Matilda Lloyd / John Reid

Direct Message: 20th & 21st Century Works for Trumpet and Piano

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At the time of this album's release in 2018, British trumpeter Matilda Lloyd was just 22 years old. She looked older, and her powers of programming and interpretation also suggested a more seasoned musician. Perhaps trends go in circles, with the reigning queen of British trumpet, Alison Balsom, being succeeded by an entirely different kind of musician: where Balsom has often played glittering, pristine renditions of the classic Baroque trumpet repertory, Lloyd has a highly expressive, slightly rough tone that is at home in contemporary music. On Direct Message, she applies it to a variety of music ranging from Enescu's Légende to the titular work by Lloyd's contemporary Alex Woolf. Much of the music is adventurous: the program opens with Peter Maxwell-Davies' Trumpet Sonata, Op. 1, pioneering in its day with its use of 12-tone techniques, and still bracing. Things go in various directions from here: Deborah Pritchard's Seven Halts on the Somme (2016) is one of several intensely pictorial works by that composer that respond almost palpably to paintings and give a sense of the composer's synesthesia, while Giles Swayne's Sangre Viva ventures into extended technique. Yet the whole program is anchored in a certain French conservatory sensibility, exemplified directly by the Enescu and the final Sonatine of Jacques Casterède, but also by the restrained expressiveness of the whole. Accompanist John Reid has the sense to stay out of the way of an explosive young talent. The album has a nifty way of touching the bases expected for a debut while still announcing a new and original talent. Highly recommended.

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