Alison Balsom Bach: Works For Trumpet
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by Alison Balsom ~ Trumpet Concertos ~ $16.18
- Released: January 10, 2006
- Originally Released: 2006
- Label: Warner Classics
- 3.Allegro Assai
- 6.Aria Variata In A Minor (Italian Variations) Bwv 989
- 7.Gigue From Violin Partita No. 3 Bwv 1006
- 14.Bist Du Bei Mir From The Anna Magdalena Notebook Bwv 508
- 17.Allegro Ma Non Tanto
- 18.Badinerie From Orchestral Suite No. 2 Bwv 1067
- 19.Agnus Dei From Mass In B Minor Bwv 232
Alison Balsom's Bach is a spirited romp through various works of the master arranged for trumpet solo and a changing cast of colleagues. Orchestral works are done in a chamber reduction, with the trumpet taking the solo violin part; solo works, like two movements from Bach's Cello Suite No. 2, are played in arrangements for trumpet. Transpositions abound, the net result being vaguely familiar music sounding fresh and different. In general, Balsom is most effective in faster, more outgoing movements and pieces where her bright tone, technical mastery, and sprightly tempos carry the day. The Italian-based works, Bach's Italian Variations, and his own arrangements from Vivaldi and Marcello fit this pattern, and so does the Trio Sonata arrangement from an organ work, where Balsom's trumpet interacts with violin and basso continuo to strike sparks. Least effective are the arrangements of movements from Bach's unaccompanied violin and cello masterpieces, in part because the inherent brightness of her trumpet is at odds with the warmth and nuances of a stringed instrument. The Badinerie from Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 2, whose melody and its association with the flute are indelibly imprinted on music lovers, comes off as a spectacular accomplishment on Balsom's far more unwieldy instrument. Excellent playing by the assisting musicians helps make this foray into a modernized version of Bach's music an enjoyable experience. --Dan Davis
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