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La Trompette Retrouvee - Jonathan Freeman Attwood - Brass Review

30 October 2007
Brass Review
Dennis Wilby

"La Trompette Retrouvée" is the second in a series of discs in which the trumpet, retrospectively, makes its mark on musical traditions, featuring on this occasion the music of Rameau, Hahn, Chabrier, Saint Saëns and Fauré.

It is a well documented fact that brass soloists are not blessed with the most comprehensive repertoire, so the choice of music on this disc might well raise a few eyebrows amongst purists. However, the virtuoso performance and exquisite sound of Jonathan Freeman-Attwood is sure to receive a well-deserved "thumbs up" from all brass enthusiasts as are the transcriptions.

This outstanding collection of French masterpieces rediscovered in a new guise opens with eight movements from Jean-Philippe Rameau's Suite from "Nais" followed by Reynaldo Hahn's lyrical "A Chloris". Daniel-Ben Pienaar's arrangement of music by Emmanuel Chabrier titled "Suite for Trumpet and Piano" includes two extracts from "Pieces Pittoresque" which transcribes beautifully for trumpet and piano.

The penultimate track is "borrowed" from the string repertoire. Camille Saint Saëns' "Romanza" taken from his ‘Cello Sonata No. 2' seems a rather strange bedfellow for transcription to trumpet, but brass enthusiasts will, no doubt, be pleasantly impressed by the end product. Cellists might have other views.

Gabriel Fauré's "Diexieme Sonate" Op. 108 a suite in three movements is the tour de force of the album. As arranger and soloist Jonathan Freeman-Attwood writes "articulation becomes a key issue in a attempting a viable transcription from violin to trumpet". This is as demanding as it gets for technique and stamina, both overcome with aplomb by the soloist in this most compelling performance.

Recorded at St George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol, this outstanding album is an example of virtuoso trumpet playing at the highest quality, with superb accompaniment from Danial-Ben Pienaar (piano). A third album is planned for release in 2008, which will adopt a similar approach to music from the 17th century. "La Trompette Retrouvée" should be in every trumpet player's collection.

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