Alison Balsom / Trevor Pinnock / The English Concert

Sound the Trumpet: Royal Music of Purcell & Handel

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British trumpeter Alison Balsom has been popular from the start, and she seems to gain strength as she tackles each new project and expands her range. Here she plays a Baroque trumpet (apparently a natural trumpet with finger holes but no keys) and is accompanied by the period-instrument English Concert under its veteran conductor Trevor Pinnock. They worked together on most of the arrangements of pieces by Handel and Purcell, and the results in this well-worn British musical ground are nothing short of stunning. The variety of timbres that emerge from Balsom's instrument is nothing short of stunning, and the place to start in sampling it is with the three vocal duets, two with the fine countertenor Iestyn Davies and one with soprano Lucy Crowe. These give the uncanny effect of almost hearing two vocal parts that so many instrumentalists aim for in arrangements like this, but that so few actually achieve. Balsom has always been a charismatic player with an attractive tone, and an anthology of her earlier recordings is available. But the way she's going, it makes sense to keep up with the state of her art.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Amadigi di Gaula, HWV 11
1 4:44
King Arthur Z 628 - Suite
2 3:36
3 3:01
4 1:55
5 1:48
6 1:10
7 0:46
8 2:02
Atalanta HWV35
9 4:01
Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne HWV74
10 3:34
The Fairy Queen Z629 - Suite of Musicks and Dances
11 6:27
12 1:40
13 1:06
14 1:03
15 3:58
Cone, ye Sons of Art Z323 (Ode for the birthday of Queen Mary)
16 2:35
Suite in D HWV341 'Water Piece'
17 1:43
18 1:47
19 1:49
20 0:59
21 1:07
The Fairy Queen Z629
22 7:44
Oboe Concerto No. 1 in B flat, HWV301
23 1:59
24 1:41
25 2:13
26 1:35
blue highlight denotes track pick