on May 19, 2003
It's a rare treat for a reviewer when he can throw caution to the winds and go out on a limb for a musician. This is such an occasion for me. Hakan Hardenberger is a phenomenon. He is the Babe Ruth, the Wayne Gretzky, the Michael Jordan, the Vladimir Horowitz, the Jascha Heifetz of trumpet players.
This is the Swedish trumpeter's second recording, made in 1987 when he was only 26 years old (in the cover photo he looks quite boyish). The first time I heard him play, my jaw dropped and I could hardly believe my ears. His playing was a revelation--absolutely stunning. I'd never heard trumpet playing to compare with it. In my opinion, with his first two CDs young Hardenberger not only moved into the top rank of trumpeters; he swept right past his competitors to the head of the class. I've compared a number of his baroque concerto performances, here and elsewhere, with those of other famous trumpeters, and he always comes out on top. I believe him to be in a league of his own. He has everything: virtuosity and technique to burn, dead-on intonation, clean trills, smooth legato, expressive shading, beauty of tone, brilliant high notes, enormous dynamic range. He is also a sound musician, with taste and a sense of style. His arsenal is complete and unassailable; there is no chink in his armor.
While the star here is clearly Hardenberger, the ASMF under Brown provides exemplary support, and of the five concertos included here, several are concerted works: one uses three trumpets, one uses two trumpets, and three use two oboes.
The trumpet has always been a difficult instrument to record and reproduce accurately. Here, although the excellent digital recording presents Hardenberger very much front and center, it captures the timbre, "bite," and wide dynamic range of his trumpet with exceptional vividness and fidelity. On a top-quality playback system, he sounds like he's standing right between the speakers playing for you.
The only complaints one could make are (1) that this CD runs only 54:00--rather short measure by today's standards, and (2) that the enclosed booklet unfortunately contains no information about Hardenberger. But it's ungenerous to quibble in the face of playing like this. Not to be missed.
Long live the king!
on February 22, 2001
This is one of my favorite Hardenberger recordings, and it's not hard to see why. His flawless intonation and beautiful sound are outstanding, but they are nothing compared to his dazzling technique and sensitive artistry. His performance of the first movement (Grave) of the famous Concerto in D (not the one with two oboes) is an object lesson in the art of musicianship. Hardenberger manipulates his golden tone within a kaleidescope of colors that has no limit in range or volume. His seductive soft playing and stylish ornamentation will make you swoon with delight. Best of all, his tasteful interpretations are appropriately Baroque and display a thorough knowledge of historic performance practice, especially in the tempi he chooses. The fast movements dance and the slow movements glide in a manner that betrays the French influences and operatic heritage of Telemann's music. Iona Brown and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields lend spirited support throughout. This is an absolutely fabulous disc! I'd give it ten stars if I could.
on December 31, 2001
One of the first CD's I purchased when I began exploring the world of "classical" music aprox 12 years ago. It was stuff like this that got me hooked.
I can't add a lot to the previous reviews except to say that this is a strong, bright recording of some generally cheerful, upbeat baroque concertos. Hardenberger's playing is tight, precise and yet never mechanical. I have a lot of trumpet concertos featuring a variety of soloists - no one is any better than Hakan - and many do not have the fluid yet concise playing of this soloist.
Anyway, I totally recommend this and any of Hardenberger's recordings.
on June 15, 2008
This is one gem of a performance. I don't know that I've ever heard a musician adapt his skills to the needs of a particular type of music as well as Hardenberger does with the good folks from St. Martin in the Fields on this CD.
The primary test of a musician is not how well he or she can play loudly, but how well he or she can play softly. And there are parts here where Hardenberger's trumpet emerges from among sounds of the violins like the guys emerging goggle-eyed from the cornfield into the lights on the Field Of Dreams: you don't even know, for a couple of beats, that he's started playing. That's how well he modulates that trumpet, and how well he adapts to the piece. He matches his trumpet to the other players as well as I can even imagine it being done, whether he's playing among the strings as though he's one of them, or responding gently among the woodwinds as though he's one of them, or brightening his sound during a solo.
There are amazing times when he's gamboling about among the strings (or among the woodwinds, especially in numbers 4 & 5) like the proverbial wolf in the henhouse. In numbers 4 & 5 there's an effect that is quite unusual. In most good recordings, and even most excellent ones, the musicians do a very good professional job, proud of their music and enjoying their craft. During these two concertos, Hardenberger and especially the woodwinds play it as though they really like each other; like they can't wait, whenever their entrances come, to jump in the sandbox and start playing, and playing off of each other not just like professionals enjoying themselves, but like. . . great friends. I don't know any other way to explain it. I can almost sense the fist-pumps when the movements are done, and they go, "Yeeeaaahhh!"
on February 9, 2012
The CD as purchased was better than the previously written reviewer's statements. I don't personnelly play the trumpet, but I purchased the CD for a friend's ten year old son. This Telemann:Trumpet Concertos has provided him with the motivation to practice more regularly which was exactly what we were hoping for. So, Amazon continues to provide a valuable service by allowing purchaser's to express how they feel about a purchase product overall. Thank You, Ahmad
on March 11, 2000
This is the best selection of Telemann trumpet pieces on a single CD, even though it contains only concerto works. The soloist is allowed to demonstrate his proficiency and his ability to convey passion through his music. I don't even have to wade through a number of other Telemann standards to hear what I paid for - Telemann for the trumpet.
The CD is a little on the short side at only 54 minutes. I also expected the liner notes to contain some information about the soloist, Hakan Hardenberger, but they did not.
on September 5, 2013
It's to the credit of all concerned with this recording that you can play the disc all the way through and not get bored -- "all concerned" including Telemann, of course. Philips has provided lovely sound, and a good balance is struck between the orchestral part and the soloist (or soloists, in the concertos that feature more than one trumpet). The program has been well selected for variety, and while the allegros and vivaces bring a familiar thrill (and the expectation of a Masterpiece Theatre episode), some of the nicest things here are the slow movements. The duetting with trumpet and oboes in the Siciliano of the fourth item on the disc is very engaging and played with great restraint (and, if I'm not mistaken, the bassoon is employed in that concerto too, despite what the liner notes say). Also in the second concerto on the disc, the "Grave" slow movement is beautifully played by the strings alone. If I have a favorite, it might be the Concerto in E-flat for two trumpets and strings. The trumpets here are employed at their most martial at times, but also in the slower movements with taste and subtlety. This concerto seems to have been adapted from a concerto for two horns, and in it has a different melodic contour from the others. The Academy of St. Martins-in-the-Fields play with great spirit for Iona Brown, and all the wind players -- trumpeters, oboists, and bassoonist -- distinguish themselves. Recommended.
on May 28, 2013
I picked this one up at the used CD store. Telemann wrote fine music and a disk of Trumpet Concertos suits me just fine. Hakan Hardenberger is one of the most famous trumpet players today. A nice choice for accessible and enjoyable music!
on July 23, 2014
trumpet, very sharp, clear, interesting comparison to Alison Balsom, "SOUND THE TRUMPET" OR "ITALIAN CONCERTOS".