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Sound The Trumpet / Alison Balsom, Trevor Pinnock, English Concert


Release Date: 10/22/2012 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 40329  
Composer:  George Frideric HandelHenry Purcell
Performer:  Alison BalsomIestyn DaviesLucy Crowe
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HANDEL Sento la gioia; Atalanta: Overture; Eternal Source of Light Divine; Suite in D: Water Piece; Oboe Concerto in B?. PURCELL King Arthur: Suite. The Fairy Queen: Suite. Sound the Trumpet. The Fairy Queen: The Plaint Alison Balsom Read more (tpt); Iestyn Davies (ct); Lucy Crowe (sop); Trevor Pinnock, (cond, hpd); The English Concert EMI CLASSICS 40329 (66:17)


It would seem that Alison Balsom has become about as popular as a classical trumpet player can be. (I am leaving aside Wynton Marsalis for obvious reasons.) She has a half dozen well-received recordings, including the only one I have previously listened to: her renditions of the Haydn and Hummel concertos, also on EMI. She plays the Haydn with warmth and grace, with a clear, penetrating tone. Her cadenza in the first movement is ideal in demonstrating her virtuosity without distracting us from the (eventual) flow of the movement. In this new disc, expertly accompanied by Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert, she plays mostly transcriptions and all on natural, valveless trumpets. She calls such instruments “an adventure.”


One of her adventures, which does sound entirely natural, is taking the second countertenor part on Purcell’s Sound the Trumpet, playing alongside the countertenor Iestyn Davies. As the part was meant to have trumpet-like phrases as well as introduce a trumpet later, this transcription seems virtually to be taking Purcell at his word. Not so inevitable is Handel’s Oboe Concerto with the trumpet taking the solo part. It’s hard to hear this concerto without an oboe echoing in one’s head, but, according to Balsom, the performance is meant to extend our understanding of the emotional range of the trumpet. Davies is also heard to great effect on Handel’s Eternal source of light divine, where Balsom sounds virtually heavenly in her responses. Lucy Crowe is heard in “The Plaint” from The Fairy Queen. Again, Balsom is a sensitive second voice. Balsom and Pinnock have assembled suites of music from Purcell’s longer works, and made a somewhat new thing out of Handel’s Water Music. At times they make the trumpet sound like a plaintive voice: Mostly it is celebratory and outgoing, or dignified and martial, as in the Overture to Atalanta. The recorded sound is excellent; the playing superb. I am sure that these performances won’t replace the original settings, but they cast a fresh, charming light on music many of us already know.


FANFARE: Michael Ullman
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Works on This Recording

1. Atalanta, HWV 35: Trumpet Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1736; London, England 
2. Concerto for Oboe no 1 in B flat major, HWV 301 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1740; London, England 
3. Water Music Suite no 2 in D major, HWV 349: Excerpt(s) by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1715-1717; London, England 
4. Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, HWV 74: Eternal source of light by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet), Iestyn Davies (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1713; London, England 
5. Amadigi di Gaula, HWV 11: Sento la gioia by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet), Iestyn Davies (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1715; London, England 
6. Fairy Queen, Z 629: Suite by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
7. Fairy Queen, Z 629: Oh, oh, let me weep "The Plaint" by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet), Lucy Crowe (Soprano)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
8. Sound the trumpet, Z 335 by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet), Iestyn Davies (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1687; England 
9. King Arthur, or The British Worthy, Z 628: Suite by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1691; England 

Featured Sound Samples

Amadigi di Gaula (Handel): "Sento la gioia"
Fairy Queen: Suite (Purcell): Rondeau (Second Musick)
Oboe Concerto no 1 (Handel): II. Allegro

Sound Samples

"Sento la goia" from Act 3 of Amidigi di Gaula
King Arthur Suite, Act 1: Overture
King Arthur Suite, Act 1: Come If You Dare
King Arthur Suite, Act 5: Symphony
King Arthur Suite, Act 2: Shepherd, Shepherd, Leave Decoying
King Arthur Suite, Act 5: Round Thy Shores
King Arthur Suite, Act 5: Trumpet Tune
King Arthur Suite, Act 5: Fairest Isle
Atalanta - Overture
Eternal Source of Light Divine (Birthday Ode for Queen Anne) HWV 74
The Fairy Queen - Suite of Musicks and Dances: Symphony
The Fairy Queen - Suite of Musicks and Dances: Rondeau
The Fairy Queen - Suite of Musicks and Dances: Jig First Act Tune
The Fairy Queen - Suite of Musicks and Dances: Act 5 - Prelude
The Fairy Queen - Suite of Musicks and Dances: Chaconne and Chorus
Sound The Trumpet (Come Ye Sons of Art)
Water Piece in D Major: Overture
Water Piece in D Major: Gigue (Allegro)
Water Piece in D Major: Minuet (Aria)
Water Piece in D Major: Bourree
Water Piece in D Major: March No. 2
The Plaint from The Fairy Queen
Oboe Concerto No.1 in Bb major (Transposed into C major): Adagio
Oboe Concerto No.1 in Bb major (Transposed into C major): Allegro
Oboe Concerto No.1 in Bb major (Transposed into C major): Siciliana (Largo)
Oboe Concerto No.1 in Bb major (Transposed into C major): Vivace

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  9 Customer Reviews )
 The Royal Ms. Balsom December 13, 2013 By Bevan Davies (Kennebunk, ME) See All My Reviews "Ms. Balsom is phenomenal here, easily switching between baroque and contemporary instruments. Very pleasurable." Report Abuse
 Great music June 19, 2013 By J D  Blatchford (Mill Valley, CA) See All My Reviews "I first heard this music on KDFC" Report Abuse
 Nice! February 3, 2013 By Paul Burgess (Wheaton, IL) See All My Reviews "I liked this recording, and was tempted to buy it when I saw a video showing rehearsals and comments by the performers. I continue to be amazed at how Allison Balsom is able to get the sound she does from a "simple" trumpet. It was wonderful to see and hear the collaboration that she does with Trevor Pinnock and his concert. It would actually have been fun for this CD to have been a DVD, and have all the performances be videoed so that we could hear and see the collaboration going on!" Report Abuse
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