Friday, September 2, 2016

Suoni la tromba

No. 229 of the ongoing ITYWLTMT series series series of audio montages can be found in our archives at

This weeks’ Blog and Podcast showcases the solo trumpet in great concertos and a few other orchestral works where it takes a central role. The works span the baroque, classical and early romantic periods.

A pair of trumpet masters make the cut this week. Wynton Marsalis is a force to be reckoned with – not only as a trumpeter, but also as an all-around musical artist who has set a high standard in jazz, fusion and the classics. At age eight, Wynton performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church band led by banjoist Danny Barker, and at 14, he performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic. During high school, Marsalis performed with the New Orleans Symphony Brass Quintet, New Orleans Community Concert Band, New Orleans Youth Orchestra, New Orleans Symphony, various jazz bands and with a local funk band, the Creators. He moved to New—York City in 1979 to attend the Julliard School, so we have here a classically-trained, jazz infused individual with stupendous comtrol of his instrument. His discography is mostly made up of jazz titles where he performs  in small and large ensembles – but he has a handful of classical albums to his credit. A significant portion of our montage is taken by a cover-to-cover audition ofg Wynton Marsalis’ “debut” classical; album of 1983 with Raymond Leppard and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Here’s a quote taken from Marsalis’ website, which I whole-heartedly concur with:

For mountain climbers, the Himalayas; for classical trumpet players, the Haydn, Hummel, and L. Mozart trumpet concertos. The young Marsalis tackles the climb with virtuosic technique and clarion tone. Wynton’s 1983 Grammys for this recording and THINK OF ONE…made him the first and only artist to win classical and jazz Grammy Awards in the same year. This recording also marks the beginning of Wynton’s collaborations with the distinguished conductor Raymond Leppard, here leading the National Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Fasch concerto for trumpet and two oboes I retained was featured on one of the Erato label’s most popular baroque titles, the infamous “Pachelbel Canon” disc of the Jean-François Paillard Chamber Orchestra. That disc’s first track, a signature piece for the orchestra and the album, is best remembered on that release, but the other works it overshadowed included this gem, performed by another “Superstar” of the trumpet, France’s Maurice André, one of the most recognized and adulated classical trumpeters of the 20th century, who was known to have climbed a few Himalayan trumpet summits himself…

Short works by Mendelssohn, Jeremiah Clarke and Leroy Anderson, along with another late-Baroque/early-Classical trumpet concerto by Franz Xaver Richter complete this week’s montage.

I Think You Will Love This Music Too.