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In 2001 Charles Schlueter celebrated his 20th year as principal trumpet with Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). The same year he recorded a CD called "Virtuoso Trumpet". With the exception of the Saint-Saens "Septet" from 1881, all the works on the CD are chamber music written in the 20th century.
"Intrada" by Arthur Honegger and "Legende" by Georges Enesco are well known music for trumpet and piano and part of the standard trumpet repertory. These two pieces can also be found on other recent recordings like, Wynton Marsalis: "On the 20th Century" (both pieces), Philip Smith: "New York" (Legende) / "Principals" (Intrada) and Hans Gansch: "Trompetenmusik des 20. Jahrhunderts" (both pieces). For trumpet students working on this repertory it is a good thing to be able to compare several interpretations.
One thing I like is that the CD also contains unknown music, works that are recorded for the first time. The "Sonate pour trompette en Re et Violoncello" by Yves Chardon is fascinating. Cello and trumpet is indeed uncommon. The liner notes says that "it is believed that this sonata is the first and only work for this unique instrumental combination". It is in 5 movements and the opening has a "reference" to Petroucha by Igor Stravinsky.
The "Duo Concerto for trumpet and organ" by Thomas Svoboda is a more common combination. It is also the longest piece on the CD, 16:00 min.
On Poulenc's masterpiece "Sonata for Horn, Trumpet and Trombone", Schlueter is joined by his colleagues from BSO, principal horn James Sommerville and principal trombone Ronald Barron. These guys have played a lot together, no doubt about that. The performance has a true French "esprit" - you get in a joyful mood when listening to the trio.
Schlueter has a brilliance in his playing that is amazing. He has a never failing control in all registers and in all dynamics from the softest lyrical to the strongest fortissimo.
"Virtuoso Trumpet" is a good description about his impeccable playing, but I think a title like "Chamber Music for Trumpet" or something like that, would have "captured" this project better.
Title: Virtuoso Trumpet
Label: KLEOS CLASSICS, KL5114
Total timing: 63:36
Year recorded: 2001
Order online: www.cschlueter.com