This disc emerges fittingly soon after the death of Maurice André.
Warner’s voluminous edition dedicated to the trumpeter embraced many
concertos and arrangements and took up several box sets’ worth of remarkable
things, but a single disc is always of value if it introduces new listeners
to a great artist’s legacy, and at a very reasonable price.
André’s repertoire was strongly concentrated on recordings, often
multiply, of the Baroque repertoire. This selection gives us a plethora of
such things. That said, the English selection may not be as well known as
the recordings with Paillard and his eponymous band. These earlier ones were
recorded with L’Ensemble Orchestral de L’Oiseau-Lyre under Pierre Colombo
and present Richard Mudge’s 1749 concerto, a compact, stately and charming
work from a little-known composer. It’s dispatched with insouciant command.
Jeremiah Clarke’s Suite in D major contains the famous Prince of
– played quite discreetly here, with a welcome lack of
brilliantine – and its eight movements are engagingly done. The
tends to get overshadowed by the March
here and the buoyant Gigue
is a delight. The accompaniment is
somewhat jog-trotting. Capel Bond has received a few recordings over the
last twenty years. It was Gerald Finzi who edited his D major concerto for
performance, the edition played here, and this work of around 1754, though
published a decade later, shows a composer who may well have known Mudge’s
concerto and repays that knowledge with a taut but expressive work of his
The remainder of the programme comes from the Paillard years, and is much
more familiar. There are the extrovert pleasures of the concertos by
Tessarini and Veracini, an Italianate brace that get straight to the point
with extrovert flair. There are two Vivaldian concoctions, arranged from
various sources by the man who did a lot of this kind of thing for the
trumpeter, namely Jean Thilde. Suave lyricism and virtuosic panache are part
and parcel of the Handel – the central movement, a Furiso
brilliantly done to such an extent that you can never imagine it being
bettered. Telemann’s Concerto pairs the trumpeter with oboist Pierre Pierlot
in a most sensitively shaped performance.
There are a few incongruous things about the documentation. Gavin Dixon’s
notes are fine but his brief obviously stopped at Vivaldi because there’s
nothing about the Handel and Telemann and I’m sure he would have added that
the Handel is derived from Sonata in D minor for recorder or violin and
continuo, HWV367a. And then there’s the dating. The Paillard recordings are
dated as being published in 1958 but they sound to me as if these are the
1968 recordings. There are a few clicks on my copy (track 36; the Telemann)
which sound like a production affair or maybe come from an LP pressing. So a
few things to be ironed out and I stand to be corrected about the dating.
Otherwise this is a reasonable single disc survey for neophytes.