Vejvanovsky

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COMPOSERS: Vejvanovsky
LABELS: Discover
WORKS: Sonatas and Serenades
PERFORMER: Virtuosi di Praga/Oldrich Vlcek
CATALOGUE NO: DICD 920243 DDD
If a disc devoted entirely to the works of Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky´ (c1633-93) appears esoteric, then Discover’s new release offering a varied selection of sonatas and serenades, priced to tempt the adventurous, should prove otherwise.

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Vejvanovsky, Kapellmeister to Prince Karl Lichtenstein-Kastelkorn in Kromeríz, Moravia, produced an extensive output of masses, motets and instrumental music which often featured the trumpet. The composer was himself a virtuoso trumpeter and his knowledge of the instrument is particularly evident in the Sonata in G minor, an oddity in the repertoire of the trumpet. Although trumpet works of the period were written in the keys of C and D, Vejvanovsky´ knew that the triad of G minor could be played naturally on a valveless C trumpet, and a skilled performer could also produce the necessary flattened and sharpened notes.

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Certainly the works with trumpets – sometimes a splendid ceremonial brass section with drums – lift the spirits, which are all too often dampened by the string playing on this disc. The over-generous forces of the Virtuosi di Praga favour heavy articulation and a full but leaden sound inappropriate to the style of the music. The rather reverberant acoustic aggravates matters. Deborah Calland