The listener familiar with the works of Torelli and the other common examples of Baroque trumpet music may be surprised to see the diverse list of composers represented on this Swiss-German release. In fact not one of the nine works on the album precisely qualifies as an "Italian trumpet concerto." The five concertos included were all written for other instruments, mostly an oboe, although Albinoni's Concerto in B flat major, Op. 7/3, is indeed best known in the trumpet version heard here. It takes a modern trumpet to play any of these works; although annotator Anette Unger correctly notes that transcriptions made solo instruments interchangeable for many works, the concertos wouldn't have been thought suitable for the trumpet in their own time. The valveless Baroque trumpet was a much less agile but more martial instrument than its modern counterpart. The arias by Scarlatti, Vivaldi (from the Gloria, RV 589), and Baldassare Galuppi, by contrast, did actually involve the fiery juxtaposition of soprano and trumpet. The performances here by Hungarian-German trumpeter Gabor Tarkövi, soprano Mojca Erdmann, and the Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra smooth over the differences among these works with smooth, technically well-controlled readings augmented by audiophile-quality sound. It's an old-school Baroque trumpet recording, calculated to display the capabilities of the trumpet soloist with lots of sunny diatonic music and crisply executed ornaments. The music is best suited for general listeners rather than for those specifically interested in the Italian Baroque concerto, but Tarkövi, especially, succeeds on the album's own terms.
Italian Trumpet Concertos Review
by James Manheim