Bernstein, Gershwin, Glazunov, Ravel: Trumpet Works: music by Ravel, Gershwin, Bernstein, Glazunov

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Bernstein,Gershwin,Glazunov,Ravel
LABELS: Teldec
WORKS: Trumpet Works: music by Ravel, Gershwin, Bernstein, Glazunov
PERFORMER: Sergei Nakarjakov (trumpet), Alexander Markovich (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 9031-77705-2 DDD

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It’s high time that a child prodigy emerged to satisfy and stimulate the current interest in the trumpet, and Teldec has just produced 15-year-old Sergei Nakarjakov. Trumpet Works is a misleading title since most of the pieces, including Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, are arrangements, and the Bernstein (Rondo for Lifey) and Glazunov (Albumblatt) last only a few minutes. Instead of the implied sonatas and so on, there are no fewer than 13 display items, and talent Nakarjakov undoubtedly has.

In Arban’s Carnival of Venice his breathtaking acrobatics and virtuosic fluidity are astonishing. But I think this debut album is premature. His weak point is his tone. Exposed in slow pieces such as the Glazunov are lustreless, pinched high notes and a contrarily pronounced low range. With fortissimos that make one cringe, this disc is seriously flawed.

A more praiseworthy issue, though perhaps limited to the enthusiast, is Reinhold Friedrich’s Modern Trumpet collection, a combination of convincingly executed, familiar works, such as Henze’s Sonatina and Hindemith’s Sonata, with lesser known items.

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Friedrich has clearly worked hard to acquire and unravel the unpublished Sonatine by Apostel(a pupil of Berg’s), and has taken the trouble to obtain the lowF trumpet (a 19th-century instrument) unusually called forin the second movement of Stefan Wolpe’s Solo Piece. There’s another treat in the shape of three worksby Sofia Gubaidulina, whose imaginative writing includes brilliant textures – very well handled – as well as moments of amusement. Deborah Calland