"Another recording of Wynton's in which he displays desirable command over his trumpet. Although I wouldn't consider it perfection, he is truly a master of his instrument, and attaining perfection is no mean feat. He starts off with the Ravel, Piece en forme de Habanera, which is an exquisite work, originally written for solo piano, but Mr. Marsalis captures the expression and lyricism of Ravel's composition beatifully. There is some very difficult music on this album, and Wynton makes it sound natural. The Honegger Intrada is definitely within this category. Mr. Marsalis made it sound so easy that I didn't realize the endurance it takes to play the opening lines until I looked at the music myself. Henri Tomasi is better known to trumpet players for his spectacular trumpet concerto, and he is represented in this list of works with his short and fun Tryptique. The Halsey-Stevens Sonata has become one of my favorite pieces of music with its wonderful thematic material, strong melodies and interesting rhythms. Marsalis is so good that he gets right out of the way and lets the strength of the composition shine, a task well done. Wynton displays strong performances of the Bozza and the Enesco as well, using the Bernstein and the Poulenc as short, fun pieces to provide comic relief from the heavier works found on this disc.He ends it off with the famous Hindemith Sonata for Trumpet and Piano, a spectacular composition, which Mr. Marsalis plays with command. Wynton displays the intensity involved in this piece more than adequately. Although I somewhat disagree with some of his interpretation of the first movement, the second and third movements are wonderful. The album ends with the segment, Alle Menschen mussen sterben, or, "all men must die". An incredibly slow, incredibly difficult section to play, especially at the end of the entire piece. He pulls it off with control, not so much as even a waver in tone, and his is brilliant. Well done Mr. Marsalis! Aside from picky stylistic disagreements, an excellent collection, definitely recommended."
Some nice moments, but...
Fred Sienkiewicz | Belmont, MA | 06/30/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Wynton's playing on this album is, unquestionably, very accomplished and there are some really shining moments -- especially in the Halsey Stevens' Sonata and the Honegger.As a classically trained trumpet player I must disagree with the other reviewers and point out a number of weaknesses in the playing in this disc. The Poulenc and the Bernstein, the easiest pieces are also the sloppiest. Througout the entire album, save the Chorale at the end of the Hindemith, Wynton uses, in my opinion, excessive and unmusical vibrato -- I feel it especially breaks the mood of the end of the Enesco. The playing throughout doesn't do much musically interesting and there are better recordings of all the works here. I feel the Hindemith was just rushed through, first and last movements especially. See Charlie Schlueter's "Trumpet Works" on Kleos Classics for a much more musical Hindemith and Philip Smith's self-titled album on Cala Records for better renditions of the Enesco and Tomasi.Overall, I really liked the program choice and some of the really good moments, but I think you won't find much here that isn't done better elsewhere."
Jason Pellett | Atlanta | 08/01/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"For reasons that I do not understand, Wynton is considered a player of the highest caliber. While his technique would have to seem impressive to most of his fans, in comparison to players such as Phil Smith, Charlie Schleuter, Matthias Hofs, and many other top symphony players, Wynton is completely out of his league. Wynton's interpretations of some of these pieces are laughable in their complete lacking of any sense of direction. Compare his recordings of the Enesco and Hindemith with ones put out by Phil Smith and Charlie Schleuter,amd it is like listening to a student play a piece for his teacher, and then the teacher playing it the way it ought to go. The only valid reason to buy this recording is the great programming. It's just a shame that it is not another trumpet player playing the same pieces."
Wynton Takes a Risk
Music Is Everything | Colorado Springs, CO USA | 10/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As you can see from the reviews here, most people either love or hate this recording. I see it differently: The major orchestral and solo repertoire is so over-recorded, yet fine repertoire like this rarely makes it to disc, especially with great artists and state-of-the-art recording, so why freak out if Wynton's style is a little different from the others? Yes, his vibrato is pretty strong, his Monette trumpet has a more jazz-like (uncentered) sound than most Classical artists, and his articulation can be a bit fluffy at times, but this is passionate playing from one of the best trumpeters of our time. It would have been easy for Wynton to put out another jazz album or re-record the Haydn concerto again and he probably would have made a lot more money, but he chose to focus on this rarely-heard music--admirable, in my book. His interpretation of the Hindemith Sonata is unique very effective, and the Halsey Stevens Sonata seems a natural piece for a Classical/Jazz crossover artist. The shorter works are also effective. The only reservation I have is the Poulenc, in which Wynton returns to his trademark overdubbing of both trumpet parts instead of inviting a guest trumpeter to join him. Beyond that, it seems a very effective musical statement. Wynton took a risk here, and I'm glad he did. Enjoy."
Allan F. Woodmancy | 07/26/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good cd. The blend of the horn and the piano is heavily weighted on the horn. I would have preferred a more equal blend"