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Baroque Trombone - Castello, Speer, Frescobaldi, Et Al


Release Date: 10/27/2009 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1688   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dario CastelloDaniel SpeerGirolamo FrescobaldiHeinrich Ignaz Biber,   ... 
Performer:  Christian LindbergNeal Peres Da Costa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

An idiosyncratic take on the music of the trombone’s predecessor.

Given Christian Lindberg’s comprehensive exploration of the repertoire of the modern trombone, it is perhaps unsurprising that he has now turned his attentions to the 17 th century repertoire of its predecessor, the sackbut. What is more surprising is that he plays this music on a copy of a period instrument. Lindberg has the most distinctive trombone sound of any living player, a combination of idiosyncratic (but usually appropriate) phrasing and a subtle, quite shallow vibrato which he often applies to the ends of longer notes. His performances on the modern instrument are also characterised by an impressive roundness of tone in the upper
Read more register.

Curiously, all of these features are just as evident on this disc as they are on any of his others, leading me to speculate about what sort of a sackbut he is using. No illustration is given in the liner - surely a missed opportunity considering what an iconic object the sackbut can be - but we are told that it is a Meinl und Lauber copy of the Erasmus Schnitzler instrument of 1551 in the collection of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremburg. This is the earliest surviving trombone anywhere in the world, so we are talking about a peashooter bore diameter (similar to a modern trumpet), a bell that would fit comfortably in your hand, plate stays that would sit rather less comfortably in the player’s hand, and a very heavy outer slide. Certainly, Lindberg’s tone has a woolly quality here from the instrument’s small bell, but his agility in the fast music suggests much lighter metals have been used to construct the slide of this copy than were used in the original. His instrument performs best in the middle to upper register, but can become congested lower down. Most interestingly of all, the sound has little of the throaty quality one would expect from a sackbut mouthpiece with a sharply defined rim at the throat (at the centre of the cup). The mouthpiece used here is described as a ‘Christian Lindberg baroque model mouthpiece’, presumably some compromise between these early styles and more modern conventions.

In terms of performance technique, Lindberg says he has taken advice from his brother, the lutenist Jakob Lindberg. His light ornamentation endears these performances, giving a sense of constructive and creative engagement with the 17 th century scores. Phrasing is achieved through gradations of both dynamics and articulation, allowing the music an almost vocal vitality without straying too far from the narrow stylistic confines of the age. The music is from Italian and German sources, the most familiar names Frescobaldi and Biber, the former’s canzonas in a fairly straightforward, unpretentious style, the latter providing a sonata in a more proto-classical gallante mode. Of the other composers, Dario Castello moves between the two, alternating canonic counterpoint with passages of a recitative-like simplicity. Daniel Speer, a name probably known among brass players, constructs elegant and lively instrumental works from dance forms, his Gigue a particularly sprightly example.

Lindberg is accompanied throughout by members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, whose credentials in early music hardly need stating. Richard Tognetti finds an ideal light yet earthy tone in his violin timbre to complement the sackbut, while Neal Peres de Costa excels as continuo accompanist on harpsichord and chamber organ. Balance between the players, whether worked out between themselves or adjusted in post-production, is ideal throughout, and the tricky balance of sackbut and harpsichord never becomes a problem.

This is an idiosyncratic take on the music of the trombone’s predecessor. But then, Christian Lindberg brings an idiosyncratic approach to every project he commences. I personally, like the sackbut to sound further removed from the tone of the modern trombone, but that is not necessarily an authenticity issue. These performances stand up well on their own terms, and for the many collectors of Lindberg’s growing discography, it will provide a satisfying complement to his many concerto recordings. 

-- Gavin Dixon, MusicWeb International 
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata no 5 by Dario Castello
Performer:  Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
2.
Sonata no 12 by Dario Castello
Performer:  Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1629; Italy 
3.
Sonata for 2 Trebles Instruments and Trombone by Dario Castello
Performer:  Neal Peres Da Costa (Keyboard), Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
4.
Sonata à 3 by Daniel Speer
Performer:  Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
5.
Gigue by Daniel Speer
Performer:  Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
6.
Il primo libro delle canzoni: no 5, La Tromboncina by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Neal Peres Da Costa (Keyboard), Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1628; Italy 
7.
Il primo libro delle canzoni: no 6, L'Altera by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Neal Peres Da Costa (Keyboard), Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1628; Italy 
8.
Il primo libro delle canzoni: no 7, La Tuccina by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Neal Peres Da Costa (Keyboard), Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1628; Italy 
9.
In partitura, il primo libro delle canzoni per sonare...con 2 Toccate: Ambitiosa by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Neal Peres Da Costa (Keyboard), Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1628; Rome, Italy 
10.
Sonata à 3 by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Salzburg, Austria 
11.
Sonata no 4 by Dario Castello
Performer:  Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1629; Italy 
12.
Sonata for Oboe and Organ "La Hieronyma" by Giovanni Martino Cesare
Performer:  Neal Peres Da Costa (Keyboard), Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1621 
13.
Sonata à 3 in A minor by Antonio Bertali
Performer:  Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Austria 

Sound Samples

Sonata quinta
Sonata duodecima
Trombone Sonata
Sonata a 3
Gigue
Canzona No. 5, "detta la Tromboncina"
Canzona No. 6, "detta l'Altiera"
Canzona No. 7, "detta la Superba (o Tuccina)"
Canzona No. 8, "detta l'Ambitiosa"
Sonata a 3
Sonata quarta
Sonata La Hieronyma
Sonata a 3

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