CD Review: Birmingham Post on Psalm- Contemporary British Trumpet Concertos

SIMON Desbruslais demonstrates his virtuosity in four fresh, vigorous and varied works by three British composers. In Deborah Pritchard’s Skyspace he plays the piccolo trumpet, an instrument familiar through baroque works – famously in Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos – but seldom heard in contemporary music. It suits the soaring lines of Pritchard’s work, the seven sections of which portray varying colours of the sky. The two outer movements of John McCabe’s concerto La Primavera bustle with energy, powered by jazzy percussion, while the middle section has Desbruslais playing a romantic flugelhorn solo. Robert Saxton’s psalm A Song of Ascents re minds one of Bloch’s cello work Schelomo – combining the meditative with religious fer- fer vour. His Shakespeare Scenes allows Desbruslais to revel in playing character studies of Falstaff and Lear among its six sections. He’s given excellent support from the Orchestra of the Swan, conducted by Kenneth Woods, in the first three works, and David Curtis.

–Norman Stinchcombe

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at

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