WORKS: Agnus Dei from Mass in B minor; Concerto in D
PERFORMER: Sergei Nakariakov (trumpet); St Paul CO/Hugh Wolff
CATALOGUE NO: 0630-10788-2 DDD
In its way, the latest release of Baroque concertos from virtuoso trumpeter Reinhold Friedrich is an excellent recording. A carefully selected programme of varied, original music for the trumpet places the well-known Concerto in D by Telemann alongside more unusual items, such as Endler’s Sinfonia a 7. Friedrich’s sparkling top Fs here are breathtaking, but, though brilliantly executed, the trumpet line is recorded too far forward, to the detriment of the ensemble balance.
The Budapest Strings (and friends) is not a period-instrument band, and although the choice of instruments is personal taste, the orchestra does lack the stylistic finesse and rhythmic energy of most period-instrument ensembles (Telemann’s overture is far too leaden). Teldec, on the other hand, should be ashamed of its rival offering, ostensibly ‘Baroque Trumpet Concertos’, though only one of the six works was written for the instrument. (How pointless, then, for the booklet notes to describe the special attributes of Baroque trumpet music.)
Instead, there are arrangements of violin, horn and oboe concertos, plus the Agnus Dei from Bach’s B minor Mass played on a flugelhorn. For most of the disc Sergei Nakariakov plays a modern piccolo trumpet with an unacceptably thin and unpleasant tone in a style totally unaware of accepted Baroque performance practice. Only a passable account of the Neruda Concerto raises this disc’s rating from one to two stars. Deborah Calland