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Winter’s Tale
Richard Rodney BENNETT

Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Orchestra (1993) [19:50]
RCNM Wind Orchestra/Timothy Reynish

Premonitions (1990) [5:29]

Concerto for Cornet and Brass Band (1974) [16:42]
Fairey Band/Allan Withington

March for Solo Trumpet (1988) [1:15]
WOLF and LANDESMAN arr. Winter
Spring can really hang you up most † [7:30]
With Craig Farr (vibraphone)
Dizzy GILLESPIE arr. Reid Gilje
Tanga* (1943) [3:43]
Thad JONES arr. C. Booker
A child is born* [5:00]
Martin Winter (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn†)
*Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag/Reid Gilje
Rec. Manchester September 2002 (Bennett, Clarke & Tomlinson), Bergen March 2003 DDD
DOYEN DOY CD 154 [60:04]


Winter’s Tale is presumably a selection of music that trumpeter Martin Winter enjoys playing. A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and former principal of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, he goes back to his Manchester roots for the first three items and then returns to Bergen in Norway (where he currently plays when not freelancing as a soloist) for the later, less substantial items; these were recorded live. In doing so he successfully embraces a range of musical styles and idioms.

The most substantive, serious and impressive piece here is the Bennett concerto which was commissioned by the conductor on this recording, Timothy Reynish. In two movements, it uses a 12-note row and manages to be both melodious and atmospheric. The opening is an extended declamatory solo which makes a powerful impression and there are several further solo interludes within the first movement as the music gradually gains momentum. The second movement, entitled Elegy for Miles Davis, starts Lento and the trumpet is muted. The idiom is blues, the mood bitter-sweet and, played blind, I suspect few would be able to guess the composer in a month of Sundays. Eventually the concluding Vivo section steals in and here above all Bennett demonstrates the effectiveness of his winds-only accompaniment. Winter is a most convincing soloist and, given his collaboration with the dedicatee, this would seem to be pretty definitive.

If the rest of the music on the disc is not at the same level of inspiration, it does represent a thoughtful and well-chosen programme. Nigel Clarke’s Premonitions consists of three short fanfares intended to reflect "the atmosphere and direction which the modern world is travelling". Tomlinson’s Cornet Concerto is in conventional three-movement form and, as would be expected, relatively light and attractive. It also requires considerable virtuosity from the soloist. The disc concludes with 4 varied encores. Spring can really hang you up most is the most extended and is strikingly arranged for the combination of flügelhorn and vibraphone. The applause which follows rather spoils the calm mood and perhaps should have been edited out. Dizzy Gillespie’s Tanga is one of the first latin-style jazz pieces he wrote and is raw and raucous.

I enjoyed listening to Martin Winter’s playing and he is well-supported and recorded. The documentation is generally good, if a little odd in the lack of prominence given to the composers on the track listings on the rear insert and their omission from the back of the booklet. Overall, this is a worthwhile disc, one to put on at that time in the evening when you have a little mental energy left (for the Bennett) but then just want to relax. The Gillespie will certainly make sure you don’t find yourself asleep in the chair next morning.

Patrick C Waller

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