Gábor Tarkövi

Trumpet Concertos

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Hungarian-born trumpeter Gábor Tarkövi, principal trumpeter with the Berlin Philharmonic, has issued several albums of trumpet concertos of the 18th century. He does them in the classic style; the booklet notes for the CD version of this Swiss release describe the development of the trumpet over the course of the century, but all the music is played on a modern instrument. Tarkövi is an exceptionally smooth and agile player, and his readings of the standard Haydn Trumpet Concerto in E flat major, H. 7e:1, and Hummel's Trumpet Concerto in E major are quite elegant, with the trumpet seeming to float above the carefully controlled strings of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. The effect is enhanced by fine Super Audio multichannel sound from the Tudor label; even auditioned on a good conventional stereo, the depth and transparency of the sound are remarkable. The album also includes a couple of less common items. The two-movement Trumpet Concerto in D major by Leopold Mozart was originally part of an eight-movement serenade that also contained a trombone concerto! By itself it's pleasant but unremarkable, but here's a work that deserves a full historical reconstruction. The Trumpet Concerto in E flat major by Johann Baptist Georg Neruda (Bohemian, despite the name) dates from around 1770; it was exhumed by several of the trumpet virtuosos of the middle 20th century, and it's a vivacious, sunny work. For those in search of old-school performances of some of the Baroque- and Classical-era pieces that were once staples of Maurice André's repertory, and who want to hear them with benefit of modern audiophile sound, Tarkövi's recordings can be safely recommended; true audiophiles will want this purely on its engineering merits.

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