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Great French Concertos
Alfred DÉSENCLOS (1912 - 1971)
Incantation, Thrène et Danse (1953) [15:45]
André JOLIVET (1905 - 1974)
Second concerto pour trompette et orchestre (1954) [12:51]
Henri TOMASI (1901 - 1971)
Concerto pour trompette et orchestre (1948) [16:27]
Charles CHAYNES (b.1925)
Concerto No 1 pour trompette et orchestre (1956) [12:27]
Concertino pour trompette, piano et cordes (1948) [9:23]
Eric Aubier (trumpet)
Orchestre de l'Opéra National de Paris/Marius Constant
Orchestre Lyrique Avignon Provence/François-Xavier Bilger (Concertino)
rec. 1998-1995, DDD
INDESENS INDE001 [67:03]

Experience Classicsonline

This disc has been around since 2007 or possibly earlier (ArkivMusic reports as being originally released on the Arion label). The conductor is none other than veteran composer-conductor Marius Constant whose own music we really should hear. 

How good it is to listen to Eric Aubier. He has been around for a long time, it seems. Here he is heard in a glorious collection of great French 20th century trumpet concertos. The selection is completely unhackneyed - much to the credit of Aubier and Indesens.
Alfred Desenclos is known for his Requiem Mass and his Saxophone Quartet. His triptychal Incantation, Thrène et Danse might as well be a trumpet concerto. It is a superb piece and should be in the repertoire of all aspiring trumpet stars - Alison Balsam are you listening? The music is unmistakably French. The first movement is raw, defiant, angular and dreamily impressionistic. The Thrène picks up and extends the surreal aspects of the dazzling first movement. Aubier encompasses wistful and grandstanding braggartry but at the same time embraces warmly bathed bluesy drift. For the finale there’s a touch of absurdist display. Aubier struts and saunters Desenclos's stuff like a Carmen toreador. There are also passing echoes of Ravel’s earth-tremor upheavals in Rhapsodie Espagnole. Desenclos died in same year as Tomasi having been a pupil of Büsser. Let's also have his violin concerto and piano quintet.
André Jolivet has two works. The Second Trumpet Concerto is in three movements the first of which mixes nihilistic music-hall and jungle mystery. The dazed and dreamy Nocturne is a sensuous song slowly unwound in front of us. It has an Iberian edge. Jolivet lets rip with a Pulcinella-style irrepressible Giocoso complete with jazzy piano filigree and music-hall rasp and roll. This ends in a feral conga.. Jolivet’s Concertino is from the same year as the almost ubiquitous Tomasi. It’s brilliant vitriol and harshly rhapsodic mélange is all over and done with in 9.23. It is in one movement in which we encounter virtuosic display and jazzy vaudeville. The final high note for Aubier is hit smack top dead-centre: induction - compression - ignition - exhaust. Spot-on.
The Henri Tomasi is, in the first movement, a meeting place for Waltonian brilliance and dreamy sentimentality. The louche fibre-mute is in place. For some siesta drowsiness try 7.59. It recalls the abstracted poetry of his Tam-Tam (try Dutton). The Nocturne has a floating quality that suggests an oxymoronic aimless pilgrimage. The finale has more uproar. Euphoric display is rapped and rippled out by Aubier who is heard in full cry accelerating up the gradient to a victorious and exultant shout.
The Charles Chaynes work is not short on display but with a greater engagement with dissonance. Written for conservatoire competitions it is impudent and extravagant rather like the Desenclos. Its first movement limns in the moods of the following two. The second movement is more atonal in the strings though the trumpet stays traditionally tonal. Chaynes ends the work in a flighty and exciting helter-skelter ride.
Indesens keeps up the good work and let’s not to forget their Tomasi trumpet album on INDE038 where the soloist is again the tireless Aubier. Do not worry about the wide span of recording dates. They are quite uniformly brilliantly recorded. Good liner notes too.
Rob Barnett

















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