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Sound the Trumpet: Royal Music of Purcell & Handel / Alison Balsom, trumpet

Album Summary

>Handel, George Frideric : Amadigi di Gaula, HWV 11
>Purcell, Henry : King Arthur Z 628 - Suite
>Handel, George Frideric : Atalanta HWV35
>Handel, George Frideric : Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne HWV74
>Purcell, Henry : The Fairy Queen Z629 - Suite of Musicks and Dances
>Purcell, Henry : Cone, ye Sons of Art Z323 (Ode for the birthday of Queen Mary)
>Handel, George Frideric : Water Piece, suite for trumpet, strings & continuo in D major (spurious arrangement), HWV 341
>Purcell, Henry : The Fairy Queen Z629
>Handel, George Frideric : Concerto for Oboe in B flat major (no 2a), HWV 301 (possibly spurious)
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

In the year of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, Alison Balsom celebrates the heroic era of the Baroque trumpet in works by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) and Henry Purcell (1658 or 1659-1695), whose anthems, odes, sinfonias and operas have provided the music for numerous royal celebrations from their own day to the present.

Joining forces with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert orchestra that he founded, Balsom demonstrates the versatility and expressive power of her valve-less instrument in original works and new arrangements. These include Purcell's Sound the trumpet and Handel's Eternal Source of light divine in duet with countertenor Lestyn Davies and Purcell's The Plaint from The Fairy Queen in duet with soprano Lucy Crowe.

Recently crowned 'Female Artist of the Year' for the second time at the Classic BRITs, Alison Balsom has cemented an international reputation as one of classical music's great ambassadors and is ranked among the most distinctive and ground-breaking musicians on the international circuit today. Balsom has also been honored with numerous awards by Gramophone, Classic FM and ECHO Klassik.

Alison made her Hollywood Bowl debut this August, with a critically acclaimed performance of the Haydn concerto. She will return to the US in the spring of 2013 for a major-market tour.

LA Times
Balsom excites audiences by blending flawless technique with nuanced interpretations.

The Independent, October 2012
For historical accuracy, she plays the valve-less "natural" trumpet: it really does appear to offer a more direct access to the human voice, a quality confirmed when she duets with countertenor Iestyn Davies.

The Times, October 2012
The music is glorious; so is Balsom's artistry as she weaves a flawless path alongside Trevor Pinnock's English Concert.

Gramophone Magazine, December 2012
When the instrument is played as fluidly agreeably as it is here, nobody could doubt that it is the right tool for the job...And it all works. This is rattling good music, and so easily does the trumpet fit into it that often it is hard to recall what the original scorings were anyway. Balsom, too, sounds utterly at home...and [is] wonderfully backed by the English Concert and the bright natural musicianship of Trevor Pinnock.

The Arts Desk, 1st December 2012
Her distinctive tone remains clearly recognisable, despite the instrument's limitations. The timbre is sweeter, less aggressively strident than that of the modern trumpet, and she's paired with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert, providing crisp, bouncy support.

International Record Review, December 2012
Up at the top of her range, or down below, fast or slow, she is in superb control and form...the lightness of the string accompaniments, the calm attention to springy rhythms, the unobtrusive sensitivity of the phrasing, all done without exaggerated emphasis or anachronistic flamboyance, are a sheer delight...[Pinnock] is surely a national treasure.

BBC Music Magazine, January 2013
This charming disc contains some of the most imaginative and polished trumpet playing you're ever likely to hear...Born-again authenticists may cavil at Balsom's vented trumpet, a modern development aiding intonation. But her flexible tuning, scrupulously focused to blend with the harmony, is a relief from the compromised tuning needed to play certain notes on true 18th-century instruments.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
Balsom is listed as playing natural trumpet. The vented version makes the instrument much more comfortable for someone who plays valved trumpet most of the time. This is part of why Balsom, Eklund, and almost all others who play natural trumpet sound so amazingly good.

MusicWeb International, April 2013
The music-making is a joy from beginning to end. Alison Balsom's playing is stunning. The tone and intonation are fabulous; the lip trills, ornaments and runs simply staggering. How she achieves this level of technical assurance on an instrument without valves is remarkable...Crowe's rendition of The Plaint from Purcell's The Fairy Queen is sensitively and beautifully sung and it's obvious that there's an equal musical partnership captured here.

Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: Simon Neal (harpsichord).



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Works Details

>Handel, George Frideric : Amadigi di Gaula, HWV 11 :: Sento la gioia (Act 3)
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
  • Conductor: Trevor Pinnock
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1715

>Purcell, Henry : King Arthur Z 628 - Suite :: 1. Overture (Act 1)
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1691

>Purcell, Henry : King Arthur Z 628 - Suite :: 2. Come if you dare (Act 1)
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Organ); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1691

>Purcell, Henry : King Arthur Z 628 - Suite :: 3. Symphony (Act 5)
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Organ); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1691

>Purcell, Henry : King Arthur Z 628 - Suite :: 4. Shepherd, shepherd, leave decoying (Act 2)
  • Performers: Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Trevor Pinnock (Organ); Alison Balsom (Trumpet)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1691

>Purcell, Henry : King Arthur Z 628 - Suite :: 5. Round thy shores (Act 5)
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1691

>Purcell, Henry : King Arthur Z 628 - Suite :: 6. Trumpet tune (Act 5)
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Organ); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1691

>Purcell, Henry : King Arthur Z 628 - Suite :: 7. Fairest isle (Act 5)
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1691

>Handel, George Frideric : Atalanta HWV35 :: Overture
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1736

>Handel, George Frideric : Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne HWV74 :: Eternal source of light divine
  • Performers: Iestyn Davies (Countertenor); Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1713

>Purcell, Henry : The Fairy Queen Z629 - Suite of Musicks and Dances :: 1. Symphony (Act 4)
  • Performers: Trevor Pinnock (Organ); Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1689

>Purcell, Henry : The Fairy Queen Z629 - Suite of Musicks and Dances :: 2. Rondeau (Second Musick)
  • Performers: Trevor Pinnock (Organ); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Alison Balsom (Trumpet)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1689

>Purcell, Henry : The Fairy Queen Z629 - Suite of Musicks and Dances :: 3. Jig (Act 1)
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1689

>Purcell, Henry : The Fairy Queen Z629 - Suite of Musicks and Dances :: 4. Prelude (Act 5)
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1689

>Purcell, Henry : The Fairy Queen Z629 - Suite of Musicks and Dances :: 5. Chaconne and chorus (Act 5)
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1689

>Purcell, Henry : Cone, ye Sons of Art Z323 (Ode for the birthday of Queen Mary) :: Sound the trumpet
  • Performers: Iestyn Davies (Countertenor); Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Organ); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1694

>Handel, George Frideric : Water Piece, suite for trumpet, strings & continuo in D major (spurious arrangement), HWV 341
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Organ); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1733

>Purcell, Henry : The Fairy Queen Z629 :: The Plaint (Act 5)
  • Performers: Lucy Crowe (Soprano); Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Running Time: 7 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1689

>Handel, George Frideric : Concerto for Oboe in B flat major (no 2a), HWV 301 (possibly spurious)
  • Performers: Alison Balsom (Trumpet); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
  • Ensemble: The English Concert
  • Notes: St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb (04/17/2012-04/22/2012); Henry Wood Hall, London (04/17/2012-04/22/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: circa 1706-1710