Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:

International Record Review - (12/2012)
Pour s'abonner / Subscription information


Code-barres / Barcode: 5099944032920 (ID267)

Consultez toutes les évaluations recensées pour ce cd ~~~~ Reach all the evaluations located for this CD

Reviewer:  Piers Burton-Page

Already firmly established high up in — is it OK to mention it in this neighbourhood? — the Specialist Classical Chart, which I think means that three or maybe 33 people have bought it already, this delectable anthology does what it says on the tin. Well, actually, it doesn’t, quite: not till you part with your cash, break the seal and get to the booklet does it become fully clear what you maybe suspected all along, that more than a bit of ingenious editing and arrangement, even thievery, has gone into assembling what’s on offer. Still, why not? Especially when it’s all done, by Alison Balsom and Trevor Pinnock between them, nifty joint arrangers, with impeccable good taste and no mean degree of skill. Anyway, Purcell and Handel are out of copyright, and would certainly have enjoyed the results: I guess both of them were aficionados of the trumpet in all its glory.

Of the trumpet as they knew it, at that: there’s not a valve in sight, piston or rotary, which lends a certain frisson to the trills that bubble up on ‘ Sento la gioia ‘ , the Handel aria with which the recital begins. Balsom has forsaken the innovation first exploited by Haydn and Hummel and, in the interests of authenticity, she uses nothing but finger and her flexible lips. The resultant virtuosity, displayed to full effect throughout, whether it be in judicious compilations from Purcell’s King Arthur or his Fairy Queen, or in an Oboe Concerto borrowed from Handel is, well, breathtaking. Up at the top of her range, or down below, fast or slow, she is in superb control and form.

In this she is aided and abetted to great effect by an Old Master. Reuniting Pinnock with The English Concert, the period-instrument group which he founded 40 years ago, has paid handsome dividends, and even generated the odd pang of nostalgia: the lightness of the string accompaniments, the cairn attention to springy rhythms, the unobtrusive sensitivity of the phrasing, all done without exaggerated emphasis or anachronistic flamboyance, are sheer delight. How does he manage to pick such unerringly right seeming tempos? The man is surely a national treasure.

Leavening the mixture are three vocal items in amongst the trumpery. Iestyn Davies duets not with another of his kind but with Balsom’s trumpet in, you guessed, and it’s a reasonable idea, ‘Sound the trumpet’. He is mellifluous, too, in that celebrated number from the Ode for the birthday of Queen Anne, ‘Eternal source of light divine’, though he does not quite erase memories of James Bowman and Crispian Steele-Perkins, who once set my spine a-tingling —is it because he seems to sing ‘glahry’ and ‘sahrce’ for ‘glory’ and ‘ source’ ? Lucy Crowe gives a touching account of another magical show-stopper, the Plaint from The Fairy Queen, once more with added trumpet, not in the original but a delightfully imaginative extra colour.

An interview with the trumpeter, complemented by readable notes on the history of the trumpet and on the music itself from Jonathan Freeman-Attwood — himself a trumpeter, of course — round out what’s surely a desirable disc to give to your talented teenaged godchild for Christmas. Or even that musically minded maiden aunt over whom you have been scratching your head for weeks.  

Fermer la fenêtre/Close window


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