Trumpets - Jonathan Freeman-Attwood - International Record Review

The fact that none of the three works here started out life as we hear them on this CD matters not a whit, for they all succeed splendidly in their new cladding; the booklet note, by John Wallace and Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, begins with an extensive justification for their tomb-robbing, which their and Colm Carey's replendent performances render unnecessary.

Rheinberger's Suite, Op.149, was originally conceived for violin, cello and organ. Here the string lines are given over to piccolo and B flat trumpets, which carry them much more naturally against full organ textures. The three snippets from Strauss's Bourgeois gentilhomme Suite - here using piccolo and E Flat trumpets - work well, too, particularly in the broad and dignified Entrée de Cléonte and the sixteenth century hemiolic dance (as Wallace and Freeman-Attwood call it), which lies at its centre.

This new version [of Elgar's Sonata No. 2, Op. 87a] for two E flat trumpets and organ, therefore occupies the middle ground, with the bright, incisive trumpet lines soaring over a broad carpet of organ sonority. I doubt that Elgar would have minded...the effectiveness of Wallace's and Freeman-Attwood's version might well have convinced him as much as it has me.

The playing of all three gentlemen is absolutely assured, and the recording, and SACD/CD hybrid made in the spacious acoustic of Hereford Cathedral, is of demonstration quality.

International Record Review
01 September 2004