Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wynton Marsalis - Baroque Music for Trumpets (1988)


Raymond Leppard conducting the English Chamber Orchestra

Back in the '80s, I would buy anything put out by Wynton. It didn't matter whether it was jazz or classical. I've since slowed on that policy because he puts out so much music, but I'm sure I bought this release within days of its release. He recorded these cuts by overdubbing himself instead of playing with other performers. Allegedly, this is because CBS couldn't find/schedule fellow trumpeters. This doesn't bother me a bit, in fact, I probably preferred it that way back in '88. Some people feel that Marsalis takes too many liberties with Baroque ornamentation in his interpretations, but I think he understands the improvisational nature of the music of that period. Unfortunately, the liner notes focusing on the logistics of recording the music instead of on the music itself.

Tracks: All the music is played well. This CD introduced me to the fantastic Telemann Concerto for 3 trumpets, maybe my favorite piece on the disc. There are two main problems with this release. Leppard sloppily arranged Pachelbel's famous Canon for 3 trumpets. It doesn't work well and I can only guess it was put on the album to help sales. Also included is a concerto composed by Michael Haydn. The music and the performance are fine, but this is a solo concerto from the Classical era which doesn't seem to fit the title of the CD. The disc ends with the choppy Sonata for 8 trumpets by Heinrich Von Biber which is a LOT of trumpet, even for me, but I appreciate the attempt at trying to make this piece sound spatially antiphonal on a recording.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Curiously, this classical CD reminds me of spring break 1988. That week, I drove the Olds Firenza from Commerce to Bay City (getting a speeding ticket in Hempstead) then later from Bay City to San Antonio (getting a speeding ticket in El Campo) then, finally, back to Commerce (no tickets). Good times.

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