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'’s a fascinating insight into an important educational workshop, and assured performances from Freeman-Attwood and Howat also make it a musical experience in its own right. The recorded sound is in the usual Linn top-drawer league.'
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'...they embody the deceptively easygoing lyricism of Fauré's songs, making this an unexpected treasure trove of his melodic invention.'
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'Freeman-Attwood has a warm timbre and he phrases the often simple melodic lines appealingly, catching their stylistic differences admirably...The result is a most attractive anthology, naturally balanced and recorded.'
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'An interesting and well executed première performance.'
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'They take surprise twists and turns, which makes sense considering they were supposed to put students through their paces. They are pleasant, graceful and individual...'
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'Jonathan Freeman-Attwood's quiet, direct approach on the trumpet is just right. Recommended for Fauré lovers.'
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Jonathan Freeman-Attwood - Faure - Sinfini Music

27 August 2014
Sinfini Music
Mathew Tucker
4 Stars

A dusty book of sight-singing tests has been rescued and reimagined for trumpet, says Mathew Tucker, who finds an 'assured lyrical panache' in a lost collection of vocalises by Gabriel Fauré

Trumpet soloists are adept at raiding other instrumental repertoire and making it their own. For Lydia's Vocalises, trumpeter Jonathan Freeman-Attwood and pianist Roy Howat go further by laying claim to unpublished music that had, until recently, been left untouched in the French National Archive for over half a century: 35 sight-singing tests (or 'vocalises') composed by Gabriel Fauré from 1906 to 1916 while he was director of the Paris Conservatoire.

Hardly the stuff to get the pulse racing, you would think - the pieces rarely stretch over a minute - and yet the attention Fauré evidently gave these vignettes more than saves this exercise from the mere humdrum.

That Fauré was able to find time to write these vocalises and run a major conservatoire is not lost on Freeman-Attwood, himself the principal of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Rightly describing the pieces as 'exquisite', he brings them to life with an assured lyrical panache that left this listener lamenting the fact that Fauré never wrote a substantial solo work for trumpet during his lifetime. This is partially rectified by the inclusion of a trumpet transcription of Fauré's slightly longer song 'Lydia' that bookends the shorter vocalises. Not exactly Haydn's trumpet concerto, then, but a rewarding curio nonetheless.

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Daniel-Ben PienaarDaniel-Ben Pienaar
Jonathan Freeman-AttwoodJonathan Freeman-Attwood
Roy HowatRoy Howat
Faure: Lydia’s VocalisesFaure: Lydia’s Vocalises