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Trumpet Concertos (Lucienne Renaudin Vary)

Lucienne Renaudin Vary (trumpet); Luzerner Sinfonieorchester/Michael Sanderling (Warner Classics)

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

Trumpet Concertos
Works by Arutiunian, Haydn, Hummel, H James, Neruda, Renaudian Vary
Lucienne Renaudin Vary (trumpet); Luzerner Sinfonieorchester/Michael Sanderling
Warner Classics 9029633426   69:28 mins


Still only 23, Lucienne Renaudin Vary is now on her fourth recording, more mainstream than her earlier discs: the Hummel and Haydn are the best-known trumpet concertos from the Classical era, and there’s a lightness to the performances, set up in the Hummel by the introductory orchestral tutti. The first solo entry is restrained, rather than a bold martial statement, and that approach continues, tending to rob the music of its outgoing character. The Andante is much more successful, with a long line and warm tone, if a little heavy on vibrato at times, and the finale is fleet of foot, dancing with charm.

It’s the same story in the Haydn, where Renaudin Vary again seems unwilling to announce herself with a strong personality in the first movement, and the Andante flows with smooth legato, but is too saccharine in tone. The finale has a light touch, although passagework and ornaments could be tidier. From the same period, but less familiar, is the Neruda: it’s a slighter piece, with little time for heroics, and perhaps because of that it comes off much more successfully.

But it’s with the Arutiunian that Renaudin Vary really comes out of her shell, with far more variety of tone, rubato and dynamics: the Armenian-inspired folksy melodies sing, and the faster sections are punchy and exciting. She’s even more at home in the jazzy swing era fireworks of Harry James’s very brief Concerto, and you can’t help feeling that this is where her heart lies.


Martin Cotton