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Bach: Works For Trumpet Import

4.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, January 10, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Alison Balsom's Bach is a spirited romp through various works of the master arranged for trumpet solo and a changing cast of colleagues. Orchestral works are done in a chamber reduction, with the trumpet taking the solo violin part; solo works, like two movements from Bach's Cello Suite No. 2, are played in arrangements for trumpet. Transpositions abound, the net result being vaguely familiar music sounding fresh and different. In general, Balsom is most effective in faster, more outgoing movements and pieces where her bright tone, technical mastery, and sprightly tempos carry the day. The Italian-based works, Bach's Italian Variations, and his own arrangements from Vivaldi and Marcello fit this pattern, and so does the Trio Sonata arrangement from an organ work, where Balsom's trumpet interacts with violin and basso continuo to strike sparks. Least effective are the arrangements of movements from Bach's unaccompanied violin and cello masterpieces, in part because the inherent brightness of her trumpet is at odds with the warmth and nuances of a stringed instrument. The Badinerie from Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 2, whose melody and its association with the flute are indelibly imprinted on music lovers, comes off as a spectacular accomplishment on Balsom's far more unwieldy instrument. Excellent playing by the assisting musicians helps make this foray into a modernized version of Bach's music an enjoyable experience. --Dan Davis
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Product Details

  • Performer: Alistair Ross, Colm Carey, Alison Balsom
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (January 10, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B000CNEO1G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,854 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I purchased this CD at a recital Ms. Balsom was performing at. After having had the privilege of not only hearing this CD, but hearing her perform in person and meeting her for myself; I can HIGHLY recommend this CD.

Ms. Balsom's mastery of the trumpet is obvious in this CD. She sings beautifully throughout the instrument's full dynamic range, and her technical prowess is certainly as good as any of the "larger name" recording artists of today. Her interpretations are very solid as well.

This is a great CD to buy for anyone looking for a good recording of Bach's music rearranged for trumpet (the modern trumpet had not been designed yet in Bach's time). It's also worth mentioning that many of the arrangements performed on this CD were arranged by Ms. Balsom herself.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this album not knowing anything about Ms. Balsom, but being a trumpet aficionado (Marsalis, Andre, Alpert, Masekela) was curious as to how a female trumpeter would sound (I confess to having never heard of a female trumpeter).

Well, this CD is terrific. I like Bach's work and she interprets it in a clear and commanding style. It's right up there with my favourite classical trumpet cd, Marsalis' Baroque Music for Trumpets, and I look forward to hearing from and seeing Ms. Balsom here in the States.
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Format: Audio CD
I honestly enjoy these arrangements of Bach pieces for the trumpet and Ms. Balsom sounds beautiful on all of the them. I congratulate her in producing a high-quality CD and look forward to hearing more of her in the future. Her facility on the instrument is sweet and complete. If you like solo trumpet music, this will be a treat for the ears.
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Format: Audio CD
Balsom delivers an attractive disc here, with her impressive technical skill and a sophisticated seriousness of purpose in her programming, but there's something important missing from this album. Balsom plays with magnificent virtuosity, but she presents no message, no artistic voice, no aesthetic philosophy, no unique understanding of or approach to these works of J.S. Bach. I think she's overly preoccupied with proving herself. There's a Carnival of Venice sort of character to this disc: bars and bars of sixteenth notes flow effortlessly from her trumpet, and then bars and bars more, but for all that you get no sense of a distinct musical personality. (Her tone is very French as well: focused and bright. You can hear that she's been taking Håkan Hardenberger pills. Personally I'm not fond of this sort of trumpet sound, but I understand that it's a matter of taste.)

I have an album of Bach oboe concerti, played by Heinz Hollinger, that's similar to Balsom's effort here: flawlessly even, rapid-fire delivery of difficult lines is emphasized. But what Hollinger communicates that Balsom doesn't is a certain idiosyncrasy, a sense that only Hollinger could play those pieces quite like that, even if another oboist were to match his tempos. Even Wynton Marsalis -- who was often criticized for being mechanical and stylistically daft in his classical recordings of the '80s -- evinced an amiable flair and attitude that Balsom here lacks.

Listen, for example, to the slow, lyrical movements: the sarabande from the D minor cello suite, say. This is the sort of music through which an instrumentalist of consummate artistry -- a Milstein, or a Fournier -- could explore his own aesthetic vision while at same time revealing to us the sublime depth and breadth of Bach's artistry.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been ripping through and comparing a lot of classical music recently. And for some reason I have been focusing on trumpet pieces. The Marsalis version of the Brandenburg second has me obsessed. And everywhere you go is Miss Balsom. I wondered, could this beauty really play. Well, good Lord, I can see why she has groupies. These Bach pieces are enough to make one seek a live concert. Seriously, this human has chops. The suite is enough to make this disc worth the Amazon mp3 price. I don't see where it is available in vinyl or I would buy my audiophile friend a copy too.

Get it. Listen to it. It is one of the finest things I have put in my ears this week.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My husband and I first heard Alison Balsom on our public radio station -- and loved what we heard -- so we have been buying her CD's and we manage to secure tickets to her performance at Town Hall in NYC. What a treat!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Alison Balsom is amazing. Every piece she plays superbly. No mean feat when one realises that her instrument of choice is the baroque trumpet! Highly recommended.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is great and interesting music. This is music that is both creative as well as being entertaining. I look forward to listening to future music contributions.
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