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Wynton Marsalis – Baroque Music for Trumpets

Logical Insight Report Card Grade: A
Reviewed by Nyssa

A Virtuoso and Technological Masterpiece

Baroque Trumpets CD image

I have listened to dozens of versions and performances of the Vivaldi Concerto for Two Trumpets over the years, but none can compare with the performance done by Wynton Marsalis on this CD. There are flourishes and grace notes here that are missing from less accomplished trumpeters’ interpretations that add to the uniqueness and richness of this performance.

The decision to have Marsalis play all of the trumpet parts for each of the selections on this album was inspired. There are a handful of other classical trumpeters who could keep up with him and complement his performances, but keeping it an all-Marsalis event was a good decision.

The technological maneuverings that were done at the recording location and on the master tapes are described and illustrated in the cover notes. While multitrack recordings are nothing new, the attention to details such as the repositioning of the instrument and player for each of the tracks added so much to the final versions of each piece.

Where this multitrack, repositioning technique truly shines is in the von Biber piece Sonata for 8 Trumpets and Orchestra in A Major that concludes the CD. Each part is played by Marsalis from a different location in the church to take advantage of the unique acoustics as you hear close, near, and far away sets of trumpets completing their parts. Wonderful!

Selections from Telemann (Concerto for 3 Trumpets and Orchestra in B flat Major and Concerto for 3 Trumpets in D Major), Haydn (Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in D Major), and Pachelbel (Canon for 3 Trumpets and Strings) round out the remainder of the album.

Highly recommended.