In trying to cover the classical solo trumpet concerto repertoire, Wynton Marsalis quickly realized that the number of options were rather finite (as opposed to, say, the violin), so he proposed an album of concertos for multiple trumpets. When CBS couldn't round up a brace of fellow trumpeters as guests, Marsalis blithely offered to play all of the parts himself! Through the enabling process of multi-track recording, he pulled it off, recording in the same London church with the same placements of microphones. Raymond Leppard and the English Chamber Orchestra return from past Marsalis classical projects to lay down the smart, poised accompaniments. Obviously one has to respect the difficult technical feat of synchronizing all of the parts and recording take after take of each part -- two parts for the popular Vivaldi Concerto RV 537, three for the Telemann Concertos in B flat and D and an astounding eight for Heinrich Biber's Sonata for Eight Trumpets and Orchestra, the latter with echo parts in different sectors of the church. A problem for some listeners, though, is that Marsalis makes no attempt to alter his tone or style from one part to another; thus the effect is that of a team of Marsalis clones who do not interact. Also, there are a few liberties taken with the designated theme. The Pachelbel Canon -- which isn't and never was a trumpet concerto -- is given a rather fancy arrangement by Leppard for three trumpets and strings, presumably to invoke the brand name Pachelbel to help the record sell. Also, the cover sheepishly confesses that Michael Haydn was not a Baroque composer (he lived from 1737 to 1806), and the concerto in question -- a modestly-inspired two-movement affair -- is for just one trumpet, thank you. Ultimately it adds up to a curiosity in Marsalis' burgeoning catalog.
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AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell
|Double Trumpet Concerto for 2 trumpets, strings & continuo in C major, RV 537|
|Concerto for 3 trumpets & orchestra in B flat major (arranged from Septet, TWV 44:43)|
|Trumpet Concerto in D major, MH 104|
|Concerto for 3 trumpets, timpani, strings & continuo in D major, TWV 54:D4|