Haydn, Hummel, Hertel & Marcello

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Haydn,Hertel & Marcello,Hummel
LABELS: EMI
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Trumpet Concertos
WORKS: Concertos by Haydn, Hummel, Hertel & Marcello
PERFORMER: Maurice André (trumpet)Franz Liszt CO/János Rolla
CATALOGUE NO: CDC 5 55231 2 DDD
With retailers’ shelves now groaning with the calling-cards of trumpet soloists, new recordings of the more popular concertos need to have something special to offer.

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Despite strong competition from recent, historically aware performances (such as Capriccio’s Reinhold Friedrich), a new recording from Maurice André ought to be a major release. He is provided with a sparkling accompaniment, but the vigour of the orchestral tuttis contrasts with an understated solo line (not helped by a recording imbalance). Did this great trumpeter perform these concertos too often in his prime, or perhaps the view from his maturity is that these works speak for themselves, that expressive pointing-up of phrases is intrusive?

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A window into the integrity of a concerto performance is often through the cadenza, the opportunity for a soloist to display not only virtuosity, but also an absorption of the style and spirit of the work. In the case of Wynton Marsalis, his overlong and over-indulgent cadenza in the first movement of the Haydn is an example of a lapse into vulgarity which sometimes mars an otherwise stylish performance. Deborah Calland