Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:


Pour s'abonner / Subscription information


Code barres / Barcode : 0095115082829


Outil de traduction
Translator tool

Reviewer : J
onathan Freeman-Attwood

Programmes dedicated to the skilled art of solo ‘clarino’ playing – the valveless high trumpet of the Baroque – are few and far between these days. This is a welcome addition on account of the stylish and serious performances by the American specialist Josh Cohen and his curator-inchief, director Daniel Abraham. The perennial limitation of the trumpet from this period is that the music resides incessantly in C or D major. (There is a notable example in G minor by Biber, though it’s not included here.) This is where skill in programming comes to the fore, and it is an admirable feature of this project.


Each of the works conveys a particular relationship of the instrument to time and place from the regional heartlands of German-speaking lands, with their own brands of courtly decorum especially elegantly portrayed in the Graupner and Telemann concertos, to some charmingly cockle-warming English fare from the émigré Gottfried Finger and then the later Capel Bond. There is also the rarity of an F major work for the instrument (which isn’t Brandenburg No 2) in the galant Sinfonia by Johann Samuel Endler, with its stratospheric writing as the key would imply.


Elsewhere, there is actually little virtuoso high clarino-playing – contrary to the ‘Altissima’ title – but Cohen and Ensemble Sprezzatura are effective advocates for the melodic and textural joys of the trumpet as primus inter pares within a resonant ensemble. Most of these pieces sit at the obscure end of trumpet repertoire of which the ground bass, con discretione, at the heart of Weichlein’s two-trumpet Sonata in eight parts is a special delight.


One of the hottest debates about 21st-century natural trumpet-playing is the extent to which it should attempt, by the use of tuning holes, to bring the intervals closer to modern expectations, as opposed to relying only on lip control and the ‘gamey’ character that comes with the pure intervals of an old trumpet. Cohen is strongly in the former category, so there are no jarring tuning issues. Some, however, may find that the delivery is so smooth that the organic properties of the clarino are too rarely evident. Certainly this is a recording designed for the pleasure gardens, not the battlefield.

Sélectionnez votre pays et votre devise en accédant au site de
Presto Classical ou de Europadisc
Livraison mondiale


Choose your country and currency
when reaching
Presto Classical or Europadisc
Worldwide delivery


Cliquez l'un ou l'autre bouton pour découvrir bien d'autres critiques de CD
 Click either button for many other reviews