Huw Morgan Reviewer.
“The Art of the High Baroque”
Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti
For fans of the Baroque trumpet, this latest release from the American virtuoso Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti is certainly a must-have. Featuring six world premiere recordings on the notoriously difficult “Natural” trumpet of the works of Joseph Riepel, Franz Querfurth, Goerg von Reutter II, Franz Xavier Richter and J. Michael Haydn. Civiletti navigates the extreme upper register passages of these concerti with exquisite technical prowess and musicianship. As record producer Edward H. Tarr explains in his informative liner notes, the extension of the trumpets high register employed by the composers of the Rococo or Mannheim period require not only fantastic endurance and embouchure strength, but also an incredible accuracy to pitch the upper note, where the partials lie treacherously close together.
Throughout the disc Civiletti almost makes a mockery of these difficulties, delivering impeccable performances, particularly in the Adagio movements of the Riepel and Haydn which require a warm, glowing tone at both ends of the instruments range. The florid and arpeggiated features in the final movements of the Richter and Reutter concerti are dispatched with equal aplomb, as are particularly impressive “lip trills”- as someone who finds this particular skill reasonably difficult to execute, I could only listen in awe and amazement!
In comparison with the piccolo trumpet and chamber orchestra recording of these works already on the market, the period-instrument Belgian Baroque Soloist provide a more intimate ( and certainly more authentic ) feel to the ensemble……..
A mention must go to the conductor Niranjan Wijewickrema for his discerning and tasteful handling of the accompaniment and the ensemble as a whole for tempering their ornamentation in these works.
…….it is abundantly clear in this recording that Civiletti is truly a trumpet phenomenon, a modern day master of the Baroque trumpet stratosphere whose unique musical and technical abilities afford him a special place in the roster of great trumpet artist. A truly inimitable recording from a very
talented gentleman: buy it!
The Belgian Baroque Soloists,
Niranjan Wijewickrema, Conductor; Marie Haag, Catherine Meeus, baroque violins; Rainer Ardt, baroque viola; Eve Francois, baroque cello; Benoit Vanden Bemden, baroque bass viol; Sopie van Heerle, harpsichord; Stefanie Troffaes, Wim Vandenbossche, transverse flutes; Mark De Merlier, Frank Clarysse, natural horns; Alain De Rijckere, baroque bassoon. Producer and program annotator; Edward H. Tarr, Recording engineer; Paul Pasquier,
Editing; Paul Pasquier, Niranjan Wijewickrema.
Buccina Cantorum Recordia BCR 3313114. Recorded 10-13 April 2007.