04-Alison-BalsomAlison Balsom
Alison Balsom
EMI Classics 50999731660 2 3

Two years ago I had the opportunity to review the first recording I had heard by this amazing young British trumpeter. For the most part, that recording consisted of transcriptions of works which were not originally written for trumpet. By contrast, this recent disc contains a wider spectrum of music. The recording starts and ends with works by Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla. Balsom’s haunting tone sets the stage with his Escuale, and ends with a dazzling fiery performance of Libertango. While this recording too contains mostly transcriptions, it also has the Andante movement of a trumpet concerto by a composer named Neruda. Since no first name was given, a visit to Google turned up three composers by that name. From the sound of the work, I would assume that it is the work of 18th century composer Johann Baptist Neruda. There are movements from an oboe concerto by Marcello, a trio sonata by Bach, a flute work by Debussy and yet another excellent transcription of Rachmaninoff’s ubiquitous Vocalise. A new work, written for Balsom by Scottish composer James Macmillan, Seraph for trumpet and string orchestra, is in a similar vein.

Rounding out the program are arrangements of two traditional works, Shenandoah and Nobody Knows. Since much of the music is by lesser known composers, I would have appreciated some biographical information. Unfortunately there is none. Overall this is an excellent display of the talent of this young woman’s virtuosity. One does not have to be a trumpet aficionado to enjoy an hour of quality music with this CD.

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