ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Baroque Trumpet Concertos
WORKS: Works by Vivaldi, Corelli, Albinoni, Torelli, Marcello, Viviani,
PERFORMER: Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet)I Musici
CATALOGUE NO: 442 131-2 DDD
After standard-setting previous discs tackling the likes of Birtwistle and Zimmermann, the latest release from this great trumpeter comes as a disappointment. Apart from the appealing front cover, everything about this recording seems out of date. The inclusion of oboe concerto arrangements reverts to the repertoire, decades ago, of Maurice André, and the lacklustre phrasing of I Musici has nothing of the stylish thrust characteristic of our period-instrument bands.
Nevertheless, from the wealth of the trumpet’s own Baroque repertoire the examples presented here are well chosen. Vivaldi’s famous Concerto for Two Trumpets is an exciting opener, while Franceschini’s Sonata in D, using the same forces, provides a contrasting example from the Bologna school (though Teldec’s recording of the latter, with David Staff, Mark Bennett and the St James Baroque Players, outclasses this one). Probably the most virtuosic of the innumerable Bolognese trumpet concertos, TorelliSonata in D provides in its slow movement an unusual instance of an extended duet for the trumpet with a solo cello. And Viviani’s Sonata prima for trumpet and continuo is an oddity in its very instrumentation.
Hardenberger’s performances are smooth, graceful and superbly accomplished, if stronger on technique than idiom. He is also sympathetically partnered by Reinhold Friedrich in the double trumpet works. But you can buy Maurice André himself on mid-price reissues. Deborah Calland