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Haydn & Hummel: Trumpet Concertos; Albinoni: Concerto "Saint Marc"; Torelli: Sonata a Cinque. Martin Berinbaum, trumpet; Johannes Somary, English Chamber Orchestra. Vanguard SVC-136.

Haydn & Hummel: Trumpet Concertos; Albinoni: Concerto "Saint Marc"; Torelli: Sonata a Cinque. Martin Berinbaum, trumpet; Johannes Somary, English Chamber Orchestra. Vanguard SVC-136.

I've never met a Haydn Trumpet Concerto I didn't like. Since first hearing the work as a teenager more than 40 years ago, I've probably heard dozens of recordings of Haydn's Concerto, and I admit I've liked them all. Oh, there have been extreme variations in matters of sound, to be sure, as with the comparisons I'll make in a minute, but the performances have always seemed to come up right. Can't say why. Maybe I find the piece so charming I just can't not like it, no matter what. In any case, this reissue from Vanguard featuring young Martin Berinbaum on trumpet is as beautifully played as any and has the advantage of good, lucid sound.

OK, Berinbaum isn't so young anymore, but he was when he recorded this program in 1972. The booklet note tells us that the recording "was selected to be one of 500 albums in the `President's Collection' at the White House." It certainly rates such a distinction; Berinbaum plays with grace and refinement, plus an infectiously joyous spirit. Like many other discs, this one couples the Haydn with the Hummel Trumpet Concerto, a piece equally appealing in its own way. In addition, the issue includes two short baroque works for trumpet, the Concerto "Saint Marc" by Tommaso Albinoni and the Sonata a Cinque, No. 7, by Giuseppe Torelli, the latter a solo number for trumpet, four strings, and continuo. The timings for all four works still don't add up to much, a little less than 50 minutes, but the interpretations are well worth one's while.

The recording dates from a period when the English Chamber Orchestra were in extraordinarily good form. It's the era when Daniel Barenboim recorded so much good Mozart with the group. The sound of the orchestra is very slightly top-heavy but crystal-clear; the sound of the trumpet is near-perfect. There is only the faintest trace of roughness in the highest frequencies to betray the disc's age.

I'd say if you have a stereo system that is inclined toward brightness, you might find the recording a bit edgy, but if your system is fairly well balanced and smooth, you should find the recording sounding quite natural through most of its range. Two other CDs I had on hand, Schwarz on Delos and Marsalis on Sony, sounded a bit soft and veiled by comparison. All of which is to suggest that this Vanguard reissue is a treasure.
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Puccio, John
Publication:Sensible Sound
Article Type:Sound Recording Review
Date:Apr 1, 2001
Previous Article:Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 88 and 89; Sinfonia concertante in B flat major. Frans Bruggen, Orchestra of the 18th Century. Philips 462 602-2.
Next Article:Innovators.

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