.46/8 (not op.10/5 as stated on cover)
Oskar BÖHME (1870-1938)

Pisen*, Russian Dance op.32*
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)

Spring Waters op.14/11**
Alexander GOEDICKE (1877-1957)

Concert Study op.49*
Willy (Vasili) BRANDT (1869-1923)

Lullaby op.14*
Ilia Emmanuilovich SHAKHOV

Scherzo*
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)

For the Love of Three Oranges: March
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)

Etudes op.8/11-12**
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)

Three Fantastic Dances op.5 (1922)
Jouko Harjanne (trumpet), Kari Hänninen (piano)
Items marked* are original for trumpet (or cornet) and piano
Items marked ** are arranged by Harjanne and Hänninen
Where not specified, the arranger is not named
Recorded 2003 at the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE), Studio M2
FINLANDIA RECORDS 2564-60762-2 [73:09]


My initial impression was of a slight disappointment. Harjanne is a splendidly clean player with a natural, pure sound and at heart, I suspect, a classicist. The Höhne Slavonic Fantasy seems to require more gypsy-like abandon than he is willing to give, and a pianist who dismissed the fanciful decorations of Chopin’s Nocturne so factually would surely leave his public unmoved. The following Etude and Prelude, with the trumpet taking the top line, sound too "easy", shorn of the pianistic difficulty which is part of their magic.

Thereafter all is well. Tchaikovsky was, after all, a lover of Mozart and often far more classical at heart than the public wishes to recognise; Harjanne’s approach well suits the balletic elegance of this early piece. Arutiunian is fairly well-known for his trumpet concerto of 1950; these two entertaining (and, in the "Air", rather moving) pieces surely deserve the attention of all trumpeters. It may seem a penny-in-the-slot reaction to say of an Armenian composer that he sounds like Khachaturian, but if you like the latter you should like this.

Dvořák, like Tchaikovsky, can take a classical approach as well as a romantic one and the immortal melody of his op. 72/2 Slavonic Dance transcribes effortlessly to the trumpet, as does the energetic Furiant of op.46/8.

Böhme, Goedicke and Brandt raise the question; when so few composers have written for trumpet, is it better to transcribe music by the great composers or to hunt among the modest talents who actually wrote original music for the instrument? Agreeable as these composers are, the answer provided by Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and at least the first Scriabin would seem to be: transcribe! The Rachmaninov comes across as a glorious lyrical outpouring and the haunting nature of the melody in the first of the Scriabin pieces is only accentuated by the change of colour. (But op.8/12, like the Chopin Prelude, is no more than a curiosity).

We are not told the transcribers of the Prokofiev and Shostakovich pieces but with their love of droll, sarcastic colouring they would surely have approved the results. All in all, there is a lot of enjoyment to be had from this disc, and not only for brass enthusiasts. Good recording and useful notes.

Christopher Howell



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