Guy Few / Nadina Mackie Jackson / Kevin Mallon / Toronto Chamber Orchestra

Bacchanale: Music for Trumpet & Bassoon

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AllMusic Review by

Trumpeter Guy Few and bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson are Canadian virtuosos who have collaborated on an album of pieces for their unusual combination of instruments. Hindemith wrote a double concerto for trumpet, bassoon, and strings between 1949 and 1953, and it has been the only piece for this combination in anywhere near the standard repertoire, or any repertoire. It's unfortunately a fruit of the period that earned Hindemith the reputation as a composer who was "dry," "academic," "pointlessly contrapuntal," and "dull." The concerto is brief, though, with some quirkily charming sections, and in a performance as fine as the one recorded here, worth a listen. Mathieu Lussier, a Canadian composer and bassoonist born in 1973 contributed four pieces to the CD, including a concerto with the same instrumentation as Hindemith's. Lussier's music is genial and conventionally if not memorably melodious. The most striking piece of his is Bacchanale, which he originally wrote for flute, bassoon, and piano trio, but arranged for the forces on this recording. The rhythmic quirkiness and witty lightheartedness of its second section make it a fun piece that deserves wider exposure. Vincent Persichetti's The Hollow Men for trumpet and strings is a classic solo, an earnest meditation on T.S. Eliot's poem of the same name. The disc is filled out with arrangements of two short Shostakovich character pieces that are the highlights of the album. Few and Jackson play with polished tone, immaculate intonation, and infectious high spirits; it's obvious they're having a blast.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Double Concerto for trumpet, bassoon & strings
1 05:26
2 03:45
3 06:30
Concerto, for trumpet, bassoon & string orchestra
4 06:54
5 08:14
6 01:35
7 03:08
8 07:54
Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 1
9 02:52
10 03:30
11 08:12
Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2
12 02:46
blue highlight denotes track pick