"This cd is, by far the best trumpet cd I own. His control in all registers, especially his trills, is unreal. Niklas Eklund has gone beyond merely acomplishing the right notes. It sounds better than anything I've heard with valves. This is, however, not just a technical show. His phrasing, particularly in the Telemann, is fabulous. The longer note values in the trecherous technical passages in the second and fourth movements is refreshing. For anyone who has ever played a baroque trumpet or just likes good music, this is a must."
Music for Baroque trumpet
conquistador69 | 01/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In this recording we have the opportunity to a number of concerti and two sonatas for baroque trumpet.Trumpeter E.Eklund plays works from the baroque on a period trumpet.From a Sonata by Torelli to a concerto by Leopold Mozart (The father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) to which Mr. Eklund wrote his own cadenza.Considering the fact that the baroque trumpet is a difficult instrument to play,Mr. Eklund dominates this instrument with such a virtuosity and a n impecable technique...Indeed a five stars recording."
Baroque Trumpet at its Best
John A. Moskal II | Carmel, IN USA | 05/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The desire for period instrument recordings is now reaching higher and farther than before in this country (indeed, though, it is still surpassed by that of Europe). Here we have the premiere example of the gorgeous playing of Niklas Eklund on the baroque trumpet repertoire, who here is all but unreachable from the point of technique, phrasing, and sound.
As a trumpet player, I personally understand difficulties of performing this repertoire on the baroque trumpet which Niklas, as a fourth generation trumpeter, does not notice (when I saw him live this became more clear than ever it was). His trills are to be envied by a valved trumpet and his sound quality is ever constant and beautiful at all registers in his playing. His phrasing is both period appropriate and moving. He does not over embellish or perform in a showy manner, but rather he emotes. The moving quality of his playing left me speechless upon the first hearing of this album. Here the Telemann concerto in particular deserves recognition especially in the Adagio movement, for where many trumpeters fall apart he continues growing and moving through to the last note.
The selection of repertoire is fairly standard and these are pieces that anyone familiar with the baroque trumpet repertoire might be expected to know, after all, though, it is but his first album. Repertoire is, however, as stated, the only thing "standard" about this recording. The playing by the Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble matches the quality by Eklund and the two work together flawlessly. Regardless of how many other recordings there are of this repertoire out there, this one is the one above all others that you should own if you are intent upon discovering this music, and I give this both as a trumpet player and avid music fan. From an economical standpoint, this is also a NAXOS release which means that it's generally cheaper than other recordings of the same repertoire.
In short, if it you are searching for a recording of either period performances of baroque music or simply a recording of one of these specific pieces, there should be no doubt in your mind that this is the one for you, for reasons of sound and performance quality as well as price."
On Baroque trumpet? WOW!
conquistador69 | 07/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording presents unparalleled musicality. The technique of course is flawless. His interpretations of the pieces are so strong. There are so many good things to say about this CD. This is a must for any classical trumpet player's CD library."
The Trumpet Gave Up More Than It Gained...
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 09/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"... when it succumbed to the temptation of piston valves in the early 19th C. What it gained was a few extra notes in its drab fundamental register, plus the possibility of playing more closely in tune with equal temperament, plus an easier technique to master. What it gave up was its maidenly virtue, its angelic singing timbre and flexibility in its upper stratocirrus partials. Modern trumpeters, who have felt their chops at risk on the highest passages of Bach and other Baroque composers, have turned to a shorter tube, the so-called Bach trumpet, a kazoo with valves. If you think I'm being tendentious here (snarky, for younger readers), you're correct. But after you've listened to the five volumes of Niklas Ekland's "The Art of the Baroque Trumpet", you may find yourself agreeing with me.
Eklund learned trumpet exactly as a trumpeter of the 17th C would have... from his trumpeter father, beginning at age five. In fact, he is the fourth generation of Eklund trumpeters. I doubt there was ever any other way to learn the instrument. Trumpeters were highly-prized and well-paid throughout Europe in the centuries of the Renaissance and Baroque; they had their own guilds and their own traditions. As Eklund says, the technique needed to play baroque trumpet is quite different from that of modern trumpet, and it isn't automatic that one will give you the other. The trumpet Eklund plays on these CDs is a modern 'copy' made by Reiner Egger of an instrument made around 1700 by Johann Leonard Ehe II, perhaps also a fourth-generation craftsman. The historical natural trumpet played most comfortably in mean-tone. The 'baroque trumpet' of common use today has one or more small holes drilled in the tubing, which can be covered and uncovered by the player's fingers. This was introduced among modern makers by otto Steinkopf in the 1960s; there are still some trumpeters who reject it as an innovation, but in fact it may have been known to players of the 18th C already. The 'keyed' trumpet for which Haydn wrote his glorious Concerto in E-flat major could not have been played very well on the Ehe trumpet, but its construction implies that the hole-in-tubing effects were already understood. In every other way, the haydn trumpet was far closer to the baroque trumpet in construction and technique than to the modern valved trumpet.
In Volume 1 of "The Art of the Baroque Trumpet", Eklund plays a range of pieces from an early Italian concerto of Giuseppe Torelli (1658-1709) to the 1762 trumpet concerto of Leopold Mozart (1719-1787). Except for the Torelli and a sonata by Henry Purcell from 1694, all the music on this recording and most of the music on the other volumes of the set is by German-born composers. That might indicate that the trumpet was most highly admired as a solo instrument in Germany, but it might also reflect the historical fact that most of the best trumpeters, from the 15th to the 18th Centuries and even in the Italian city-states like Ferrara, were Germans. T
Born in Halle, Germany, George Frideric Handel made ample use of the trumpet in both his operas and his later oratorios. The "celebrated Water Piece" for trumpet and orchestra in five movements is NOT the same stuff as the famous "Water Music" performed on a barge in the Thames; the overture is adapted from the second suite of the "Water Music" but the other movements appear to be taken from operas.
In terms of muscular athleticism, baroque trumpet playing should be an Olympic sport. All the technique is accomplished by the small muscles of the lips and cheeks and the tongue. Those muscles are the strongest proportionately of the human body, and the fine control of them which the trumpeter needs has been programmed by the evolution of speech. Nevertheless, when you hear what Niklas Eklund does with just his embouchure -- the amazing high notes, the precison of his trills, the 'saltos mortales' he makes between upper and lower octaves -- you may find his pure physical virtuosity nearly unbelievable.
The composers on this CD include Purcell, Handel, L. Mozart, GP Telemann, JM Molter, and JF Fasch. I'll be reviewing the subsequent four CDs of "The Art of the Baroque Trumpet" soon."