Johathan Freeman-Attwood trumpet, Daniel-Ben Pienaar piano
Linn CKD 588
Well, I should perhaps start by telling you what this is – it is a CD of arrangements for modern trumpet and piano of Elizabethan and Jacobean music by Timothy Jones. As we all know the English music of this period is tuneful and attractive rhythmically and melodically, but what is to be added to it by playing it on a trumpet and piano? The answer is nothing that I can discern. When I picked up the CD, I had hoped it was an exploration of the still underexplored world of the Renaissance trumpet, but whatever trumpeters did in the Renaissance, it certainly wasn’t this. I could see the role of one of these arrangements as a novelty encore at the end of a trumpet and piano recital, but the idea of sticking a whole hour of them together on a CD is (to my mind) a non-starter. The two players perform the music with style and elegance, but the value of the whole project is questionable. If you are reading EMR reviews, this probably isn’t for you – it certainly wasn’t for me. And this is a case where our star system falls down – a fine performance, recorded beautifully and well presented with comprehensive notes, but something of a baffling travesty.
D. James Ross
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