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Timothy Jones: Four Trumpet Sonatas after Mozart

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (trumpet), Anna Szałucka (piano) (Linn Records)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
CKD668_Attwood

Timothy Jones
Four Trumpet Sonatas after Mozart
Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (trumpet), Anna Szałucka (piano)
Linn Records CKD668   75:31 mins

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This intriguing collaboration between acclaimed trumpeter Jonathan Freeman-Attwood and Mozart scholar Timothy Jones is a bold venture indeed. The project is grounded in Mozart’s chequered relationship with the trumpet: according to one contemporary account, Mozart was ‘terrified’ of its ‘blaring sound’ as a child. Freeman-Attwood and Jones thus offer a ‘belated apology to the composer on behalf of all trumpet players’ by envisaging what might have happened had the trumpet developed into a lyrical and chromatic solo instrument in the 1770s and ’80s.

The result is a series of four sonatas ‘after Mozart’ created by Jones in collaboration with Freeman-Attwood which draw closely on Mozart’s stylistic idioms while also freely borrowing and adapting passages from extant scores. Sonata No. 2 in B flat is a transcription of the Piano Sonata in D major K284, augmented with ‘the accompaniment of’ a trumpet, while Sonata No. 4 in F major is modelled more loosely on several of Mozart’s late violin sonatas. This is not the first time Freeman-Attwood has sought to inhabit the brain of a canonic composer: his ‘newly-imagined Strauss trumpet sonata’ was successfully released with Linn last year. And the results of this latest musical experiment are similarly winning. Richly lyrical and bright as starlight, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood’s outstanding playing is the ideal advocate for a ‘Mozart trumpet sonata’ and he is accompanied with flair by Anna Szałucka. Indeed, there is something so exuberant about the whole enterprise – both in the recording itself and the enjoyably playful sleeve notes – that any misgivings I had soon dissolved.

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Kate Wakeling