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Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3


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CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Duettissimo à 3
See below review for full track list
Christina Bockschweiger (soprano); Manfred Bockschweiger (trumpet and flugelhorn); Andreas Boltz (organ)
rec. St Ludwig, Darmstadt July 2009; January 2010
ANTES EDITION BM-CD 31.9268 [56:05]

Experience Classicsonline

This is a mélange largely of adaptations. There are three voices – the human one, a soprano, the trumpet (and flügelhorn) and the organ. In essence then this is a trumpet aria album leavened by outings for a soprano soloist, who joins the brass instrument supported by an organ, played tactfully by Andreas Boltz – hence the whimsical self-aware disc title, Duettissimo à 3.

The programme is essentially eighteenth century, with a couple of excursions – one to Franck’s ubiquitous Panis angelicus and the other to that late twentieth century workhorse, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu from the almost as ubiquitous Requiem. It makes for an essentially concrete selection, though one strong on populist numbers. That said the Caccini trio won’t be that familiar to many – brief pieces of the trumpet aria variety which pitch voice and trumpet together in a frequently virtuoso orientated exchange. There are two-movement arrangements from Bach’s Orchestral Suite BWV 1067, and – rather weirdly – a trumpet/organ adaptation of the B minor Mass’s Agnus Dei, which does seem odd when you have a singer on hand. Mozart’s Alleluja from the Exultate, jubilate is here, as well as a couple of contrasting Handel pieces, and a few extras to add variety within a broadly limited compass.

That’s the programme. The performances leave something to be desired. The trumpet playing of Manfred Bockschweiger is generally fine. Where his playing goes off the rails is in the ‘bonus’ track, Caccini’s Ave Maria where he wields the flugelhorn and together with his wife Christina Bockschweiger conspires to turn a baroque piece into a schmaltzy Broadway song. It’s more Canteloube meets Cole Porter than Caccini.

Christina Bockschweiger herself is a very strident, forceful singer. Where things sit well for her voice – the third Scarlatti piece for example – she sings well and sensitively but elsewhere her vocal production can be punchy and scoopy and sometimes plain weird. Whilst her singing in the first Scarlatti song is stratospheric it’s also florid with a wide vibrato. This kind of thing is not good for Eternal Source about which it’s best not to say anything.

One for confirmed admirers only.

Jonathan Woolf

Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725)
Si suoni la tromba [3:41]
Rompe Sprezza [1:46]
Mio tesoro, per te more [5:35]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Orchestral Suite in B minor BWV 1067 - Rondeau [1:36] Badinerie [1:16]
Aria - Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen BWV 51 [5:05]
Agnus Dei from the Mass in B minor BWV 232 [5:31]
Dormi Jesu [2:58]
Concerto for Soprano, trompet and organ [3:28]
Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Eternal Source of Light Divine from the Ode fort he Birthday of Queen Anne [3:19]
Let the Bright Seraphim from Samson [6:09]
César FRANCK (1822-1890)
Panis angelicus [4:14]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Alleluia from the motet Exsultate, jubilate [2:54]
Andrew Lloyd WEBBER (b.1948)
Pie Jesu from the Requiem [3:04]
Giulio CACCINI (1550-1618)
Ave Maria [5:17]

One for confirmed admirers only… see Full Review


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