Alison Balsom – Bach Works for Trumpet (2005/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1kHz | Time – 1:11:28 minutes | 683 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: | ©  Warner Classics

The title Bach: Works for Trumpet is a little misleading: While Bach did compose glorious music for that instrument, everything here is a transcription. No matter. Bach himself was an avid transcriber, and these adaptations would surely draw smiles from the old Saxon — not least because of the virtuosity of the soloist, Alison Balsom, who navigates music originally for keyboard, cello, violin, voice, and other sources with equal aplomb. Most daring, perhaps, are Balsom’s unaccompanied selections: two movements from one of the cello suites, a Gigue from a violin partita, and the lively Badinerie from the Second Orchestral Suite. There’s nothing to mask shortcomings in technique on these solitary tracks, yet Balsom never loses her stride in music that must pose an extra challenge on trumpet rather than on the nimbler flute, violin, or cello. Organist Colm Carey steps in to accompany three transcribed concertos (two of which are in turn Bach revisions of scores by Vivaldi and Marcello, adding to the complexity), while a small chamber group joins the trumpeter for a trio sonata and part of the Agnus Dei from the B Minor Mass. A harpsichord-accompanied Italian Variations and a version of the beautiful song ‘Du bist bei mir,’ with chamber organ and viola da gamba, complete the album’s pleasingly diverse assortment of backup combinations. Balsom’s playing is spirited and expressive, with a tone that swaps brassy glitz for a supple vocal quality. All in all, an impressive major-label debut that reveals a talent to keep an eye on.

“…as a showcase for this young artist’s mesmerising virtuosity the disc does its job admirably, and presents some familiar and less familiar Bach in new guises at the same time. The supporting instrumentalists, especially organist Colm Carey, make a sterling contribution…” –BBC Music Magazine

“A disc of arrangements which is impressive on every level. Beautifully mellow playing contrasting with virtuosic moments.” –Classic FM Magazine

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Concerto in D Major, BWV 972
1. I. Allegro 02:04
2. II. Adagio 03:50
3. III. Allegro assai 02:10
Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
4. IV. Sarabande 02:41
5. VII. Gigue 02:38
Aria Variata in A Minor (Italian Variations) BWV 989
6. Aria Variata in A Minor (Italian Variations) BWV 989 09:24
Partita No. 3 in E, BWV 1006: Gigue
7. Partita No. 3 in E, BWV 1006: Gigue 02:06
Trio Sonata in C Major, BWV 529
8. I. Allegro 04:55
9. II. Largo 05:16
10. III. Allegro 03:31
Concerto in C Minor (after Marcello) BWV 974
11. I. Allegro 03:13
12. II. Largo 03:41
13. III. Presto 03:12
Gottfried Stölzel, Johann Sebastian Bach
Klavierbüchlein für Anna…
14. II: Aria: Bist du bei mir, BWV 508 02:42
Colm Carey, Johann Sebastian Bach
Concerto in A Major, BWV 1055
15. I. Allegro 04:08
16. II. Larghetto 05:02
17. III. Allegro ma non tanto 04:24
Badinerie from Suite No. 2, BWV 1067
18. VII. Badinerie 01:31
Mass in B Minor, BWV 232
19. Mass in B Minor, BWV 232: Agnus Dei 04:60

Alison Balsom, trumpet
Colm Carey, organ
Alina Ibragimova, violin
Alistair Ross, harpsichord & chamber organ
Mark Caudle, viola de gamba