Sunday, December 30, 2012

Baroque highlights by Maurice André and Hedwig Bilgram

   Trumpet and organ is unusual but possible connection. Especially in baroque music where setup was always result of possibilities and expected aims, one can find many unusual configurations of musical means. Even though there are not too many such compositions, artists like to play most moving works and constantly searching for highlights capable to astonish listeners. Sometimes, like in the set of trumpet with organ, repertoire is too small and insignificant and the only chance is to re-arrange some orchestral parts for organ or some other soloist part for trumpet. Interesting propositions of establishing such repertoire has been recorded twice by master of baroque trumpet Maurice André with arranger and organ player Hedwig Bilgram. Artists establish the duo already in 1968 with great results. Clear and open trumpet sound and stable base of organ voices worked together in the complementary whole. They made these projects for EMI label, first time in 1971 recorded in the St. Pierre le Jeune Kirche in Straßburg on Mühleisen-Kern-Organ, second time on May 16, 1985 in church of Ebbs in Tirol.

Maurice André and Hedwig Bilgram – Trumpet & Orgel (1989)

   Despite the many similarities, these albums are quite different collections. The program of first album was seventeenth century music of Henry Purcell and Georg Böhm baroque suites and pre-classical sonatas by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Jean Baptiste Loeillet. The second album was fixed mainly on measures of late baroque concerto style. Opening the album with Concerto grosso B-flat major by Georg Frederic Handel musicians show the direction of whole program. Obligatory reference to the greatest composer Johann Sebastian Bach was arrangement of the choral Jesus bleibet meine Freunde. Central part of the program are two concertos of Italian masters, Concerto D minor Op. 9 No. 2 by Tommaso Albinoni and Concerto D minor by Alessandro Marcello and between them Sonata C major by Jean Baptiste Loeillet. And the closing part is Concerto B-flat major by Georg Philipp Telemann.
   Phenomenon of Maurice André (1933-2012) trumpet sound and virtuoso perfection is legendary from late 60’s and early 70’s when he conquered the world stages. Son of mining family thanks to his unbelievable talent and diligence, after six month won conservatory’s first prize. In 1955 he won Geneva International Music Competition. He specialized in playing baroque music on piccolo trumpet. Since the repertoire for trumpet was not enough and his virtuoso possibilities were higher than usual, Maurice André often performed and recorded transcriptions of compositions written originally for other instruments or for solo voice.

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