Classical Reissue Reviews

Alison Balsom Sampler – Alison Balsom, trumpet/ Scottish Ens. – EMI Classics

A sampler of some of the variety of music talented trumpet-player Balsom has recorded, with a crossover slant.

Published on November 1, 2012

Alison Balsom Sampler – Alison Balsom, trumpet/ Scottish Ens. – EMI Classics

Alison Balsom Sampler – Alison Balsom, trumpet/ Scottish Ensemble – [TrackList follows] EMI Classics 50997 31660 2 3, 61:02 ****:

This eponymous disc is a sampler of the art of  Alison Balsom, a stunning-looking blond English trumpeter born in 1978. Since 2001 she has been a professional solo classical artist. Already, with a number of discs for EMI and Hyperion, Balsom has made appearances on both sides of the Atlantic.

This collection is one of those “crossover” types, with a little of this and a little of that. Opening and closing with music by Piazzolla, there is other modern music: Messiaen, Macmillan and Lindberg.  The bulk of the music is more classical with the following composers: Bach, Marcello, Neruda, Albinoni, Debussy, and Rachmaninov. And to round out a picture of her virtuosity, there are two traditional pieces.

Balsom, who is certainly gifted and a winner of several prestigious awards, has arranged or transcribed four of the works performed. With most other top-flight trumpeters gone from the scene, Balsom has the concert circuit, not to mention the television and radio personality interview circuit all to herself.

The recording is excellent and the packaging has multiple pictures of Balsom in a blood-red dress, a brief biography singing her praises and even briefer notes on  the music collected here.  This is recommended for those who love Balsom, the trumpet, and tidbits of music.

TrackList:

1. Escualo by Astor Piazzolla 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Argentina 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
2. Oboe Concerto in C minor: Adagio by Benedetto Marcello 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
3. Shenandoah by Traditional 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Written: USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
4. Seraph for Trumpet and String Orchestra: 2. (Adagio) by James MacMillan 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2010; Scotland 
Length: 5 Minutes 14 Secs. 
5. Songs (14), Op. 34: no 14, Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninov 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912-1915; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
6. Vocalise-étude, for soprano & piano (orchestrated as II mvt. of “Concert à quatre”), I/15 by Olivier Messiaen 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Period: Modern 
Written: 1935; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 48 Secs. 
7. Trio Sonata for Organ no 5 in C major, BWV 529: 2nd movement, Largo by Johann Sebastian Bach 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1727; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 24 Secs. 
8. Trumpet Concerto in E flat major: Andante by Johann Baptist Georg Neruda 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1740-1775 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
9. Syrinx by Claude Debussy 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Written: 1913 pub 1927 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
10. Sonatas (6) da chiesa for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 1 in D minor by Tomaso Albinoni 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Length: 8 Minutes 27 Secs. 
11. Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen by Traditional 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Written: USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
12. Gammal fäbodpsalm frän Dalarna, for trombone & ensemble by Oskar Lindberg 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Period: Modern 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
13. Libertango by Astor Piazzolla 
Performer:  Alison Balsom (Trumpet) 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Argentina 
Length: 4 Minutes 32 Secs. 

—Zan Furtwangler




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