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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alison Balsom, Music for Trumpet & Organ
Balsom, Alison. Music for Trumpet & Organ

This is the first CD from Alison Balsom who was earlier this year awarded winner of the Young British Classical Performer of 2006. Recorded in 2002 it consists of a collection of eight pieces of music spanning some five centuries - from the Baroque era of Bach, Purcell & Sweelinck to the relatively contemporary music...
Published on 9 July 2006 by Mart

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear !
I bought the Caprice CD, and added this one because it was Balsom.
I'd like to say it was full of bright, varied and sparkling tracks which held my interest from start to finish. But I don't tell lies.
Probably a technically well executed piece of work, but I found a lot of 'sameness' about all the tracks, which were in the main drab and uninspiring. Maybe...
Published on 28 July 2010 by Franko


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alison Balsom, Music for Trumpet & Organ, 9 July 2006
By 
Mart (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Balsom, Alison. Music for Trumpet & Organ

This is the first CD from Alison Balsom who was earlier this year awarded winner of the Young British Classical Performer of 2006. Recorded in 2002 it consists of a collection of eight pieces of music spanning some five centuries - from the Baroque era of Bach, Purcell & Sweelinck to the relatively contemporary music of Petr Eben. Quentin Thomas provides the organ accompaniment to Alison's various instruments used throughout this recording including natural trumpet, piccolo trumpet and flugelhorn.

This may seem a wide range of music to put on one disc, but to me the organ / trumpet instrument pairing has always suggested a somewhat timeless feel which has enabled the compositions of the Baroque period to sit comfortably with the modern day works for these instruments. Both the organ and trumpet have a purity of sound, a suggestion of importance and occasion which pairs the instruments so well.

The music chosen by Alison for this debut disc cannot be faulted. The opening track from Sweelinck's Variations is beautifully performed and is a great example of how composers of the Renaissance / Baroque period could take a relatively simple theme and work it into a masterpiece. For me this is a first rate piece of music which has become one of my favourites on this disc.

The disc continues with Bach's Allemande (originally scored for solo violin), Purcell's King Arthur, and a lovely traditional piece called Shenandoah for solo trumpet.

The music starts to get contemporary with Henri Tomasi's Semaine Saint a Cuzco (Holy Week in Cuzco), continuing with Massiaen's Vocalise-Etude.

The disc concludes with Petr Eben's Windows, and it is this piece that offers the greatest challenge to the listener. The work, written in 1980, was inspired by the Russian-French painter Marc Chagall's stained glass windows in the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem. The piece is extremely varied, sometimes mysterious and haunting but always demanding. It is not immediately easy to understand or appreciate but this makes it so much more rewarding on subsequent listening. I like it, and have come to compare it with Mussorgsky's familiar Pictures at an Exhibition.

In summary an excellent debut album by Alison Balsom, complemented superbly by the organ playing of Quentin Thomas.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exemplary, 17 Oct. 2002
Alison's an incredible trumpet player with an incredibly beautiful sound. Trumpet players everywhere should buy this for some absolutely stunning playing, interesting pieces and inspiration. A real celebration of the capabilities of the trumpet. The crossover of repetoire into music originally written for violin just works so well with Alison's playing. That sound gives me goosebumps. I really like the variety on this CD. All this from a radiohead fan.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A curate's egg..., 23 Oct. 2006
By 
Teemacs (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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...good, in parts.

If I were giving stars for the performance, I would give an entire galaxy. Ms. Balsom's mastery of not only the usual trumpet and flugelhorn, but also the wicked little piccolo trumpet and the valveless natual instrument, are extraordinary - wonderful sound and flawless technique.

The problem is the music. The first pieces (Sweelinck, Bach, Purcell and a nice flugelhorn rendition of "Shenandoah") are great. But, alas, the final pieces are modern, meaning (to my ears anyway), strange, discordant things very useful for scaring the neighbours' cats out of our garden, but not much else. This, I realise, is a very personal opinion, and if you like modern music, this is worthy of five stars. I don't, and sadly can't.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear !, 28 July 2010
By 
Franko (Staffs, UK) - See all my reviews
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I bought the Caprice CD, and added this one because it was Balsom.
I'd like to say it was full of bright, varied and sparkling tracks which held my interest from start to finish. But I don't tell lies.
Probably a technically well executed piece of work, but I found a lot of 'sameness' about all the tracks, which were in the main drab and uninspiring. Maybe trumpet and organ are not an ideal match, like me and this CD. Sorry Alison, but I have got tickets for your Manchester Concert.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Trumpet & Organ CD, 23 Sept. 2012
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First half of CD, very enjoyable. Second half, very modern & discordant tracks. Not my thing!
Would advise reading content before buying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great music, 17 Jun. 2013
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Bought after seeing a TV programme that featured Alison. She really makes the trumpet sing recommended for all lovers of music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Music for trumpet and organ, 22 Nov. 2013
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The person that this was bought for really enjoys listening to it, and thinks it is excellent piece of music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 Sept. 2014
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very good recording
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exelent playing but the blend of styles...., 2 Mar. 2009
This CD shows exelent playing, but I don't like the mixture of styles. It is as is if the listener should be lured into listening to mordern compositions.
Why not make a CD exclusively with modern composers ?
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Music for Trumpet and Organ
Music for Trumpet and Organ by Alison Balsom/Quentin Thomas
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