The young Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth announces herself on the EMI label, bafflingly, with a programme of songs and arias. Grieg’s pastoral Haugtussa cycle and Kurt Weill’s cabaret song Je ne t’aime pas have piano accompaniment. Opera arias by Korngold and Saint-Saëns and a wide-ranging selection of songs (with uncredited orchestrations) are backed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, in a soupy artificial acoustic. Helseth’s declared intention to express the meaning of each number is hardly borne out by these sweetly bland performances, with unvarying bright vibrato and smooth phrasing, apart from an unexpected burst of jazzy inflections in Dvoπák’s Songs my mother taught me. Most successful is José María Cano’s Epilogo, shared with a soulful cello (Jonathan Aasgaard) – but then that was a wordless vocalise anyway.
Overall, listening to this recording straight through is like eating a whole box of chocolates at one go: I suspect even trumpet fans might find it indigestible.