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Wynton Marsalis: In Gabriel's Garden

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 14, 1996
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 14, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SONY MASTERWORKS
  • Run Time: 57 minutes
  • ASIN: B000002AP7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,127 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Wynton Marsalis is a superb musician. His style is bright, pure and exuberant, but he has a tendency to go a little overboard sometimes. In this CD that tendency is particularly evident in his rendition of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto. However, his playing is terribly moving and charismatic and he brings a vitality to these pieces that is seldom present in other performers' interpretations. The repertoire is very varied and the English Chamber Orchestra provide wonderful accompaniment. These versions may be a little flamboyant sometimes, but they are great nonetheless, and Wynton's masterful playing is always worth listening. Very few people can express the sheer joy of making music as intensely as Mr. Marsalis; his renditions of Jeremiah Clarke's works are absolutely marvellous.
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Format: Audio CD
Okay, I'll admit Mr. Marsalis may have taken some liberties with the music and made it a little more "flashy," shall we say. However, this IS Wynton Marsalis, and as long he continues to play impeccably on all his albums (this one being no exception), he can do whatever he darn well pleases as far as I'm concerned.
On this recording, Wynton Marsalis produces music from an instrument from which it is difficult for most other trumpet players to get any kind of respectable sound. His mastery of the piccolo trumpet is nothing short of remarkable, to say the least. If you've ever tried to play one, after hearing this you will gain a much deeper appreciation for the man's seemingly limitless talent and potential with both piccolo and regular trumpets.
Yes, piccolo trumpet means some high notes, so if high notes bother you, maybe you should shy away from this one and pick out another one of Mr. Marsalis' spectacular albums.
Conclusion: Why four stars instead of five? Mostly because of the liberties taken with the music. Still unbelievable trumpet playing - worth the price just for that.
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By A Customer on September 25, 1998
Format: Audio CD
As a Baroque trumpet enthusiast, Marsalis' latest offering of Baroque music on CD is not something I wish to hear again. The playing is fine, taking into account the high pitch of the arrangements. Taken individually, the performances are good. But who's idea was it to take perfectly good music and rearrange it, adding comical timpani parts to sonatas for trumpet with chamber strings! The performance of Brandenburg 2 is, for me as something of a baroque trumpet purist, broadly offensive. This is NOT a trumpet concerto! It is a concerto grosso, with four equal solo parts. It just happens to have one of the most difficult and taxing trumpet parts in the repertoire, but this does not mean that Bach intended the trumpeter to take over the whole texture like Marsalis does. The other instrumentalists compete well, given the bright tone and insistent quality of Marsalis' playing (doubtless egged on by sympathetic electronics) and, one must admit, the quality of playing on the recording is good. It is just that the music is mass-murdered, given a thoroughly modern and, to my mind, thoroughly inappropriate treatment. Marsalis did much better in the previous album (Baroque Music for Trumpets), which contained rearrangement, but Raymond Leppard's efforts were for more tasteful than this offering. Someone please give Wynton a natural trumpet, let him get his admirably skilled chops around it, and we should all benefit greatly from the result.
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Format: Audio CD
The bottom line - Mr. Marsalis and company have delivered an exceptional disc of Baroque treasures for trumpet. It is obvious that an urtext approach has not been taken, but I think that is fine. Anthony Newman has added some obbligato parts (timpani, organ, etc) and apparently notated tutti ornaments in the strings in a majority of the pieces in this collection. Incidentally, the Bach is the only substantial work on the disc (my reasoning for 4 stars in lieu of 5). It is in the Bach that Marsalis shows why he has become such a world-class artist. Now, I am very aware that he uses the modern Schilke piccolo for this recording and does play rather loud, and I love it! He produces a beautiful sound throughout and does tend to steal the spotlight. William Bennett's flute falls victim to being faintly heard at times. Neil Black, a great oboist, embellishes his passages in a way I have not previously heard. The English Chamber Orchestra provides a lush accompaniment throughout. Bach purists will most likely discount this interpretation in terms of balance but cannot dispute its character and virtuosity in execution. My only complaint throughout is the choice of repertoire. The music ends up sounding like the same story told over and over again, but well told.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
But will be greatly enjoyed by those who don't embody what Richard Dawkins calls "the tyranny of the discrete mind". These interpretations are bright, playful, challenging, and balance a modern sensibility with a deep respect for --- not a slavish worship of --- tradition. Thoroughly wonderful and well worth the price.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD is a real treat as Marsalis put his spin on baroque classics with the assistance of the English Chamber Orchestra. I will admit that I don't know a whole lot about this genre outside of what I learned during some introductory courses in school, still I enjoyed these selections. In the liner notes Anthony Newman speaks of the parallels between jazz and baroque in terms of the improvisations and flourishes, and I think that is what draws me to this music. It has lots of embellishments.
This was my first classical purchase, and it surely will not be the last. Wynton is a musical genius! (and cute too 8-)
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