Tine Helseth's debut album for EMI Classics, featuring transcriptions for trumpet (with orchestra or piano) of songs by many of the greatest classical composers, is a triumphant success. As I noted in my reviews for her previous albums on Simax (Trumpet Concertos, My Heart Is Ever Present, A Tribute To The Northern Winds), Helseth produces the most vocal tone that I have ever heard on the trumpet. Naturally, that tone suits this album perfectly. The trumpet, as played by Helseth, is as expressive as the human voice. In the notes, she is quoted as saying, "my sound is my voice." Further, she says that "to move the audience with a very simple tune is the most difficult thing." Well, she succeeds 100% on both counts on this album. Here we hear lovely melodies that, though composed for voice, sound like they were composed for the trumpet--at least the way Helseth plays it! That sweet, shimmering and extremely polished sound that were featured on her previous three albums is here in abundance. The result: one of the most enjoyable and relaxing music albums you will ever hear. It is especially nice that a complete song cycle from Edvard Grieg, Norway's greatest composer, is featured here, played by Norway's greatest trumpeter. The opening melody by Rachmaninov transports you to a different world and you are not brought back until the end of the closing melody by Kurt Weill.
The accompaniment by the Royal Liverpool PO is outstanding in every track that they are featured. Pianist Havard Gimse provides the accompaniment to the Grieg cycle and the last track by Weill and he is the perfect partner to Helseth; his playing is sensitive and atmospheric. EMI provides absolutely vivid and realistic sound for this album--demonstration quality in every sense. Thankfully, we have a tasteful picture of Helseth's face and a trumpet on the front, as opposed to the glamor-shot photos that do not belong on classical albums. This CD once again proves that Helseth is on her way to becoming the premier trumpeter of our generation.