This collection of English trumpet music from Henry Purcell's time, and from the decades after the death of that short-lived composer, will sound familiar to those who have heard the instrumental suites extracted from Purcell's theatrical music. Some of the music is in the shape of the French suite of dances, while other pieces are in the fast-slow-fast Italian pattern, but it has largely the same feel in each case: the movements are all short, mostly between one and two minutes, with the trumpet for the most part interacting with other instruments in a small ensemble. Despite the Sound the Trumpet title of the album, the listener in search of big trumpet fanfares will be disappointed. Even the apparently ceremonial Suite "Made for the Queen's Coronation" of John Eccles (1702), which features a trumpet part added by the performers, is in the same vein as the rest of the music. The most effective works, in addition to those of Purcell himself, are the sonatas by Moravian-British composer Gottfried Finger. Sample the lyrical Grave (track 45) and cascading instrumental effects of the final Allegro (track 46) of Finger's Sonata in C major. The smooth Baroque trumpet work of Mark Bennett and Michael Laird is unimpeachable, as are the varied contributions of the members of the historical-performance-oriented group the Parley of Instruments, who all have a lot to do in most of the music. The sequence of similar short movements suits the disc for use as background music, which of course is how much of it was intended in the first place; listened to closely and sequentially, it's a bit tiring. The music was originally recorded in 1996; no recording location was given, but Hyperion's sound quality was superb and is unimpeded in this budget reissue.
Share this page