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Facets 3 - Harbach, Trester, Wintle, Etc / Sophia Grech, Nataliya Sukhina

Release Date: 06/09/2009 
Label:  Crystal   Catalog #: 768   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  James WintleBarbara HarbachFrancine TresterJoseph Klein,   ... 
Performer:  John HoltJohannes KleinmannKatrin MeidellJulia Bushkova,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

FACETS 3 John Holt (tpt, flugelhorn 4 ); Igor Borodin (vn); 1 Julia Bushkova (vn); 1 Katrin Meidell (va); 1 Johannes Kleinmann (vc); 1 Natalia Sukhina (pn); 2 Sophia Grech (mez) 3 CRYSTAL 768 (63:19) Read more

WINTLE Distant Voices. 1 HARBACH Perambulations. 2 Emily! 2,3 TRESTER 4 Thoreau Songs. 3,4 Sonata. 2 KLEIN Die Königskünderin. KAY Tromba 2

We don’t hear the trumpet featured in chamber music nearly as much as in other settings, but here John Holt makes a strong case for its viability in intimate music-making. The opening work for string quartet and solo trumpet by James Wintle neatly skirts the balance issues that could easily arise from the instrumentation. The composer employs a language that is atonal for the most part, but uses texture, dynamics, and skillful melodic manipulation to give shape to each of the four movements. The title Distant Voices refers to quotations from The Beatles in the second movement, although they are subtly employed as vague reminiscences rather than literal, complete statements. Holt’s sound is warm, clear, and very accurate in pitch and articulation. He plays expressively, if cautiously so, and his string colleagues match him with burnished tone and impressive accuracy.

Perambulations , by Barbara Harbach, is composed in a markedly different style from the disc opener, with a clearly tonal idiom marked by an abundance of ostinatos and repetitive figures that give a subtle nod to minimalism. Emily! , Harbach’s other work, is composed in a similar vein, with little chromatic coloring and boasting a distinctly American flavor. Mezzo-soprano Sofia Grech gets to the core of the Emily Dickinson texts with rich tonal shadings and a deep feeling for the poetic essence.

There is also a decidedly American flavor in Francine Trester’s Four Thoreau Songs , but the tonality wanders more freely than in the previous work, with chromaticism adding touches of ambiguity. Holt’s mellow flugelhorn lends an appropriate air of melancholy and nostalgia to this lovely work. Trester’s Sonata is composed in a similar vein, and is particularly adept at capturing the lyrical potential of the trumpet. The middle movement includes a few romantic surges that are especially attractive. Here and in other works on the disc, pianist Natalia Sukhina provides strong, capable support.

Joseph Klein’s work for solo trumpet, Die Königskünderin , stands out from the rest of the program with a more advanced treatment of pitch and color and a markedly disjunct melodic profile. Holt meets the considerable challenges of this absorbing work with complete fluency and persuasive expressivity. Ulysses Kay’s Tromba , like most of the music on the disc, doesn’t attempt to break new ground, but succeeds admirably as an idiomatic character piece and for both piano and trumpet. There are fanfare motifs, cadenza-like statements, lyrical musings, and march segments, all assembled with clarity of purpose and technical skill.

Before this disc, I was unaware both of the playing of Holt and the music of four of the five American composers, Ulysses Kay being the one exception. It is a fine recording indeed, presenting a cross section of deserving lesser-known composers with clear and lucid recorded sound.

FANFARE: Michael Cameron
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Works on This Recording

Distant Voices by James Wintle
Performer:  John Holt (Trumpet), Johannes Kleinmann (Cello), Katrin Meidell (Viola),
Julia Bushkova (Violin), Igor Borodin (Violin)
Length: 17 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Perambulations by Barbara Harbach
Performer:  Nataliya Sukhina (Piano), John Holt (Trumpet)
Length: 5 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Emily! by Barbara Harbach
Performer:  Sophia Grech (Mezzo Soprano), John Holt (Trumpet), Nataliya Sukhina (Piano)
Length: 7 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Thoreau Songs (4) by Francine Trester
Performer:  Sophia Grech (Mezzo Soprano), John Holt (Trumpet), Nataliya Sukhina (Piano)
Length: 5 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Sonata for trumpet and Piano by Francine Trester
Performer:  John Holt (Trumpet), Nataliya Sukhina (Piano)
Length: 13 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Die Königskünderin by Joseph Klein
Performer:  John Holt (Trumpet)
Length: 4 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Suite for Trumpet and Piano in B flat major "Tromba" by Ulysses S. Kay
Performer:  John Holt (Trumpet), Nataliya Sukhina (Piano)
Length: 7 Minutes 21 Secs. 

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