LABELS: Chandos New Direction
WORKS: Symphony No. 4; Trombone Concerto (Orion Machine); Atom Hearts Club Suite No. 1
PERFORMER: Ian Bousfield (trombone); BBC Philharmonic/Sachio Fujioka
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 9960
Listening to this disc after the normal Christmas over-indulgence I felt as if I had opened another box of Cadbury’s chocolates. Berlioz, Bruckner, Shostakovich, Mahler, Beethoven, the Beatles and Pink Floyd are all acknowledged by the composer in the booklet notes, and if you add to this not a little Stravinsky, Ravel, Khachaturian and Richard Clayderman you can get a taste of most recent musical history.
Ian Bousfield, who plays the Trombone Concerto, is a prodigiously gifted instrumentalist, late of the LSO and now of the Vienna Philharmonic. He tackles the solo part like the world-beater he is: higher, lower, softer, louder, faster than seems possible, with a sumptuous tone, faultless articulation and silky legato. He chooses to play the lyrical music, even the ‘straight’ passages with a dance-band vibrato, a rather facile way of adding expression that can undermine the more tender moments. The extended cadenza in the fourth movement is a treasure-trove of ‘things you didn’t think the trombone could do’ which could, if you let it, set you thinking about where improvisation ends and messing about begins. The BBC Philharmonic tackles all three pieces with virtuosity and panache and the recording captures the full panoply of the Hollywood-style orchestration. Christopher Mowat