Saturday, April 16, 2011

Haydn: Concertos - Goodwin, Bennett, TEC, Trevor Pinnock

Joseph Haydn
Concertos for Oboe, Trumpet, Harpsichord
Paul Goodwin, Mark Bennett, Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert
Archiv 431 678-2

For me this reading of the Trumpet Concerto is as close to ideal as possible.

Bennett and Pinnock find a balance in this music that other interpreters invariably distort, one way or another. Maurice Andre, for all his attractive tone and phrasing, is unidiomatic as he tends to make these three movements into concert aria showpieces; Herseth and Solti, with the powerhouse Chicago Symphony, turn it into Mahler-lite; Marsalis and Leppard are overstated, the orchestral texture is opaque, and Marsalis for his part doesn't grasp the architecture of this music, distracted as he is by his concern to demonstrate his considerable virtuosity; Hardenburger and Marriner are understated (I've even thought they seem bored with the music) and miss the spirit of Haydn's sound and style; Immer and Hogwood, on period instruments, get the sytle exactly right, deliver an electrifying orchestral performance, and would be my first choice were everything not ruined in the end by Immmer's very weak tone - at times he is all but inaudible.

Bennett and Pinnock get it right. The period orchestra has the right balance and sonority; there is much more space in the texture so that all of the voices sound distinctly. Bennett, on a keyed trumpet, plays the solo part with flair and in balanced dialog with the orchestral counterpoint, and he uses the most engaging cadenzas, fills, and ornaments I've ever heard. Pinnock brings to the reading as a whole the sense of protortion, the earthiness, the rhythmic vitality that animate the Classical style, bring it to life.

I can't imagine it being done any better.

D. Jack Elliot, Amazon Customer

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