Search - Jean-Baptiste Arban, Johann Sebastian Bach, Leonard Bernstein :: Classic Wynton

Classic Wynton
Jean-Baptiste Arban, Johann Sebastian Bach, Leonard Bernstein
Classic Wynton
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1

Wynton Marsalis may not have an easily recognizable or even particularly handsome tone, but this erstwhile jazz trumpeter is an amazing virtuoso with a fine sense of classical style. If you've never owned/heard any of his ...  more »


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Wynton Marsalis may not have an easily recognizable or even particularly handsome tone, but this erstwhile jazz trumpeter is an amazing virtuoso with a fine sense of classical style. If you've never owned/heard any of his classical CDs, and you love (mostly baroque) trumpet music, this compilation--a sort of "greatest hits"--is for you. From such cruddy, sensationalistic works as Carnival of Venice to the glories of Haydn's E-Flat Concerto, this is grand entertainment. Marsalis is joined by Kathleen Battle in an exciting version of Handel's "Let the bright seraphim," and the treat there is doubled. A fine piece by Hovhaness for trumpet and organ, never before released, is another surprise. Come listen to the endless, seemingly casual roulades that come out of this guy's trumpet--they'll wake you right up. --Robert Levine

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CD Reviews

In response to the other reviews...
C. Brad Whitfield | Athens, GA | 09/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I think that it's important to realize the nature of this release. This is a compilation; more importantly, it is a retrospective work which attempts to cover all of Wynton's classical output. The fact that this CD contains so many baroque works is chiefly due to two reasons: first, the baroque works featured here are short and fit more easily on this type of release; and second, the number of baroque works that Marsalis has recorded makes up a large percentage of his output, and that output is well represented here. This CD introduces the listener to Wynton's entire classical discography on Sony/CBS. From these samples, the listener may choose what he/she would like to hear more of.

Robert Levine states that "Wynton Marsalis may not have an easily recognizable or even particularly handsome tone..." in his review for Amazon. This is very untrue, especially in the case of Wyton's classical playing. Marsalis has a very beautiful and very pure sound, and a tone quality which is easily recognizable to any listener with a beginning knowledge of trumpet players. His vibrato, especially on the piccolo trumpet, is unmistakable. Perhaps Mr. Levine's statement would hold true for some of Wynton's jazz releases, where his vibrato and sound are not the same (nor does he try to make them). Compare the sound between something like "Standard Time, vol. 3" and Wynton's first classical release, and you will immediately see the difference. Style, concept, and even choice of equipment all come into play here, and few listeners will have trouble distinguishing Wynton's Michael Haydn from Maurice Andre's (or anyone else's).

As you can see, many of the reviews here complain about the inclusion of so much baroque music. However, when looking at his classical catalog, one clearly sees his baroque output as opposed to other styles. Of the nine solo albums, there are two 20th-century (three if you count the "Quiet City", which I don't), one cornet, two classical-era (of the same works, mind you), and four baroque discs, in addition to this and another compilation ("Portrait"). Remember, this is a sample of his recordings, and can't really be viewed the same way as complete albums. Also, notice that there are four works from his "Carnaval" album, yet only one very short work from his "On the Twentieth Century" album (his most criticized classical album). One final note is the issue of accessibility: the market that this CD is aimed at is not the same audience who is looking for the definitive performance of, say, a Hindemith sonata. A better introductory CD for those listeners might be the "Portrait" disc, which contains complete works, rather than single movements (although that only covers his five CBS solo albums and not the four Sony ones recorded later). (And for the anonymous reviewer who implied that the baroque music is alright for younger players but not for advanced, give the Michael Haydn or the Brandenburg a try sometime.)

All said, this is essentially an introduction to his classical playing. If you like what you hear, you'll buy more. That's the idea."
I'm Always Amazed at How Wonderful Wynton Sounds
T. B. Vick | The Lone Star State | 03/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first encountered Wynton Marsalis on a PBS special (channel surfing). I landed on the channel and their was a performance of an orchestra with a trumpet player out front. When I heard this trumpet player play, he sounded very crisp, clear, and had a wonderful tone. He immediately got my attention, so I watched the show 'til it ended. Unfortunately, every time they announced his name, I could not catch it over the applause and noise of the crowd. Later, I saw him again on PBS, only this time he was being interviewed for Ken Burns' Jazz show. I finally saw his name and began to search for his music.I am very impressed with the fact that Wynton can play anything from Jazz to Classical. This CD is a collection of his classical pieces and demonstrates exactly what I heard that day I was channel surfing. Wynton plays the music of composers from Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, Hummel, Haydn, Pagnini, etc. The music is nice, his sound is clear and crisp, and the CD contains over 69 minutes of music.While being a recently new fan of Wynton's, I have only three of his CDs. This particular CD, among the three I have is my favorite."
Clear and Open Trumpet Solo Work
rodboomboom | Dearborn, Michigan United States | 05/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Here the jazz trumpeter excellent shifts to classical numbers, and pulls them off with a vibrancy and clarity that makes for great listening enjoyment.Many, especially J. Clarke's are Processional type pieces, so they are royal and magnificent. Marsalis is very crisp and clean in his phrasing. His sound is crystal and sharp.Especially enjoyable is his work on J. Haydyn's Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major, which moves and showcases his allegro abilities.The delicacy emitted on the piece with soprano superb Battle is magnificent, a rendering of Handel's "Let the Bright Seraphim."Truly the versatility of this premier trumpeter pours forth for the near seventy minutes of this collection, from Vivaldi to Bach's Brandenburg, to Mozart to Bernstein's Rondo for Lifey."