Alison Balsom – Italian Concertos (2010)

Composer: Various

Composition: Italian Concertos

Performers: Alison Balsom, Scottish Ensemble, Jonathan Morton

Released: EMI Classics / 2010

Sourse of information: Buy on Amazon

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The recital of Baroque music on a modern trumpet hasn’t been much cultivated since the days of Maurice André, who pretty much cornered the market for many years. Young British trumpeter Alison Balsom here enters the field with a quite competent performance and should find strong success among buyers looking for modern engineering. Undeniably photogenic, Balsom has performed a good deal of crossover repertory and is a favorite among listeners of Britain’s crossover-oriented classic FM radio. Here, however, she plays it relatively straight. Most of this music, it’s true, was not originally for the trumpet, but that wouldn’t have stopped any Baroque-era trumpeter. Except for Tartini’s Trumpet Concerto in D major, D. 53, she relies on transcriptions of music for violin or oboe. The two kinds of originals produce pleasingly contrasting results. The oboe is closer to the trumpet in its capabilities and allows Balsom to display her clean, precise tone. She doesn’t have quite the sparkling power of André in the Tartini concerto, but the oboe concertos by Benedetto Marcello and Tomaso Albinoni are attractively done. The adaptations of Cimarosa oboe pieces by Australian composer Arthur Benjamin are more of a historical curiosity than an ongoing thing. The main attractions are the transcriptions of violin works, two by Vivaldi and one by Albinoni. The Vivaldi concertos, especially, contain passagework that’s difficult to execute on a trumpet, and Balsom, working from her own transcriptions, never loses focus; it’s her accuracy rather than her power or even her considerable beauty of tone that sets her apart from her predecessors. Worthwhile even for those with André collections. Brief booklet notes are in English, German, and French. (source: Allmusic)

Alison Balsom – trumpet
Scottish Ensemble
Jonathan Morton – leader

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Violin Concerto in A minor RV356
transcribed by Alison Balsom
01. I. Allegro – 2:37
02. II. Largo – 2:34
03. III. Presto – 2:35
Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739)
Oboe Concerto in C minor
04. I. Andante e spiccato – 3:11
05. II. Adagio – 4:24
06. III. Presto – 3:05
Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1750)
Oboe Concerto in B flat major Op.7 No.3
07. I. Allegro – 2:38
08. II. Adagio – 2:35
09. III. Allegro – 2:11
Themes of Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801)
Oboe Concerto in C minor
by Arthur Benjamin (1893-1960)
10. I. Introduzione: Larghetto – 2:40
11. II. Allegro – 2:08
12. III. Siciliana – 2:23
13. IV. Allegro giusto – 2:38
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Violin Concerto in G major Op.3 No.3 RV310
transcribed by Alison Balsom
14. I. Allegro – 2:13
15. II. Largo – 3:04
16. III. Allegro – 2:31
Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770)
Concerto in D major D53
17. I. Allegro – 3:51
18. II. Andante – 2:53
19. III. Allegro grazioso – 3:04
Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1750)
Violin Sonata da chiesa in D minor
transcribed by Alison Balsom
20. I. Adagio – 2:23
21. II. Allegro – 2:03
22. III. Largo – 1:56
23. IV. Allegro – 2:01

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