A Courtly Garland for Baroque Trum­pet

BBC Music Magazine - - Chamber -

Works by Biber, Corelli, Fan­tini, Fin­ger, Frescobaldi, A Grossi, B Pasquini, Re­iche, Sch­melzer, Torelli, and Vi­viani

Robert Far­ley (baroque trum­pet); Or­pheus Bri­tan­ni­cus/an­drew Arthur Resonus RES 10220 79:57 mins

As Got­tfried Re­iche’s solo Ab­blasen sounds the open­ing fan­fare on a disc that ex­plores the trum­pet’s as­sim­i­la­tion into the 17th cen­tury Baroque, Robert Far­ley’s laser pre­ci­sion and un­flap­pable ebul­lience take the phrase ‘clar­ion call’ to the next level. And al­though, dur­ing his first decade in Leipzig, JS Bach was a con­spic­u­ous ben­e­fi­ciary of Re­iche’s cel­e­brated dex­ter­ity, Far­ley is on a mis­sion to show the trum­pet’s ear­lier evo­lu­tion from some­thing em­blem­atic of pa­rade ground and bat­tle­field to an in­stru­ment ca­pa­ble of cham­ber mu­sic sub­tlety – Italy at the heart of a seis­mic shift.

Three works im­pli­cate Giro­lamo Fan­tini who, in 1634, to­gether with key­board mae­stro Frescobaldi, gave the ear­li­est recorded recital of mu­sic for trum­pet and or­gan. Two sonatas are by Corelli’s some­time col­league Vi­viani; Giuseppe Torelli in­evitably makes the cut; and there’s Corelli’s only known sonata for trum­pet (plus two vi­o­lins and or­gan). But Italy doesn’t have the field to it­self. Biber, Sch­melzer and Got­tfried Fin­ger sup­ply wel­come con­trast, es­pe­cially when a dash of sty­lus phan­tas­ti­cus lessens the dan­ger of so many short move­ments blur­ring one into an­other. It’s a dan­ger ev­i­dently recog­nised in the care­ful pro­gram­ming which rings the tex­tu­ral changes from trum­pet plus solo ac­com­pa­ni­ment to richly lay­ered five-part sonatas in­clud­ing the ear-grab­bing in­ter­po­la­tion of bas­soon in Sch­melzer’s Sonata in C.

In­ci­sive, rhyth­mi­cally taut in fast move­ments, elo­quently ex­pres­sive in slow ones, Far­ley’s artistry is per­fectly com­pli­mented by the suave so­phis­ti­ca­tion of Or­pheus Bri­tan­ni­cus. And but­tressed by vivid recorded sound, there’s an alchemy at work that turns notso-base me­tal into trum­pet gold! Paul Ri­ley



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