by Alison BalsomAlison Balsom


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The popular trumpeter Alison Balsom released Jubilo for the 2016 Christmas season. With the program she seems to be trying to keep the fans who enjoy her clear-toned readings of Baroque standards while trying something new: in this case a natural Baroque trumpet. Balsom deploys this instrument, a clarino (apparently one of modern provenance), in Baroque concertos by Fasch and Torelli, plus an arrangement by Simon Wright of the "Concerto Grosso in G major, Op. 6, No. 8," of Corelli (the so-called "Christmas Concerto"). The concertos are interspersed with Bach chorales, many of them with a Christmas connection, arranged for trumpet and organ. These are played on a modern trumpet. One wonders whether she thought of reversing the instruments used: the chorales seem suited to the uniquely vocal quality of Balsom's playing, while the concertos, played in brilliant modern-trumpet versions, are what have made her career. But she was plainly interested in something new, and the program introduces an element of timbral contrast that's different from what you get in the common run of holiday albums. What it doesn't necessarily do is persuade you that these pieces belong together, although the work of the Academy of Ancient Music under Pavlo Beznosiuk and of organist Stephen Cleobury is exemplary. A choir is thrown in for the "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" chorale, and the "Christmas Concerto" arrangement doesn't fit the balance of this concerto grosso; neither of these moves clarifies the structure of the program. There is, however, a good deal of the playing that has endeared Balsom to so many, and any individual piece will succeed on its own terms. Sample the highly expressive slow movement of the Fasch, or the broad readings of any of the chorales. Recommended for Balsom fans.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/04/2016
Label: Warner Classics
UPC: 0190295924652
catalogNumber: 558211
Rank: 61424


  1. Concerto for trumpet, 2 oboes, strings & continuo in D major, FaWV L:D1

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