Robert Farley, Orpheus Britannicus, Andrew Arthur
This CD of courtly music for Baroque trumpet accompanied by strings and/or organ features all the likely names – Viviani, Biber, Schmelzer, Fantini, Torelli – and a couple of unexpected ones such as Godfrey Finger, Andrea Grossi and Gottfried Reiche. There are also a couple of solo organ sonatas Pasquini and Frescobaldi played by Andrew Arthur. Clearly, this programme relies heavily on the merits of the soloist and fortunately these are many. Robert Farley has a radiant trumpet tone and his playing has an innate musicality, bringing out the full subtlety of movements which in the case of some of the early Baroque slow movements such as the Viviani are somewhat skeletal melodically. He is also a master of phrasing and dynamics, while introducing delicate ornaments and subtle trills as appropriate. The Sonata in C for trumpet, violin and continuo by Godfrey Finger turns out to be one I have performed on Baroque clarinet, and is a work of genuine originality and subtle beauty, powerfully brought out here by Robert Farley, with Theresa Caudle providing an eloquent account of the violin part. Perhaps the most striking music is by Biber – his Sonata a5 no. 4 in C, in which the strings play in a calm and sustained manner under the flamboyant trumpet part, before joining in the technical fireworks. This a lovely CD, thoughtfully programmed and beautifully executed.
D. James Ross
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